After conceding a crushing loss at the hands of India, Pakistan have made a fighting comeback in the ICC World Cup 2019, registering a clinical 49-run victory over South Africa at the iconic, Home of Cricket, Lord’s, on Sunday. Pakistan reached a daunting first innings total on the back of Haris Sohail and Babar Azam’s amazing half-century knocks and a solid opening foundation provided by the openers.
In the second innings, the South African batters once again failed to put up an impressive show, going down in the huge run-chase by a healthy margin. With this win, Pakistan have kept their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals pretty much alive and kicking. Mickey Arthur has seen plenty during his time as coach of the Pakistan cricket team. Enough, you imagine, to fill up a fat book of anecdotes. But what he witnessed in the six days since Pakistan were beaten by India at Old Trafford on June 16 was something he had not seen before.
Being vilified on social media is something that international cricketers have had to become accustomed to, but what Arthur says he read, heard and saw since the loss to India was a different level. Senior players being trolled viciously, Sarfaraz Ahmed being abused by a fan as he walked through a mall, fans back in Pakistan writing the team off as hopeless, former players lambasting their performances. This stung the Pakistan cricket team and pushed them into a hole.
“What I do know is that guys do, when their backs are to the wall, we get some good performances out of them, and maybe, yeah, I just think the guys were burnt last week. The guys were incredibly hurt, by media, by public, by social media, and hopefully we got a proper reaction from them today that can just shut some people up for a little while,” Mickey Arthur told reporters at Lord’s.
“I know we can beat New Zealand,” he said. “We are alive and kicking, without a doubt, and we play our best game, we beat anybody. Whether that’s New Zealand, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, our remaining games, or England, we showed. “I know we can beat New Zealand,” he said. “We are alive and kicking, without a doubt, and we play our best game, we beat anybody. Whether that’s New Zealand, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, our remaining games, or England, we showed. We put our three disciplines together, we are as good as any team in this competition.” he added.