Pakistan win the toss‚ opt to bat in quarter-final

ADELAIDE, March 20: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and opted to bat in the World Cup quarter-final against co-hosts Australia at the Adelaide Oval on Friday.

Misbah said the team would be unchanged from the side that won their last pool match against Ireland and felt his pacemen would profit from the pitch.

“We’re going to bat first. Looks likes a bit of pace and bounce and might help the seamers,” Misbah said in a pitchside interview.

“This looks a little bit different from the last two pitches so let’s see. I’m not sure about the reverse swing bowling in the night but certainly good for conventional swing.”

“It’s all about momentum and we got the right momentum at the moment, winning four games in a row.”

“Everybody’s confident.”

Pakistan have lost tall fast bowler Mohammad Irfan to a pelvis injury but still have pacemen Wahab Riaz, Sohail Khan, Rahat Ali and Ehsan Adil in their attack.

Australia won four out of their five completed pool matches and head into the match as big favourites to beat a Pakistan side that has rebounded well after two early defeats.

Australia’s selectors have gone with Josh Hazlewood to replace Pat Cummins and join left-arm seamers Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc in the pace attack.

“I’m not that bothered to be honest,” Australia captain Michael Clarke said about fielding first. “It looks like a decent wicket. You’ve got to bowl at some stage.

“They’ve left a bit of grass on it, so I think we’ll see some good pace and carry and hopefully a bit of seam with the new ball.”

The winner of the match will face defending champions India in Sydney next Thursday.
Australia – Aaron Finch, David Warner, Steven Smith, Michael Clarke (captain), Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood
Pakistan – Sarfraz Ahmed, Ahmed Shehzad, Haris Sohail, Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Khan, Rahat Ali, Ehsan Adil.