Pakistan came into the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 clash against England in Trent Bridge low on confidence. They had lost 11 consecutive completed ODIs and had lost the previous series before the tournament 0-4. In the first match at the same venue, Pakistan was bundled out for 105 against West Indies. However, against England, Pakistan put in a clinical performance in all departments. Mohammad Hafeez was the star, hammering 84 off 62 balls and was backed up by fifties from Sarfaraz Ahmed and Babar Azam as Pakistan notched up their second highest score in the World Cup. Disciplined bowling from the pacers and the spinners helped Sarfaraz’s side register a 14-run win and get their campaign back on track.
Hafeez, who won the Man of the Match for his all-round exploits, said there was belief in the team. “Everyone was believing we could do this. We were playing good cricket but not winning the crucial stages of the game. Everyone chipped in today and gave everything which was required to win the game. We needed one winning performance and then everyone contributed accordingly. It was a total team effort. It is a very happy dressing room,” Hafeez said.
Hasan Ali, who has been a vital cog in the Pakistan bowling department, said the backing which coach Mickey Arthur gave and the support of the Pakistan cricket fans in England boosted the morale of the side.
“We needed just a little bit of kick and then we will click. We got that kick. We needed the win because we are playing at the World Cup. The World Cup is a different game, you have a lot of pressure. But one thing is very important, which is our coach is always backing us. That moment turned us as everyone was confident. We feel like we are playing at home. Since I came here in 2016 to this 2019 World Cup, it feels like our home because there is a lot of Pakistani community who always come and support us," he added,” Hasan Ali said.
Not to panic
Meanwhile, Joe Root, who became the first centurion of the ICC Cricket World Cup, said Pakistan played better and urged the team and the fans not to panic after the loss.
“One thing we have to make sure we don't do is panic and go away from what's been so successful for us. We probably just left a little too much to do at the end. That's probably my fault. We've been nowhere near our best cricket throughout these two games, so with that still to come we feel like we're in a good place,” Root said.
Pakistan will take on Sri Lanka in their next encounter while England will take on Bangladesh at Cardiff.