first_imgSarfaraz Ahmed rubbished concerns of a dip in morale in the Pakistan dressing room in the lead up to 2019 World Cup even as the former champions are going through a horror phase in ODI cricket.Sarfaraz maintained that the mood in the Pakistan dugout is good but maintained the players need to discuss and work on their shortcomings.Sarfaraz’s comments came after Pakistan were stunned by Afghanistan in their first warm-up match of World Cup 219 at the County Ground in Bristol.Barring Babar Azam who hit a well-paced hundred, the Pakistan batting unit failed to step up as they were bowled out for 262 in just 47.5 overs. In reply, Afghanistan paced their chase excellently well and got past the finish line in the final over.Pakistan have headed into the World Cup on the back of a 4-0 defeat in a 5-match ODI series against England. They were also handed a 5-0 thrashing by Australia in the United Arab Emirates earlier this year.In the World Cup year, Pakistan, the reigning Champions Trophy winners, have won only 2 of their 14 completed ODIs.”It’s very tough if we’re losing matches. I just tell my boys to back themselves. We’re working with the coaching staff very hard. We will do well soon,” Sarfaraz said after Pakistan’s defeat to Afghanistan on Friday.”Dugout is good. We just need to discuss among ourselves. Our batsmen are in good nick, we were 20 runs short, but we need to work on our bowling. Babar played a very good knock, he’s our main batsman. And we picked Wahab because of his pace and his reverse swing and he did well.”advertisementAfghanistan elated over batsmen’s performancesMeanwhile, Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib heaped rich praise on their batsmen after they completed a 263-run chase against Pakistan with relative ease.Afghanistan were given a strong start by opener Hazratullah Zazai who smashed 49 from just 28 balls. Mohammad Nabi, who had picked up 3 wickets earlier in the day, shone with the bat as well as he chipped in with a 41-ball 34.The star of Afghanistan’s batting performance on Friday was Hashmatullah Shahidi. The left-handed batsman remained unbeaten n 74 from 102 balls as he held his nerves even as he lost partners at some pace as they were heading towards the finish line.”Great victory. The day we are waiting. it’s a great victory for Afghanistan, the people of Afghanistan,” Naib said.He added: “At World Cup anything can happen, so we will do our best and the boys are very excited. I hope we do much better in the upcoming matches. Everyone knows about Afghanistan bowlers. Now the batters are also taking steps forward. So very happy. Thank you for the fans. Not just here, but all round the globe. They give energy to us. They are very proud of Afghanistan team.”Also Read | World Cup 2019: Vijay Shankar suffers injury while batting in the netsAlso Read | World Cup 2019: South Africa thrash Sri Lanka in warm-up matchAlso See:last_img

World Cup 2019: Sarfaraz talks up Pakistan team morale despite warm-up loss to Afghanistan

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