Write off Pakistan at your own peril - Shahid Afridi
Former captain Shahid Afridi has issued a warning not to write-off Pakistan after their victory over South Africa in the seventh game of the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy in Birmingham.
Pakistan are the bottom ranked team in the tournament after they managed to edge out West Indies to secure a eighth place and they succumbed to a 124 run defeat by Duckworth-Lewis against arch-rivals India that pushed them to the bottom position in Group B.
However, they bounced back strong against the number one ranked South Africa team where they registered a 19-run win by Duckworth-Lewis in what was a must win encounter for them.
The win has also boosted their hope of making to the semi-final which they will achieve if they win their final group game against Sri Lanka.
"It is heartening to see Pakistan play the way it did and I hope it continues its good work and brings smiles on the faces of our passionate cricket fans," Afridi wrote in a column for cricket governing body website www.icc-cricket.com.
"I also feel that Pakistan shouldn’t be ruled out of title contention anymore. The win today can make this side do some amazing things in the tournament. Once again write Pakistan off at your own peril.
The 37-year-old also lavished praise on Hasan Ali, who came up with a three-wicket haul against the Proteas.
"I don't recall Pakistan fast bowlers delivering match-winning performances in recent years, hence Hasan’s three-wicket spell made me really happy.
"He is a mature bowler for his age, has decent pace and the ability of seaming the ball while he can also make the old ball reverse with impeccable control."
The final round of Group B will see Sri Lanka and Pakistan locking horns with each other while South Africa will face India in what will be a virtual quarter-final for the teams.
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