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Afghanistan players take part in a training session at Headingley in Leeds, northern England on June 28, 2019, ahead of their 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match against Pakistan. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE — AFP or licensors

In pictures: Pakistan spare no efforts in preparation to face off against Afghanistan

"They have quality spinners and we've seen a lot of videos and we've worked from them," says batsman Haris Sohail.
Updated Jun 30, 2019 08:45am

Pakistan have spared no effort in their preparations to take on Afghanistan's spinners in Saturday's World Cup clash that could be crucial to their hopes of making the semi-finals, batsman Haris Sohail said on the eve of the contest.

Back-to-back wins against South Africa and New Zealand have given the former champions a chance of making the knockouts but they must beat Afghanistan and Bangladesh in their final two games and hope other results go their way to advance.

Sohail, who was dropped after their opening defeat by West Indies but returned to the side scoring 89 and 68 in the last two matches, said Pakistan had to keep a close eye on spinners Rashid Khan and Mujeebur Rahman who could hurt their chances.

“We've kept it very simple. We're going from match to match. They have quality spinners and we've seen a lot of videos and we've worked from them. And hopefully we'll see a good match,” Sohail told reporters.

Sohail scored only one run when Pakistan lost their warm-up match to Afghanistan last month, but the 30-year-old said he had no doubts about his ability on the big stage.

“From the last series against Australia I have been playing very well, and this time they've given me the different role... bat at four or five,” Sohail added.

“I'm going with my plan and we have to assess the situation and I will play accordingly.”

Meanwhile, Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib said his team will fancy their chances on a Headingley wicket that could assist his spinners.

Afghanistan are looking to finish on a high after losing all their seven games.

“If you look at similar conditions, it is certainly in our favour, it's good for our spinners,” he said.

“Sohail played really well in the last two games and Babar Azam too. Rashid is a different spinner, a different bowler to other spinners. So it's difficult to pick him.”

Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed (C) speaks to his team on the field during a training session at Headingley in Leeds, northern England, ahead of their World Cup cricket match against Afghanistan on June 28. — AFP
Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed (C) speaks to his team on the field during a training session at Headingley in Leeds, northern England, ahead of their World Cup cricket match against Afghanistan on June 28. — AFP

Team huddle during the training session at Headingly. — AFP
Team huddle during the training session at Headingly. — AFP

Sarfaraz moves back to throw the ball during the team training session at Headingly. — AFP
Sarfaraz moves back to throw the ball during the team training session at Headingly. — AFP

Shaheen Shah Afridi participating in the training session at Headingly. — AFP
Shaheen Shah Afridi participating in the training session at Headingly. — AFP

Shaheen Shah Afridi runs with the ball as skipper Sarfaraz looks on. — AFP
Shaheen Shah Afridi runs with the ball as skipper Sarfaraz looks on. — AFP

Wahab Riaz (2R) eyes the ball as teammates Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Mohammad Amir and Shaheen Shah Afridi look on. — AFP
Wahab Riaz (2R) eyes the ball as teammates Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Mohammad Amir and Shaheen Shah Afridi look on. — AFP

Team members gather around for a mid-session discussion. — AFP
Team members gather around for a mid-session discussion. — AFP

Shoaib Malik taking part in the training session at Headingly. — AFP
Shoaib Malik taking part in the training session at Headingly. — AFP

Asif Ali takes the ball during the training session at Headingly. — AFP
Asif Ali takes the ball during the training session at Headingly. — AFP

Team discussion during the training session at Headingly. — AFP
Team discussion during the training session at Headingly. — AFP

Imad Wasim pictured with the ball during the team's training session at Headingly. — AFP
Imad Wasim pictured with the ball during the team's training session at Headingly. — AFP

Wahab Riaz tackles the ball as Shaheen Shah Afridi looks on. — AFP
Wahab Riaz tackles the ball as Shaheen Shah Afridi looks on. — AFP

Mohammad Hasnain takes hold of the ball during the team training session at Headingly. — AFP
Mohammad Hasnain takes hold of the ball during the team training session at Headingly. — AFP

Afghanistan players doing warmup exercises during a training session at Headingly. — AFP
Afghanistan players doing warmup exercises during a training session at Headingly. — AFP

Afghanistan players take part in a training session at Headingly. — AFP
Afghanistan players take part in a training session at Headingly. — AFP

Afghanistan's Aftab Alam participating in the training session at Headingly. — AFP
Afghanistan's Aftab Alam participating in the training session at Headingly. — AFP

Afghanistan's Rahmat Shah pictured jogging during training at Headingly. —AFP
Afghanistan's Rahmat Shah pictured jogging during training at Headingly. —AFP

A view of the Headingly Stadium in Leeds on June 28 where Pakistan and Afghanistan team members held training sessions to prepare for their upcoming match against one another. — AFP
A view of the Headingly Stadium in Leeds on June 28 where Pakistan and Afghanistan team members held training sessions to prepare for their upcoming match against one another. — AFP