WC 2003 - Pakistan plays for more than just pride against Zim
Published: Friday, February 21, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Bulawayo: Pakistan takes on host Zimbabwe in its last World Cup match on Tuesday needing a big win to make a backdoor entry into the Super Sixes. Zimbabwe, on the other hand, will go through if it defeats a dispirited Pakistani side still recovering from a six-wicket defeat against archrivals India on Saturday.Defending champions Australia and India have booked two Super Six berths from group A, leaving Zimbabwe, Pakistan and England to battle for the remaining spot.Pakistan could still lose out to England even if it beats Zimbabwe due to a superior run rate Nasser Hussain's team enjoys.It would have been curtains for Pakistan if England had upset Australia at Port Elizabeth on Sunday but the defending champions survived anxious moments before squeezing out a two-wicket win in the last over."We all watched the match with our fingers crossed," said Pakistani coach Richard Pybus."It was a tight finish and we can see a small ray of light which gives us a chance to sneak through."I know the calculators will be out but we have do just go out flat and beat Zimbabwe well."Pakistan, losing finalists in the last World Cup, was shattered after the Indian defeat and Pybus admitted it will not be easy to lift the team. "Unfortunately our destiny is not in our hands as we allowed others to dictate terms."We didn't play well against England or Pakistan. We should have won both those games and we would not have been in such a disappointing position," he said.Pybus, whose third term as coach ends after the World Cup, said he was confident Zimbabwe could be beaten - Pakistan beat its African opponents in all five One-day matches and two Tests during last year's tour."The players need to lift themselves up and play to their potential which they have not done in the World Cup so far," Pybus said.Captain Waqar Younis said it would be a miracle if Pakistan qualified for the Super Sixes."We may be down but I hope the players pull up their socks and give it one final go."Meanwhile, Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak was confident his side can defeat Pakistan and qualify for the Super Sixes despite it having only won two of its 29 matches so far against the Asian giants."We have played some good cricket in the tournament and I think we can pull off the one win we badly need to go through," said StreakZimbabwe will be strengthened by the return of Grant Flower, who missed the win over The Netherlands due to a finger injury.