World Cup hero Babar Azam says belief is key for Pakistan

"I was given a role to bat until the end and others bat around me and that worked well as (Mohammad) Hafeez and then Haris (Sohail) batted well to establish partnerships"
World Cup hero Babar Azam says belief is key for Pakistan

Babar Azam says Pakistan have the belief they can win theirremaining games to complete a dramatic turnaround and reach the World Cupsemi-finals following victory against a strong New Zealand side on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old hit a match-winning unbeaten 101 to anchorPakistan's reply to New Zealand's score of 237 for six at Edgbaston.

Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed hit the winning runs in the finalover as they finished on 241-4 to win by six wickets.

Pakistan had a disastrous start to their World Cup campaign,losing three of their first five matches with a single victory, againstEngland, and a no-result.

But Sunday's win over South Africa at Lord's and Wednesday'svictory in Birmingham have revived their hopes of pulling off a sensationalcomeback.

Their next game is on Saturday against Afghanistan, who havelost all seven of their matches at the tournament in England and Wales and theyfinish their group fixtures against Bangladesh, who are level with Pakistan onseven points.

Sri Lanka are also in the hunt, one point behind but with agame in hand, meaning 1992 winners Pakistan must still rely on other resultsgoing in their favour to qualify from the 10-team group phase.

"Belief has been the key," said Babar, who reachedhis 10th one-day international hundred off 124 balls with 11 fours.

"We have the belief that we will win our next two gamesand then look ahead." Babar, 24, said even when the team were strugglingearlier in the tournament, they were confident they could turn their fortunesaround.

"We were not winning matches but we talked to eachother and had the belief that we could do it and now our focus is on the nextgame," he said.

Defending champions Australia are the only team to havequalified for the semi-finals so far while New Zealand, India and Englandcurrently occupy the other top-four slots.

Babar said his role had been to bat until the end of theinnings.

"I was given a role to bat until the end and others bataround me and that worked well as (Mohammad) Hafeez and then Haris (Sohail)batted well to establish partnerships," said Babar.

He said his target is to become the best batsman in theworld.

"I can say that this is one of my best knocks becausethe aim is to be the best batsman in the world," said Babar, who isalready the top-rated batsman in the world in Twenty20 cricket.

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