Jun 082017

KARACHI: Former captain Rashid Latif believes it was the “youngsters’ day” on Wednesday when Pakistan beat South Africa by 19 runs, albeit via DLS method, to breathe new life into their 2017 ICC Champions Trophy campaign.

The Sarfraz Ahmed-led unit, after being humbled by India in their campaign opener, bounced back by bowling out the world number one side for a modest 219, and were on their way to chasing the target at 119-3 in 27 overs before rain interrupted the match and handed the victory to Pakistan, who at that time were 19 runs ahead of the par score.

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“I congratulate the nation which saw Pakistan beat the top-ranked team in ODIs, the credit of which goes to the captain and the youngsters in the team,” Latif told The Express Tribune. “The young players have proved, and if given a chance, they can lift the team up. It was fascinating to see Imad Wasim and Hasan Ali put South Africa in trouble.”

He added that Imad gave Pakistan early and important breakthroughs, and that Sarfraz’s bowling plan should be credited. “Imad deserves credit for his wickets but it was a well-planned bowling move by Sarfraz who used his bowlers in the best manner to put South Africa under pressure. Hasan’s three wickets also helped Pakistan and if you ask me, it was the youngsters’ day.”

‘Fakhar batted according to plan’

Latif, like many others who saw Fakhar Zaman bat on Wednesday, was awestruck by the left-handed opener’s ability and said he should’ve been given a chance earlier.

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“I waited for his induction in the national side for a long time,” said Latif. “I have always backed him to be given a chance and the way he batted he captured everyone’s imagination. He scored quick runs when Pakistan needed them since rain had to come in sooner or later.

“You could see him bat according to the plan. He came in and delivered what was meant from him. Later, Shoaib Malik’s cameo turned the tide in Pakistan’s favour,” he added.

Pakistan win by 19 runs (DLS method) against South Africa

Latif continued by praising Sarfraz’s positive attitude. “It was good to see that Sarfraz learned from his mistakes against India and pushed everyone to play positive cricket.”

The post Youngsters lifted team up against SA: Rashid Latif appeared first on The Express Tribune.

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