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Junaid Khan impressed with Pakistan’s triumph in NZ

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SWABI: Test fast bowler Junaid Khan was impressed by Pakistan’s tri-series triumph in New Zealand on Friday, saying it augurs well for the team heading into the T20 World Cup.

“Pakistan’s five-wicket victory in the final was remarkable because the middle-order batting contributed outstandingly that led to the win which is expected to be very helpful in the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.” the 32-year old told Dawn in an exclusive interview.

The Swabi-born pacer noted that the team’s middle order demonstrated a fine show in the final which featured Mohammad Nawaz’s 22-ball 38.

“The brilliant display by our middle order [in the final] is very encouraging. It was weak but now looks better at a crucial time [ahead of the World Cup].

“Haider Ali and Iftikhar Ahmed also performed well, which is very positive for our middle order batting ahead of the mega event,” he remarked.

Junaid said it was very important for Pakistan to get the winning momentum before the World Cup.

“New Zealand and Australia have more or less the same weather and with this tri-series Pakistan became familiar with the playing conditions,” he said.

Junaid also lauded Haris Rauf who has given outstanding performances, adding “the addition of Shaheen Shah Afridi in the bowling attack would make our bowling more lethal”.

According to Junaid, the win in the Christchurch final would be a confidence booster for Pakistan and hoped it would help the team win the World Cup.

Published in Dawn, October 15th, 2022

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