World Cup 2019: Pakistan beats New Zealand, stokes talk of 1992 once more

Similar to the 1992 World Cup campaign, Pakistan has blown hot and cold through World Cup 2019, keeping its semifinal hopes alive.

Victory against South Africa has breathed new life into Pakistan's 2019 World Cup campaign, the results of which are similar to its victorious 1992 World Cup campaign.   -  Reuters

"Pakistan cricket at its best; one minute down, next minute up." Former England captain Nasser Hussain's words from the 2017 Champions Trophy final versus India aptly describe Pakistan cricket and the volatility surrounding it.

After Shaheen Afridi scythed through the New Zealand top-order at Edgbaston on Wednesday, and later batsmen Babar Azam and Haris Sohail starred in the win, Pakistan served yet another reminder of its blow cold, blow hot, blow colder, blow hotter abilities.

Its World Cup 2019 campaign has an uncanny resemblance to its victorious campaign in the 1992 edition.  

New Zealand, Pakistan's opponent on Wednesday, met then Imran Khan's men in green twice in 1992 —  once in the group stage where Pakistan won by seven wickets and then in the semifinal which it won by four wickets.

The semifinal at Eden Park, Auckland, is where Inzamam-ul-Haq announced his arrival on the international stage in an emphatic manner. His match-winning knocks of 37-ball 60 against New Zealand in the semifinal and a 35-ball 42 against England in the final, earned him the reputation as a future star - a status he justified by signing off his career in 2007 with 8,830 Test and 11,739 ODI runs.

Read: Win, loss, rain: Shades of Pakistan's victorious 1992 campaign

In 1992, Pakistan lost its World Cup opener against West Indies by 10 wickets. This edition too, it was West Indies first up. Pakistan lost the match by seven wickets.

In it's second match in the 1992 edition, Pakistan bounced back with a 53-run win over Zimbabwe. This edition, the mercurial Pakistan side beat host and tournament favourite England. The home side was at the receiving end of Pakistan's all-round brilliance, losing by 14 runs.

In the third game of its 1992 campaign, Pakistan was bowled out for 74 by England at the Adelaide Oval. Rains though came to Pakistan's rescue with the match getting called off after England's chase of the revised target of 62 runs from 10 overs was intervened.

After handing New Zealand it's first loss of World Cup 2019, Pakistan has games against Afghanistan and Bangladesh to keep its semifinal hopes alive.

Pakistan fans, a vocal lot on social media, are invoking memories of their team's successful 1992 campaign to push for an encore.

Pakistan, which has seven points in seven matches, can reach a maximum of 11 points, which might be enough to finish in the top four and qualify for the semifinals.

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