(CTN News) – Fakhar Zaman launched Pakistan’s onslaught via the DLS method on Saturday to win a rain-hit World Cup game by 21 runs and remain in the hunt for a semi-final spot after they were battered by New Zealand’s top-order.
As Pakistan sought to win the high-stakes encounter, Fakhar Zaman smashed a century off 63 balls and Babar Azam was moving towards his fifty when rain halted play with the score at 160-1 after 21.3 overs.
Fakhar reached 126 not out with eight fours and 11 sixes, while Babar struck an unbeaten 66 before the showers returned and Pakistan added 40 to their total in four overs.
The fireworks of Pakistan resulted in them being 21 runs ahead of the DLS par score when the game was eventually called off, ensuring a victory that took them to eight points from eight matches.
Man-of-the-match Fakhar said, “We know every match is do-or-die.” According to our management, we planned to play aggressively, so everybody tried to score.
My 193 against South Africa will always be one of my best (centuries), but this is my best.
Our next game should be played aggressively.”
In the earlier game, Rachin Ravindra smashed his third century of the World Cup, while Kane Williamson made up for lost time with a 95 as New Zealand posted 401-6 from 50 overs.
With a 94-ball 108 that included 15 fours and a six, Ravindra, born in Wellington to Indian parents from Bengaluru, delighted Wellington’s fans and went past 500 runs in the World Cup.
It was the 23-year-old that stitched together a 180-run partnership with Captain Williamson, while Daryl Mitchell (29), Mark Chapman (39), Glenn Phillips (41) and Mitchell Santner (26 not out) also contributed in order to boost New Zealand’s total to 401-6 in 50 overs.
The game was played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium after Pakistan won the toss and Babar selected to bowl first as New Zealand made an explosive start, with the opening batsmen Devon Conway and Ravindra dominating the powerplay.
Conway was caught behind by Hasan Ali for 35 to end the pair’s 68-run stand and bring Williamson to the crease. Ali replaced Usama Mir to give the 1992 champions an extra pace option.
The match was Williamson’s first match since he sustained a fractured thumb during a match against Bangladesh last month.
In his second half-century of the tournament, he remained in control of the bowlers and provided a perfect foil for Ravindra before cutting loose after scoring his second half-century of the match.
After Williamson was dismissed by Iftikhar Ahmed going after his third six, Ravindra was dismissed by Mohammad Wasim (3-60), but 2019 runners-up New Zealand would heap more misery on Pakistan.
In the words of Williamson, the team played extremely well, gave themselves every opportunity to succeed, and also got over the line as a whole; in terms of their pursuit, they were definitely on target.
The Zaman team played well today, and they deserved that result, and now it is time to move on to the next challenge.”