World Cup Qualifiers
Iran qualified for the World Cup finals on Tuesday after another resolute defensive display helped them snatch a 1-0 away win over South Korea, who also booked a place in Brazil. Full Article
Pakistan hope South Africa will choke again
NOTTINGHAM, England |
NOTTINGHAM, England (Reuters) - Pakistan hope South Africa's previous failures in crunch matches will return to haunt them in Thursday's Twenty20 World Cup semi-final at Trent Bridge (1630GMT), coach Intikhab Alam said on Wednesday.
South Africa have been fielding constant questions about their reputation for choking at key moments, such as the 50-over World Cups in 1999 and 2007 and the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup.
While the Proteas feel they are better equipped to handle such occasions now, Pakistan are aware of their opponents' vulnerabilities.
"They have played well throughout this tournament and are a very professional, committed and dedicated set of cricketers," Intikhab told reporters.
"But the history of South African cricket tells us that at the crunch time, when it really matters, they have choked. I hope that happens again.
"The pressure will be on them as they haven't won anything of this nature. They have come very, very close, they've reached the semis but they have never done it. They will have the pressure, and we won't. We have that advantage."
Intikhab, who was manager of the Pakistan side who won the 50-over World Cup in 1992, acknowledged there were similarities between the current side and the one from 17 years ago in regard to their patchy form.
Younus Khan's current side lost to England and Sri Lanka yet beat a strong New Zealand team by six wickets.
"I still remember 1992 very clearly, it's a similar sort of scenario," Intikhab said. "The boys have come good at the right time. If you can deliver when it really matters you have a chance of beating any side."
(Editing by John Mehaffey; to query or comment on this story email email@example.com)
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