ISLAMABAD - Superb Sarfraz Ahmed once again showed his class by helping Pakistan storm into the quarterfinals of the World Cup.

His stylish maiden One-day International unbeaten ton was more than enough to help green caps thrash Ireland in the last Group-B match at Adeladie Oval on Sunday. It was also a slap on the faces of team management and head coach Waqar Younis, who kept Sarfraz out of the playing XI despite the fact that he deserved to play right from the beginning and also kept on giving Nasir Jamshed more than ample chances to deny Sarfraz a spot in the playing XI, but hats off to Hafiz Sarfraz, not many people know the fact that Safraz Ahmed is Hafiz-e-Quran, as his humble attitude and belief in Almighty paid great dividend not only for him but also for Pakistan team.

Once again some blunders were witnessed in team selection reasons best known to the team management as first one was one inclusion of Haris Sohail, though his entry make some sense as he could help Pakistan in both batting and left-arm bowling, but the selectors must have to define the reasons behind including Ehsan Adil instead of Yasir Shah in the squad?

Mushtaq Ahmed always cried of foul play during his playing days, but now what he himself is doing? How could he give a statement that there was no place of Yasir in the side against Ireland match. He should have kept in mind, Adelaide Oval pitch has nothing for the seam bowlers which is flat and heaven for batsmen. It was right time and perfect stage to give Yasir another go to boost his confidence as he could have played vital role in bowling, but despite a do-or-die match to book quarterfinal berth, as West Indies had already beaten UAE in the earlier match, the selectors took a huge gamble of including injury-prone Ehsan Adil. Everybody knows Sohail Khan is not 100 percent fit and struggling, if he was unable to bowl his full quota of overs, the situation could have been far different.

What was the reason of giving nod of approval to Ehsan Adil when he was utilized for only seven overs? He is a lazy and pathetic fielder and dropped dolly catches and whenever ball went in his direction, he fumbled and opponents took full advantage and took two instead of one run. Pakistan fielding was as usual very ordinary, as a number of catches were put down. Hats off to Pakistan fast bowlers especially Wahab Riaz and Rahat Ali, who controlled the damage, otherwise, the Irish batsmen could have posted a total well beyond 300 runs. At one stage, they were cruising and had lost only four wickets at total of 182 in 38.4 overs and skipper centurion Porterfield was looking all set to score more runs and that too in quick time, but Wahab, Rahat and Sohail bowled superbly and restricted the Irish batsmen to score good total.

Younus Khan had played quite well against Proteas so he should have been in the playing XI. Haris Sohail could have been easily included in place of either Ahmed Shahzad, who had attitude problem and also not scoring runs on consistent basis or Umar Akmal/Sohaib Maqsood could have make way for Younus, but the selectors had other ideas.

After a very long time, Ahmed Shahzad and Sarfraz provided Pakistan more than 100-run opening stand, but once again after seeing off initial overs, Ahmed once again just gifted his wicket. He must understand the importance of prolonging his stay at the crease. Sarfraz batted brilliantly and ensured Pakistan victory.

It will go a long way to help green caps in the quarterfinals against Australia on March 20 at the same venue. It will be on Friday, and the entire Pakistani nation will pray for the team’s victory during Friday prayers, but boys and the team management must have to come up with clear-cut plan and it will depend on what combination the selectors decide to play against Aussies. It is almost sure the team management will not take too much risk and play safe. Ehsan Adil will be lone change in the playing XI as he will make way for M Irfan, who is not carrying any serious injury but was given rest just as precautionary measures.

Although Aussies are tough nut to crack yet they are by no means invincible rather very much beatable and Pakistani team has the quality and depth to carve out victory against then, the only need is to play positive with right combination. Any leniency can spell disaster for the team and their world cup run could be ended. Misbah must enter the match with aggressive frame of mind as the green caps have bright chances of winning the quarterfinal and progressing to the semifinals.