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T20 World Cup

Ponting: Afridi is the key player for Pakistan to reach the final



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|| CF DESK ||

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi will be the key player of the side against New Zealand in the semi-final clash.

Afridi returned his best figure of 4/22 against Bangladesh on Sunday and that helped Pakistan earn the final spot in the semi-finals of the tournament.

"He might say that he's not back to 100 percent just yet, but from what I've seen it looks like he's going along beautifully and he now holds the key for Pakistan progressing in the tournament," Ponting said.

Afrdi went wicketless during Pakistan's opening two games of the tournament against India and Zimbabwe, but Ponting said that he always had faith in him.

"(I never had any doubt) as you just know what he's capable of when he's out there on the field,” Ponting said. 

"And as I said, even if he's not at 100 percent, if he's operating at 90 percent, he's still going to have more of an impact on games than most because of how good he is," 

"So look, he might have had a few worries in the back of his own mind and the Pakistan hierarchy and coaching group might have had a few worries in their mind, but not anymore. He's got through really well so far and hopefully for them two more games to go,” he added.