Pakistan put on a phenomenal show against South Africa in their second group B match in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 and eventually grabbed a win by 19 runs (D/L Method) in a rain-curtailed match at Edgbaston. Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has hailed the team’s performance and the kind of display they put on against the World No 1 ranked South Africa.
“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 his column for ICC.
Afridi added that this Sarfraz Ahmed-led side shouldn’t be ruled out of title contention especially after their emphatic win against South Africa. “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,” he added.
While Pakistan bowling attack restricted South Africa to 219/8 in 50 overs, it was Hasan Ali’s spell that impressed Afridi the most. Ali in the process returned with figures of 3/24 in 8 overs and his wickets included the dismissals of Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy and Wayne Parnell. “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.”
Pakistan now have a win and a loss under their belt in this ICC Champions Trophy 2017 and they next face Sri Lanka on June 12 in Cardiff.