Pakistan's Shadab, Rauf say wins 'much needed' in World Cup

By: AFP      Published: 11:45 PM, 26 Oct, 2021
T20 world cup
Pakistan's Shadab, Rauf say wins 'much needed' in World Cup

Vice captain Shadab Khan and fast bowler Haris Rauf said Pakistan's two wins in as many matches as "much needed" at the start of the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

Fast bowler Rauf anchored Pakistan's five-wicket win against New Zealand in Sharjah on Tuesday, as the 2009 champions followed Sunday's impressive victory over arch-rivals India.

Rauf, who took 4-22, said he bowled to a plan.

"I was given a plan and I am happy that I executed that well and got four wickets," said Rauf whose effort restricted New Zealand to 134-8 in 20 overs.

Pakistan romped home in the 18.4 overs after early hiccups with veteran Shoaib Malik (26) and Asif Ali (26) saw them off during an unbroken 48 run stand in 3.5 overs.

Rauf said he has been learning the trade of taking wickets, having featured in the 2019 Big Bash in Australia.

"It is a learning process for me," said Rauf who took 20 wickets for Melbourne Stars. "Big Bash and Pakistan Super League were the first platforms from where I have learnt a lot."

Pakistan, who now have four points in Group 2 of the Super 12 Stages, next play Afghanistan in Dubai on Friday.

Shadab termed the win as "clinical."

"We needed these two wins for a head start in the Twenty20 World Cup and through some good bowling and fielding we have achieved that," said Shadab.

Shadab said Malik's experience was "invaluable."

"Malik took the game to the final overs and that shows how much experience he has and with him anchoring the innings we were sure that we will cross the target.

"The confidence is very high and we want to take this momentum in our next matches as the first target is to reach the semi-finals."