Sarfraz Ahmed concerned with 'soft dismissals' ahead of England clash
Cardiff [UK], June 13 (ANI): Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed feels that his side's soft dismissals, especially that of the middle order batsmen, are an area of concern going into the semifinals of the Champions Trophy against England to be played on Wednesday at the Sophia Gardens.
In what was a do-or-die match against Sri Lanka, Pakistan were left wanting despite a promising start from young opener Fakhar Zaman. The young opener, who in his debut against South Africa had scored 31 off 23 balls, followed it up with a 35-ball 50 against Sri Lanka.
Pakistan made a great start to their innings with openers Azhar Ali (34) and Fakhar Zaman (50) stitching a crucial 75-run stand to provide their side to laid the platform.
However, Pakistan lost their next three batsmen in quick successions-Babar Azam (10), Mohammad Hafeez (one) and Shoaib Malik (11), who was playing his 250th ODI game.
Imad Wasim and Fahim Ashraf also got out cheaply for four and 15 runs respectively and it looked unlikely for Pakistan to cross the line after being reduced to 162-7.
But Sri Lanka's disintegrated fielding in the last 45 minutes with couple of dropped catches and Sarfraz subsequent half-century saw Pakistan book their place in the semi-finals.
"If you look at the game we started well but after Fakhar Zaman got out we lost the momentum and then most of our dismissals were soft which definitely is an area of concern for us," ESPNcricinfo quoted Sarfraz as saying in the post-match press conference.
"We will sit tomorrow and talk about this and hopefully we will recover from this."
"After the way we started we could have finished this game with six or seven wickets in hand but those dismissals really dented us. We should have won by a good margin but a win is a win. Yes, we need to sit and talk about it and realise that if we a settled that we should take the game to the end rather than leaving it for the upcoming batsmen," he added.
The wicketkeeper-batsman, who scored an unbeaten 61-run knock off 79 balls against Sri Lanka, also promised that Pakistan would "positive" cricket against England in the semi-finals.
It should be noted that Pakistan conceded the world record ODI total of 444 for 3 against at Trent Bridge last year. That ODI series ended in a 1-4 drubbing but the lone Pakistan victory did come in Cardiff as they chased down 303 in which Sarfraz made 90.
"We chased down 300-plus runs and that is a good memory," he said.
"We have to play positive cricket as England have been playing positive cricket in the last two years. Obviously we have to play hard and we will try to replicate our last year performance to win them again in Cardiff. If you're playing a world class team you play more positive cricket. So will definitely do that against England," he added. (ANI)