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Sarfaraz lauds Haris for Buttler-esque knock
Pakistan News

Sarfaraz lauds Haris for Buttler-esque knock

Sarfaraz Ahmed said Haris Sohail's match-winning innings of 89 from 59 deliveries against South Africa at Lord's resembled the way England star player Jos Buttler frequently dominates bowlers.

Pakistan's victory over South Africa by 49 runs provides them with an outside chance of qualifying for the semi-finals provided they win their remaining games and other results go in their favour.

Haris instantly launched himself into an aggressive mode as he struck nine fours and three sixes during his sublime knock, constructing crucial partnerships with Babar Azam and Imad Wasim.

Haris' batting charge allowed Pakistan to post a challenging total of 308-7 before a collective effort from the bowlers restricted South Africa to 259-9 by the end of their innings.

South Africa's fifth defeat in the tournament means they are now out of contention for securing a spot in the top four.

"Haris was hungry to play in this game," said Sarfaraz regarding the left-handed middle-order batsman who was abruptly dropped from the playing XI following a failure in the team's opening game against the West Indies.

"He's the main factor, the turning point, the way he batted in the last 15 overs, it was like Buttler."

Pakistan ransacked the South Africa bowling attack for 124 runs in the last 15 overs courtesy Haris' special knock.

Pakistan changed the combination of their team for Sunday's game by bringing in Sohail and Shaheen Shah Afridi ahead of the out of form Shoaib Malik and Hasan Ali who participated in their shambolic 89-run loss to India at Old Trafford.

Although plagued by an inferior net run rate, Pakistan's win gives the team the requisite confidence going into the must-win games against New Zealand, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

"We changed the combination in this game," said Sarfaraz, who attracted a lot of criticism for a lackluster show in the field versus bitter rivals India. "We went with another combination in the last game so sometimes change is good for the team."

'Need to work harder on fielding'

Sarfaraz also credited his bowlers for picking up wickets at regular intervals to choke the South African chase.

"I think credit goes to Amir and Wahab who took early wickets and then Shadab was really good in the middle overs," said Sarfaraz.

Despite a resilient show in batting and bowling, Sarfaraz acknowledged his team needed massive improvement in fielding following six catches being grassed in the game against South Africa.

Pakistan now top the list of most catches dropped in the tournament having spilled 14 chances in five innings.

"We have to work harder on fielding," said Sarfaraz, who himself also dropped a tough chance while keeping behind the stumps.

"We once again dropped so many catches so now with all three matches very crucial we have to sort it out so that it could support our bowling."