ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Pakistan's World Cup hero Hero Babar Azam says belief is key for them

Pakistan made a disastrous start to the World Cup, losing three of their first five matches with a single victory, against England. But wins over South Africa and New Zealand have revived their hopes of making it to the semifinals.

Agence France-Presse, Jun 27, 2019 10:59:13 IST

Birmingham: Babar Azam says Pakistan have the belief they can win their remaining games to complete a dramatic turnaround and reach the World Cup semi-finals following victory against a strong New Zealand side on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old hit a match-winning unbeaten 101 to anchor Pakistan's reply to New Zealand's score of 237 for six at Edgbaston.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Pakistans World Cup hero Hero Babar Azam says belief is key for them

Babar Azam struck a century against New Zealand.

Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed hit the winning runs in the final over as they finished on 241-4 to win by six wickets.

Pakistan had a disastrous start to their World Cup campaign, losing three of their first five matches with a single victory, against England, and a no-result.

But Sunday's win over South Africa at Lord's and Wednesday's victory in Birmingham have revived their hopes of pulling off a sensational comeback.

Their next game is on Saturday against Afghanistan, who have lost all seven of their matches at the tournament in England and Wales and they finish their group fixtures against Bangladesh, who are level with Pakistan on seven points.

Sri Lanka are also in the hunt, one point behind but with a game in hand, meaning 1992 winners Pakistan must still rely on other results going in their favour to qualify from the 10-team group phase.

"Belief has been the key," said Babar, who reached his 10th one-day international hundred off 124 balls with 11 fours. "We have the belief that we will win our next two games and then look ahead."

Babar, 24, said even when the team were struggling earlier in the tournament, they were confident they could turn their fortunes around.

"We were not winning matches but we talked to each other and had the belief that we could do it and now our focus is on the next game," he said.

Defending champions Australia are the only team to have qualified for the semi-finals so far while New Zealand, India and England currently occupy the other top-four slots.

Babar said his role had been to bat until the end of the innings.

"I was given a role to bat until the end and others bat around me and that worked well as (Mohammad) Hafeez and then Haris (Sohail) batted well to establish partnerships," said Babar.

He said his target is to become the best batsman in the world.

"I can say that this is one of my best knocks because the aim is to be the best batsman in the world," said Babar, who is already the top-rated batsman in the world in Twenty20 cricket.

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Updated Date: Jun 27, 2019 10:59:13 IST


World Cup 2019 Points Table

Team p w l nr pts
India 9 7 1 1 15
Australia 9 7 2 0 14
England 9 6 3 0 12
New Zealand 9 5 3 1 11
Pakistan 9 5 3 1 11
Sri Lanka 9 3 4 2 8
South Africa 9 3 5 1 7
Bangladesh 9 3 5 1 7
West Indies 9 2 6 1 5
Afghanistan 9 0 9 0 0





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254