NAPIER: Pakistan coach Waqar Younis has seen this trajectory before.
All but written off at the World Cup, one match was all it took to change the momentum of their fortunes and propel them to their one and only 50-over title, achieved in 1992.
The 43-year-old had not quite seen that on Wednesday against UAE but felt his team were slowly starting to find some confidence with their 129-run victory over the associate nation.
“I’ll take it at the moment,” Waqar said after the Pool B victory, which came on the heels of a 20-run win over Zimbabwe after heavy defeats by India and West Indies .
“To win makes you feel comfortable and confident. I think we need to win against bigger opponents to tell the world that we are around.
“Two victories, fair enough, the run rate is better.
“We are sneaking in and looking to play better cricket but we need to beat a better opponent.”
Waqar, who missed the 1992 tournament through injury, could draw some parallels with his current team’s performances and that of Imran Khan’s World Cup winners.
In 1992, they were languishing on three points after their first five games in the round robin tournament before they beat Australia by 48 runs.
They then won their next two pool games, both of which they had to win or pack up early for home, to qualify for the semi-finals in fourth place.
Martin Crowe’s New Zealand team at Eden Park was then dispatched in the semi-final and then they beat England to clinch the title.
Pakistan next face South Africa on Saturday in Auckland before they finish their matches in Pool B with a clash against Ireland in Adelaide.
That final match could determine who finishes fourth in the pool, though Waqar was keen for his team to have put them into a better position before then.
“I think the crucial game will be South Africa, not just to qualify but for a morale booster,” he added.
“We need to beat a top team to get our confidence back.
“We haven’t played the best cricket but… we have the capabilities there.
“We do have the players there who can turn it around. This tournament is going to get tougher and tougher and we have to be ready for it.” (Reuters)