Cricket World Cup 2019: Pakistan will bounce back to beat South Africa, says Wahab Riaz

Pacer says his team, under pressure in bid to reach semis, will not think about future, and instead take one game at a time

Pakistan's Wahab Riaz, right, reacts after India's K.L. Rahul, left, played a shot on his delivery during the Cricket World Cup match between India and Pakistan at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Sunday, June 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
Pakistan's Wahab Riaz, right, reacts after India's K.L. Rahul, left, played a shot on his delivery during the Cricket World Cup match between India and Pakistan at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Sunday, June 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

Fast bowler Wahab Riaz believes Pakistan can begin a Cricket World Cup revival against South Africa on Sunday.

Successive defeats to Australia and India have left Pakistan in danger of missing out on the semi-finals, with their only victory so far coming against England at Trent Bridge.

However, Wahab thinks his team perform better when the pressure is on and the 33-year-old is backing Pakistan to lift themselves ahead of their remaining matches in the group stage.

"We have to lift ourselves. We are each other's strength," Riaz told CricketWorldCup.com. "We are all good friends and know that only 15 of us can lift the team which not even our family members can do. Pakistan play better under pressure and we will qualify for the finals and semi-finals.

"Our focus is on beating South Africa, and we know we shouldn't get ahead or think about the future. We need to go one by one by what to do every day.

"On what we do in the now and not what is happening elsewhere. We shouldn't be thinking about the future."

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Wahab thinks that how the two sides handle the pressure at Lord's on Sunday will be key.

He said: "Execution of skills is everything. They [South Africa] have failed in that aspect as well like we did, we had matches we could have won.

"In this match it depends on who handles pressure better and plays better. They will win."

South Africa's World Cup hopes were all-but-extinguished due to the drama that unfolded at Edgbaston this week as the Proteas lost narrowly to New Zealand.

Coach Ottis Gibson acknowledges his team can do better and he hopes they can demonstrate that in their remaining matches.

"We've still got three games to play and I'd like to think that we can at least play the way we know we can play," Gibson said. "We haven't played like that, for whatever reason, but I'd like to think we can still do that.

"The thing about the squad is that there are guys playing their last World Cup and I'd like to think that they will leave the world stage having signed off on a strong note."

Published: June 22, 2019 06:23 PM

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