Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed was a happy man, why not? He became Pakistan’s match winner by playing an innings of a lifetime to snatch a win from the jaws of defeat with a mature 61 not out.
Pakistan were down and out at 162-7 while chasing a modest 237 to win. But Sarfraz and Mohammad Amir added 75 for an unbroken eighth wicket stand to take Pakistan to the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy at Cardiff.
Luck also smiled on Sarfraz as he was dropped twice by Sri Lankan fielders, first by experienced Thisara Prera on 38 and two runs later by substitute fielder Seekkugge Prasanna.
Sarfraz termed the win as “great.”
“First of all, thanks to almighty Allah. I think it’s a great win today, and credit goes to the bowlers today. They bowled really well at a crucial time. We took the wicket today and upped the batting order.
“Especially Fakhar Zaman, he played really well. Yeah, a little bit concern about the middle order batting. Definitely we’re sitting tomorrow, and we’ll sort out the problems.”
Sarfras termed his innings as responsible one.
“Definitely, as a captain, it’s very important inning for me. After this inning, I’m really boost up and hopefully we will do well in the future.”
Sarfraz admitted he sighed a relief when he saw Prera dropped his catch.
“You know, that time I didn’t see the hand of Malinga, and when I played the shot in the air, I just said, ooh — (laughter). But thanks to Allah — you know, thanks to Allah today. Allah has passed a law today that Pakistan win today.”
Sarfraz hoped his team will be at their best against title favorites and hosts England.
“England is a very good team, a very, very good team. They’ve been playing really good cricket for the last two years. If you’re playing a world class team, definitely, you play more positive cricket against England. So definitely, we will do against England more positively.”
“Yeah, we played against here. Last time we played almost full series here. We played last here. We win that time, so definitely our confidence very high playing in Cardiff”
Sarfraz said he seeks supports from former players and fans when the team loses a match.
“This victory is a great victory for this young team and for Pakistan cricket,” said Sarfraz. “We don’t get support when we lose so it hurts and to make this team a good unit we need support from everyone in every situation.”