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Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed felt that the support of the fans played a major role in their 19-run win against South Africa on Wednesday.
There were more than 16,000 fans of Pakistan present at the stadium, giving it a home game feel to Pakistan, after their defeat to rivals India by 124 runs in the opening match. Pakistan have not hosted International matches since a 2009 terror attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore.
“That is a feeling we miss, not playing in Pakistan,” said Sarfraz after the match. “Maybe that was a difference, the crowd was supporting us and that’s why the players were boosted.”
Sarfraz felt that the difference between their side and that of the opponents was with their bowling as well as fielding. The wicketkeeper-captain also praised Mohammad Hafeez and Imad Wasim, and said, “I think the difference was our bowling and fielding. Mohammad Hafeez and Imad Wasim bowled really well and they took the pressure off for us,” he said.
“We had a good bowling meeting (on Tuesday),” he said. “We took wickets. If you take wickets, every good team feels under pressure.”
Sarfraz was all praise for the way backroom staff including South African coach Mickey Arthur supported their side, contributing to their self-belief. “They backed us after the defeat, they supported us very well, so that’s why we played a good game.”
Pakistan now have a chance to qualify for the semifinals when they face Sri Lanka on Monday.