PM Imran Khan praises team over beating New Zealand

The 2015 runners-up lost by six wickets to a resurgent Pakistan on the back of a brilliant unbeaten 101 by Babar Azam. — AFP

The 2015 runners-up lost by six wickets to a resurgent Pakistan on the back of a brilliant unbeaten 101 by Babar Azam. — AFP

Ahead of the clash against New Zealand, Australia pacer Mitchell Starc has praised the team side for their "fantastic" display of cricket in the ongoing ICC Men's Cricket World Cup. In reply, Babar Azam scored a brilliant hundred for Pakistan helping them win by 6 wickets. So far he's only really played T20 and a few Tests and in the game against Australia I thought he looked a little lost. He said that once they are cornered; they will come back and hurt you and will strike you down. They knew that if they beat New Zealand they could increase the pressure on England and give themselves a real chance of making the semi-finals.

Defending champions Australia are the only team to have qualified for the semi-finals so far while New Zealand, India and England now occupy the other top-four slots.

Sitting in second on the ladder on 11 points, there are three teams outside the top four who can theoretically surpass New Zealand.

For New Zealand, they got some confidence because of how well Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme played.

Neesham said the fourth-wicket stand of 126 between Babar and Haris Sohail (68) had taken the game away from New Zealand.

Babar Azam smashed an unbeaten century and Haris Sohail provided the middle-order steel with his second successive fifty after fast bowler Shaheen Afridi had wrecked the Kiwi batting order. With Martin Guptill, he's such a good player and has had such a proven record for New Zealand for a really long time.

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That's how I continue to think about him.

"Belief has been the key", said Babar, who reached his 10th one-day worldwide hundred off 124 balls with 11 fours.

"We've been turning up to some venues and things have been quite different throughout this tournament to when we play one-day series there in the past and we haven't necessarily adapted as well as we could", Root added.

The big challenge in the next game against Australia at Lord's will be Aaron Finch and David Warner, they have been exceptional in this tournament. The ability to dismiss those two early on will be crucial and more often than not, that falls on Trent Boult to do that.

"Congratulations to our cricket team for a great comeback".

To join the party, an Indian fan too started dancing alongside one of the Pakistani fan, and the handsome and rare moment with the drums making the deafening sound in the backdrop, was captured by the Pakistani cricket statistician Mazher Arshad.

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