In a must win game for hosts England, India were set an imposing target of 338. However, despite opener Rohit Sharma’s century the Men in Blue could only manage 306 for five to lose by 31 runs. It was India’s first loss in the tournament.
“It was for the first time since partition that we were supporting India. I am sure India must have tried their best but their best could not help Pakistan and leave us with a hope,” Akhtar said on his Youtube channel.
“It was for the first time the entire subcontinent, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans were praying for India to win against England. However, it feels like the prayers couldn’t reach India as they lost the match,” he added.
Pakistan were banking on neighbours and arch-rivals India, who have enjoyed an unbeaten run in the tournament, to get the better of England. The favourable result would have increased the chances of Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men to make the semifinals.
By defeating Afghanistan on Saturday, Pakistan had made it to the fourth spot, thus displacing England and Akhtar had urged his compatriots to support India.
However with the win, England are back in the top four with 10 points, one more than Pakistan.
The 1992 winners, who face Bangladesh in their final group stage match, have slim chances of reaching the knock stage should England win their game against New Zealand.