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T20 World Cup: Babar Azam wants Pakistan to continue with winning momentum in title clash

Melbourne, Nov 12 (IANS) Pakistan skipper Babar Azam wants his side to continue their winning momentum in the Men’s T20 World Cup which led them to a dramatic route to the title clash and face-off against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

Pakistan bounced back from losses in their two opening matches to India and Zimbabwe to win their next four matches on the trot, including a stunning seven-wicket victory over New Zealand in the semifinal, to storm into the final at the MCG on Sunday.

“We have lost the first two matches (but) the way we came back the last four matches, we’ve performed very well. We are playing good cricket in the last four matches and we’ll try to continue that momentum into the final,” said Babar in the pre-final press conference.

Babar felt that Pakistan will have to put their best foot forward, especially with their fast-bowling line-up to stand up to the challenge posed by a quality England side who thrashed India by 10 wickets in their semifinal win.

“England is a good team, they have a good bunch of players and they have quality fast bowlers and batsmen, so we will try our best to execute our plans and looking forward to the match. Their win to reach the finals against India was a proof of that. Our strategy is to stick to our plan and using our pace attack as our strength to win the finals.”

The England-Pakistan final clash at the MCG is a repeat of the settings in the 1992 ODI World Cup final played between these two teams at the very same venue, which was then won by the Imran Khan-led side. With Pakistan one match away from lifting the trophy, Babar admitted to being very stunned over reaching the final of the tournament.

“We couldn’t start off well but we came back with great momentum. In the previous 3-4 matches, Pakistani team has played very well on both individual and team level. We’ve been working really hard for this. It feels like a dream come true to reach the final.

“Of course the similarities are the same, but we will try to win the trophy as it is an honour for me to lead this team, especially in this big ground. We will try to give our 100 per cent tomorrow’s match and let’s see.”

Babar further acknowledged the support Pakistan has got from a huge number of fans coming into the stadium to cheer them on vociferously. “When we come to the ground and support our team, they give us confidence, and it’s good to see when we are going anywhere, to any stadium, when they are supporting the Pakistan team.

“We will try to give our 100 per cent to give (them) a smile, to win the matches, and we are looking forward to tomorrow’s match. They uphold us through their enthusiasm. I would again request them to support us and keep praying.”

–IANS

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