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ICC World Cup 2019 | Bowlers Did Well Against Pakistan but Batting Can Improve: Naib

Cricketnext Staff | May 25, 2019, 2:48 PM IST

Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib was happy with the way his bowlers performed during their ICC World Cup 2019 warm-up game win over Pakistan but did stress on the need for the batting to improve before the showcase event got underway.

“Pakistan are a good team. I respect them and they have huge respect in the cricket world, so today is our day and we played some good cricket," Naib said after the match.

“I thought before the start of the game we would need 300-plus runs in my mind, but the bowlers did really well - the likes of Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb Rahman and Mohammad Nabi.

“That’s what helped us defeat them as they finished on 262. We have the bowling attack to be able to do that but we need to improve in our batting."

Naib did add that beating Pakistan was a big deal for the side and that they are expecting to constantly improve as the tournament goes on.

“Today is the day we’ve been waiting for, especially all Afghanistan fans. To beat Pakistan on this kind of stage is not a small thing for us, this is big for us.

“I have full confidence in my team, the morale is very high among the boys and we’re really excited to be here. I am sure we will improve more and more as we go on.

“It is a good start for our team and for the last eight months we’ve waited for this day, not even just for Pakistan but looking forward for the other matches in the tournament.

“If you look at Pakistan’s side it’s got a lot of experience in bowling attack, Wahab Riaz bowled really well, so the game was in our hands and we just carried on and played our game.”

The newly-appointed skipper also stressed on how support for the team was spurring on the players to do well, adding that the sport of cricket is something that has brought joy to a nation that has suffered due to conflict.

“If you look back to my country the last 30-40 years, the situation in Afghanistan, everyone just wants a reason to smile and I think only cricket gives to them joy, entertainment and unity.

“I think to see our fans who are living in England, not just here in Bristol but from London, Manchester, coming and cheering on their team is the sort of support we needed."

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Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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