“As a sportsman, I believe that whatever is best for the team should happen,” said Haris Sohail. Photo: Action Images via Reuters

LEEDS – Swash-buckling batsman Haris Sohail, whose return to form has helped revive Pakistan’s World Cup hopes, said he bore no grudges after being unceremoniously dropped earlier in the tournament.

The 30-year-old left-hander has come back strongly, posting scores of 89 and 68 in victories against South Africa and New Zealand to keep alive his side’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals.

Sohail, dropped after scoring just eight when the West Indies shot Pakistan out for a paltry 105 at Nottingham, said he had accepted the decision.

“As a sportsman, I believe that whatever is best for the team should happen,” Sohail said on Friday.

“I was confident that whenever I will get a chance, I will give 100 percent.”

The batsman said his partnership with century-maker Babar Azam was crucial in the win over New Zealand, who had been unbeaten coming into the match.

“We, Babar and I, are given a role and that is to build partnerships, and in both the games, I had good stands with Babar and I am sure that will continue,” said Sohail.

The Babar-Sohail stand for the fourth wicket yielded 81 in Pakistan’s impressive total of 308/7 against South Africa, while they added a match-winning 126 against New Zealand.

Sohail warned that Pakistan could not take Afghanistan lightly in Saturday’s match at Headingley, even though the Afghans have lost all seven of their matches so far.

“Afghanistan’s progress at international level is very good – they have quality spinners, so there is no way we could take them lightly,” said Sohail.

“They did beat us in a warm-up game, but that was a practice game. And this match will be a different one, but we need to come at full power to beat them.”

Pakistan’s last league match will be against Bangladesh at Lord’s on July 5.

They need to win both of their remaining games and hope other results go their way to reach the semi-finals.

Australia are the only team to have qualified so far for the last four from the 10-team round-robin stage.

AFP