PAKISTAN opener Sami Aslam says the side's nine-wicket win over Scotland in the ICC Under-19 World Cup will be a big confidence boost ahead of Wednesday's top-of-the-table showdown with New Zealand.
Chasing Scotland's total of 200, Aslam (78 from 79 balls) and his skipper Babar Azam (106 no) led the way for Pakistan with a commanding 163-run opening stand at Buderim yesterday.
Azam showed why he's seen as a player to watch, bringing up his century with a sensational pull shot for six. "That was a good innings and it boosted my confidence, which was good. The ball was feeling good coming on to the bat," Aslam said. "We are feeling good, we won this game and the one before so the boys have high confidence. And the bowlers have been good as well, so I think we have a good combination."
New Zealand faces Afghanistan at Buderim today before backing up against Pakistan in a showdown on Wednesday, which will decide who claims top spot in Group B.
If results fall as expected, the bonus for the winner will be avoiding the highly fancied West Indians, who are likely to top their group after defeating India earlier.
"It is a big game against New Zealand, but our combination is very good and I'm hoping that we will win that game and go to the quarter finals with a lot of confidence," Aslam said.
Scottish opening batsman Ross McLean top-scored for his side with a crafty 59, but conceded it was disappointing to not build on what was a promising start.
Mohammad Nawaz was the main destroyer for Pakistan with 4-20 from 10 overs.
McLean said: "It felt good, but it was a shame I couldn't go on. I got … the team into a position where we should have kicked on really and ended up a few runs short. So a bit disappointing in that regard.
" … we were in a position where we could post a good score and we just lost our way towards the end of the innings. I want to kick on from that score today (against Afghanistan). I got a good start and hopefully will turn it into a 100 next time."
Scotland plays Afghanistan in its final group match but will not feature in the finals series after its second group stage loss yesterday.
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