Afridi “very happy” on Pak reaching World Cup semis but plays down title chances

March 25th, 2011 - 12:31 pm ICT by ANI  

Dhaka, Mar 25(ANI): Pakistan’s limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi has played down Pakistan’s chances of winning the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 despite sweeping into the semi-finals with a ten-wicket win over the West Indies.

Afridi had earlier disclosed that Pakistan’s aim at the start of the tournament was to reach the semi-final stage, and now he is unwilling to entertain the thoughts of his team winning the coveted World Cup trophy, instead he has chosen to think “game by game”.

“I’m very happy because before this competition I told my friends and the nation that with this team I wanted to play in the semi-finals,” The Nation quoted the skipper, as saying.

“There will now be more expectations to go on. But I am just thinking game by game. The only thing we can do is give 110 percent. Every team from now will come harder and harder. We will just keep making plans for each team and try and stick to those,” he added.

Afridi, who has become Pakistan’s most successful bowler in a World Cup with his 21-wicket tally, said he owed his team’s slightly unexpected success in the mega event to the planning of coach Waqar Younis.

“On each and every game we make plan with the coach and stick to those plans,” he said.

“Everyone has done a great job, especially the bowlers, from the first game. This was a great performance, this is the best gift to give to my nation,” he added.

Pakistan is set to encounter archrivals India in the semi-final stage at Mohali on March 30 as the co-hosts beat Australia by five wickets in Thursday’s quarterfinal in Ahmedabad.

Expectations are high in the cricket-crazy region for a mouth-watering Pakistan-India clash for a slot in the World Cup final match to be held at Mumbai on April 2. (ANI)

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