ibnlive » Cricket

Refreshed Pakistan eye World T20 semi-finals

AFP
Mar 30, 2014 at 12:09am IST

Pakistan will return to World Twenty20 action after a week's break on Sunday charged up to make a move for the semi-finals by winning their two remaining games in the Super-10 round in Dhaka.

Mohammad Hafeez's men, who lost their opening group two match to India by seven wickets on March 21, bounced back to beat Australia by 16 runs last Sunday and remain in contention. Pakistan must defeat hosts Bangladesh on Sunday and the defending champions West Indies on Tuesday to join India in the semi-finals from the group.

ALSO SEE Pakistan practice with wet balls

"The picture is clear. We have to win both games to make sure we are in the last four. There is no scope to make mistakes now and we are eager to get back to the field," Hafeez said on Saturday.

Refreshed Pakistan eye World T20 semi-finals

Pakistan must defeat hosts Bangladesh on Sunday and the defending champions West Indies on Tuesday to join India in the semi-finals from the group. (AFP Photo)

Hafeez said the team used the break to iron out shortcomings ahead of the crucial matches at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.

ALSO SEE Pakistan need two wins to advance in semis

"We have trained and worked hard for the last six days. The management and the coaches worked on our weaknesses. The build-up for the crucial stage has gone off very well," he said.

Hafeez praised arch-rivals India, who won three consecutive games to ensure their place in the knock-out round even before their last league match against Australia on Sunday.

"India have played very good cricket so far in the tournament. It's good they are through, so the rest of the teams know what it will take to advance. Expectations should always remain high. Our target is not just the semi-finals, but also to win the tournament. I think we are destined to do well," he added.

Pakistan, champions in 2009, have an impressive record in World Twenty20, making the semi-finals of all four editions so far. Pakistan's batting, which faltered against India to be restricted to 130-7, came back strongly against Australia where they piled up 191-5, following Umar Akmal's scintillating 94 off 54 balls.

Hafeez said Akmal, who strained a hamstring during that innings, was fit to play on Sunday. "The break came as a blessing in disguise. It gave time to the physios to work on him. He has been training for the last two days."

Hafeez knows the tougher game will be against the West Indies on Tuesday, but refused to take Bangladesh lightly even though the hosts have lost both matches so far.

"No team is easy to beat in T20 cricket. You have to do the basics right every time. We respect Bangladesh and will do our best to win," he said.

Squads:

Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Shamsur Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Mominul Haque, Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Mohammad Mahmudullah, Abdur Razzak, Sohag Gazi, Mashrafe Mortaza, Farhad Reza, Rubel Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain.

Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez (capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Bilawal Bhatti, Junaid Khan, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Talha, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Sharjeel Khan, Shoaib Malik, Sohaib Maqsood, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Zulfiqar Babar

Latest

More from this section

Bleacher Report