ADELAIDE: Pakistani batsman Shan Masood praised his side’s character on Saturday in their fight to stay in the semi-final race after losing their opening two World Cup Twenty20 matches.
Captain Babar Azam’s side need to win their final Super 12 game against Bangladesh in Adelaide on Sunday – and for more results to go in their favor – to clinch a place in the last four.
Pakistan suffered heartbreaking defeats to arch-rivals India and Zimbabwe before regaining form and beating South Africa on Thursday in a dramatic rainy match in Sydney.
“The timing of the losses has proven costly for us because we’re still not in that top position,” Masood told reporters.
“But we didn’t give up hope. Life teaches us hard lessons and this was one of them. The way it affected the boys, they lost sleep, their morale went down. And how we reacted after those setbacks showed our character and that was a great thing.
“The best way out of failure is that you learn from your mistakes. If we look at it from a balanced perspective, we see that the team has responded well since the loss to Zimbabwe.”
Pakistan, currently third in the very open Group 2 table, can qualify if India lose to Zimbabwe in the final league game on Sunday. They are also there if South Africa loses their clash against the Netherlands or if the match is missed.
Masood said the way Pakistan battled to post 185-9 against South Africa, after struggling at 43-4 and then winning by 33 points via the DLS method, lifted their spirits of the team.
“The mood is good. South Africa dominated the early stages of the game but the way we came back and played well, even after the rain break we kept our momentum going,” Masood said.
South Africa and India in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup
“So we are going to focus on getting two points from the game against Bangladesh and that is in our hands. Hope will always be there until the last ball is played in this group.”
Bangladesh, who picked up narrow wins over the Netherlands and Zimbabwe, also have a slim chance of qualifying if they win against Pakistan at the Adelaide Ring.
The Tigers scared off India in their previous match – decided by the DLS method – and are level on four points with Pakistan, but with a much lower pace.
But technical consultant Sridharan Sriram said he was proud of the show his boys put on in this tournament.
“This is the best tournament Bangladesh has ever held in a T20 World Cup,” Sriram told reporters.
“We never won two games in Super 12 in the history of Bangladesh cricket, so we did, so I think the boys should be proud of themselves.”