Cricket World Cup 2019: Mickey Arthur believes Pakistan are firmly back in semi-final race

Waseem Ahmed 16:44 24/06/2019
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Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur.

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has warned that his side are still ‘alive and kicking’ in the 2019 ICC World Cup following their 49-run win over South Africa at Lord’s on Sunday.

The win over the Proteas means that Pakistan’s hopes of qualifying for the semi-final remain alive although it won’t be easy for Sarfraz Ahmed and his men. The Men in Green will need to win all three of their remaining fixtures and then hope some other results go their way as well to stand any chance of making the top-four.

Arthur, however, is confident that a run of three straight wins will see Pakistan qualify for the semi-final.

“We are alive and kicking, without a doubt,” the Pakistan coach stated after the win over South Africa.

“Yes, we are banking on other teams doing us a favour. When we play our best game, we can beat anybody. Whether that’s New Zealand, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, our remaining games, or England, we showed.

“We put our three disciplines together, we are as good as any team in this competition. We are very firmly in the World Cup. We win our next three games, we’ll qualify.”

While Pakistan were excellent with the bat and ball in their victory over South Africa, their fielding left plenty to be desired with as many as five catches dropped in the outfield.

Arthur believes Pakistan can be a force to be reckoned with in the World Cup if it can iron out its deficiencies in the field.

“Our problem is we haven’t put three disciplines together yet in any game,” said Arthur.

“We bowled well; we batted well; we didn’t field well. So, when we put three disciplines together, we’ll be exceptional.

“The closest we’ve got was when we beat England.”

Sunday’s win has lifted Pakistan to seventh spot in the table with five points from six outings. They will next take on neighbours Afghanistan in another must-win clash on June 29 at Headingley in Leeds.

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