Mirpur: Pakistan coach Waqar Younis on Wednesday said the pressure to perform actually helped his side play to their potential as they qualified for the World Cup semifinals with a resounding win over a hapless West Indies.
Pakistan recorded a comprehensive 10-wicket win over the Caribbean side to enter the semifinals of the World Cup after 12 years.
"It was a pressure game with a lot of talk around the team but that actually gave us the boost. After we got (Chris) Gayle out, it gave us confidence. I think the pressure got the best out of us," Younis told reporters at the post-match press conference. The coach said the tough days that his side had to go through before the tournament made them determined to do well at World Cup and hoped that the good show would help the country.
"We went through ups and downs. I think that gave us belief. It is hurting us that there`s no cricket in Pakistan but I think it will be great if we do even better now." Talking about playing the semifinal in Mohali, Younis said they have no security concerns about playing in India and were not thinking about the opponents at this moment.
Winner of India and Australia match will clash with Pakistan in the semifinal. "Hopefully (we`ll) get another comfortable win. We have to hold nerve, come out on top but the pressure won`t just be on us. I am not really fussed with the opponents in the semifinal. We will watch the game tomorrow closely. We have 6-7 days and by then we will have a new strategy. "We won`t get crowd support like here or Sri Lanka but some people might cross the border to see us play. We have to play wherever the tournament takes us. We are not concerned by security," he said.
For the first time in the tournament, Pakistan openers raked up a 100-run partnership and Younis was delighted with their show.
Moahammad Hafeez scored an unbeaten 61 while Kamran Akmal contributed 47 runs in the unconquered opening wicket partnership. "I am more than happy with the openers. It was pleasing to see Hafeez get the runs. He played superbly and bowled outstandingly.I am happy that there was not load-shedding in the country. I heard it today and I think it was great that everyone got to see the game. They prayed for us definitely," he said.