source : www.theroar.com.au
Pakistan suffered a heavy blow from New Zealand’s top brass before launching its own attack on centurion Fakhar Zaman to win a rain-affected World Cup match by 21 runs via the DLS method and stay alive in the hunt for a place in the semi-finals.
Chasing 402 to win the high-stakes match on Saturday, Pakistan took the attack to New Zealand as Fakhar hit a blistering century off 63 balls and Babar Azam eased towards his fifty as rain halted play with a score of 1 for 160 in 21.3 overs.
The target was revised to 342 in 41 overs and Fakhar picked up where he left off, reaching 126 not out with eight fours and 11 sixes, while Babar hit an unbeaten 66, but the showers returned and Pakistan added 40 to their total in four overs. .
Pakistan’s fireworks meant they were 21 points ahead of the DLS par score when the match was eventually called off, securing a win that took them to eight points from as many games – level on eight points with fourth-placed New Zealand.
“We know that every match for us is a matter of do-or-die,” said man-of-the-match Fakhar. “During the team meeting, our management decided that we would play aggressively, so we played with that mentality and everyone tried to score.
“This is one of my best (centuries), I will always remember my 193 against South Africa, but this is one of my best.
“We want to continue to play aggressively in our next game.”
Earlier, Rachin Ravindra smashed his third ton of the World Cup, while the fit-again Kane Williamson made up for lost time with 95 as New Zealand posted an impressive 6 for 401 from 50 overs.
Ravindra, born in Wellington to Indian parents from Bengaluru, delighted local fans with measured strokeplay and produced moments of magic to go past 500 runs in the World Cup with a 94-ball 108, including 15 fours and a six.
The 23-year-old forged a 180-run partnership with captain Williamson as Daryl Mitchell (29), Mark Chapman (39), Glenn Phillips (41) and Mitchell Santner (26 not out) fired to boost New Zealand’s total to 401.
Babar’s decision to bowl first after winning the toss had raised a few eyebrows as New Zealand got off to a fiery start at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium with opening batsmen Devon Conway and Ravindra dominating the powerplay.
Hasan Ali, who replaced Usama Mir to give the 1992 champions an extra pace option, put Conway behind 35 to end the pair’s 68-run stand and send Williamson to the to bring wicket.
Playing his first match since suffering a broken thumb against Bangladesh last month, Williamson played with the bowlers and provided the perfect foil for Ravindra before breaking loose after making his second half-century of the tournament.
Williamson fell to Iftikhar Ahmed as he went for his third six before Ravindra was dismissed by Mohammad Wasim (3-60), but 2019 runners-up New Zealand would inflict further misery on Pakistan, only to be disappointed later.
“They played exceptionally well, gave themselves every opportunity and got over the line. They were certainly on target with their chase,” said Williamson.
“Zaman played beautifully, they deserved that result today and for us it’s about moving on to our next challenge.”
New Zealand’s final group match is against Sri Lanka in Bangalore on Thursday. Pakistan will play against England on Saturday.
source : www.theroar.com.au