Pakistan rode on a hundred by Babar Azam to beat New Zealand by six wickets, ending their unbeaten streak in the World Cup, to keep their campaign alive at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Wednesday. After the victory, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, wife of Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik, posted an inspiring message on Twitter, saying, "What an incredibly great leveler sport can be". Sania Mirza is following the ICC showpiece event closely as she earlier criticised TV commercials in India and Pakistan ahead of the much-anticipated World Cup clash of the arch-rivals.
What an incredibly great leveler sport can be— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) June 26, 2019
"Cringeworthy ads on both sides of the border seriously guys, you don't need to 'hype up' or market the match anymore specially with rubbish! it has ENOUGH attention already!It's only cricket for God sake, and if you think it's anymore than that then get a grip or get a life !!," Sania Mirza had tweeted earlier.
Cringeworthy ads on both sides of the border seriously guys, you don't need to 'hype up' or market the match anymore specially with rubbish! it has ENOUGH attention already!It's only cricket for God sake, and if you think it's anymore than that then get a grip or get a life !!— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) June 12, 2019
Sarfaraz Ahmed's side appeared down and out with only one win in their first five matches but they have bounced back strongly to beat South Africa and now previously unbeaten New Zealand.
Their victory at Edgbaston means they are level on seven points with Bangladesh and just one point behind faltering hosts England, with matches against bottom side Afghanistan and Bangladesh to come.
Pakistan's revival after three defeats earlier in the tournament recalls memories of the 1992 campaign, when they won the trophy after a sticky start.
"Whenever we are in a corner we play our best, it was a great team effort," said winning captain Sarfaraz.
"All the bowlers bowled well and there was some of the finest batting I have ever seen. The target of 240 was not an easy and we just wanted to play the 50 overs. Babar played one of the best innings I have ever seen. They handled the pressure so well.
"We are not thinking about 1992, we are going match by match."
Pakistan were wobbling at 110/3 when Mohammad Hafeez was out for 32 in the 25th over but 24-year-old Babar anchored the innings and was ably supported by Haris Sohail, who hit 68.
(With AFP inputs)