Winner takes all in Group B
Pakistan meet South Africa in the ICC Champions Trophy on Friday, in what has virtually become a quarter-final for both teams.
New Zealand booked their spot in the semis with a 51-run victory over the Pakistanis on Wednesday, and the Black Caps will be joined in the last four by the winner of the game at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali.
Younis Khan’s Pakistan team were coasting at 177 for four and looked as if they would threaten the Kiwis’ total of 274 before they collapsed to 223 all out.
Coach Bob Woolmer was critical of his team’s lack of consistency against New Zealand.
“We lost wickets and just made too many mistakes with the bat, with the ball and unfortunately in the field,” he said.
“We also needed two batting partnerships going but that did not happen.
“The bowling in the last five overs was very disappointing. We will now look how we can rectify our mistakes.”
Woolmer, who coached the Proteas between 1994 and 1999, admitted his team face a daunting task as they seek a semi-final berth.
“They (South Africa) are coming off a terrific victory against Sri Lanka and they looked in awesome form. It is going to be very tough,” he added.
Woolmer’s counterpart Mickey Arthur is in buoyant mood ahead of the Group B clash.
“I am pleased that our future in this tournament is now in our own hands. If we beat Pakistan, we’re in the semi-finals,” Arthur said.
But even after he saw his team overcome Sri Lanka by 78 runs in their last match, the South Africa coach warned there was much room for improvement.
“The bowling performance was absolutely outstanding and the plans we put in place for all the Sri Lankan batsmen were followed absolutely perfectly,” he said. “It was exactly how we wanted to bowl to all of them.
“The batting did not go according to plan but all the guys are starting to show signs of form so I’m not overly worried ahead of our last game.”