Pakistan defeated New Zealand by 21 runs in an exciting encounter that was affected by weather during the Cricket World Cup. Rain interrupted New Zealand’s ambitious goal of 401-6 in the 21st over, leaving Pakistan at 160-1.
Rain caused an early end to the match, but not before Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman (126) and skipper Babar Azam (66) had their side at 200-1 against a revised goal of 342 off 41 overs. With one game remaining in the qualifying stage, both Pakistan and New Zealand, with eight points now, are still in contention for positions in the semifinals.
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The Rundown: New Zealand vs Pakistan
In the rain-soaked Match 35 in Bengaluru, Pakistan secured a thrilling 21-run victory (DLS) against New Zealand, courtesy of the brilliant century-plus innings of opener Fakhar Zaman and a vital half-century from captain Babar Azam, keeping their dreams of making the World Cup semi-finals alive.
Rain Interrupts Chase Again, Pakistan Wins by 21 Runs
Rain caused the M Chinnaswamy Stadium to come to an end after New Zealand amassed a massive 401-6 lead due to a century from Rachin Ravindra and a strong 95-run blow from the captain, Kane Williamson, who was back in the game. Pakistan was at 160 for one in the 21st over.
Chasing a revised target of 342 in 41 overs, Fakhar Zaman had reached 126 and Babar Azam was on 66 with Pakistan at 200 for one in the 26th over when rain returned, forcing an early end to the match.
Pakistan ended up victorious, having scored 21 runs more than the DLS par total. The 33-year-old left-hander Zaman set a massive 402-run objective at the outset and went all out, but a rain-related 90-minute break resulted in a lowered mark for Pakistan.
Following a second over, Zaman maintained his fast pace, smashing three sixes off spinner Ish Sodhi’s 25th over, helping Pakistan reach 200 runs.
With his undefeated 81-ball 126, Zaman struck 11 sixes and eight fours to keep Pakistan ahead of the DLS par total.
Zaman Reaches Half-Century in Explosive Fashion
Together with captain Babar Azam (66), Zaman contributed 194 to establish an unbeaten second-wicket partnership. In his 39-ball fifty, Zaman hit four sixes and several boundaries as he caused harm to the New Zealand bowlers.
Reaching his 11th ODI century, he struck a six and a single against Mitchell Santner to complete his World Cup debut.
He scored six boundaries and nine sixes in 63 balls to reach his century. Earlier, when they were sent to bat, Ravindra and Williamson laid the groundwork for New Zealand’s score.
Williamson equaled Ravindra’s 108 from 94 balls, including 15 boundaries and a six, with a brilliant performance of 79 balls that included two sixes and 10 boundaries.
New Zealand’s Innings Conclude with 401-6
Ravindra achieved the first century of this tournament that he masterly controlled, making him score two half-centuries, but later he was ousted in the 36th over by M. Wasim, who he hit at the deep mid-wicket hole. It was a Chinnaswamy track, and it looked dry as well, but
Pakistan opted for four four-fast bowlers and a two-part part-time spin attack, along with sending New Zealand to bat despite rain expected later in the afternoon. On the flip side, New Zealand brought Sodhi plus three other spin players, like the high-form Santner.
The two opened with an impressive 66 runs during that power play, but then Conway fell for a short-pitch ball from Hasan Ali, having scored 39 off just 35 balls with six fours.
During the first power play, Devon Conway and Ravindra combined for 66 runs until Conway was dismissed by Hasan Ali for a short ball after Conway had made a 35-ball 39 with six boundaries.
The consistent captain of New Zealand displayed no signs of fatigue as he and Ravindra put up 180 for the second wicket.
With the score at 248, after Williamson holed out off Iftikhar Ahmed at long-off and Ravindra misplayed a flung ball and got caught at the post off Mohammad Wasim an over later, both players collapsed.
Player of the Game: Fakhar Zaman
Pakistan’s chase began with an explosive opening 20 overs from Fakhar Zaman, which was nothing short of spectacular. He attacked the bowlers of New Zealand with all of the strength he had.
In just 63 balls, The ‘Player of the Match’ scored a century that was a masterclass in forceful and strategic stroke play. He proceeded to score an incredible 126 runs off 81 deliveries, which featured an astounding 11 massive sixes and eight boundaries.
The most astonishing thing is that boundaries accounted for about 80% (98 runs) of his total runs. Fakhar Zaman said that he is enjoying himself in the “do-or-die” quest to make it through the World Cup.
Zaman made it obvious that he preferred the deep midwicket area and consistently hit it to score an amazing 42 runs. But he wasn’t confined to one place. Zaman also took advantage of the long-on area, where he got 24 runs, and the square leg, where he scored 22 runs. He also secured 15 runs by being efficient through the point region.
Zaman said after scoring his eleventh career one-day international century “we know every match is a must-win for us.”
He then missed the next five matches due to a recurring knee injury, only to return with a sensational 81 in the victory over Bangladesh. However, Zaman expressed that he had dedicated significant effort to overcoming his fitness and form challenges.
New Zealand v Pakistan Score
|401/6(50 overs)||200/1(25.3 overs)|
|Pakistan overcome New Zealand by 21 runs via the DLS Method|
After winning four and losing four of their opening eight games, Pakistan’s victory ties them up with fourth-place New Zealand on 8 points, with the difference between them only being in net run rate. Their last group games are against Sri Lanka and England, respectively.
Despite playing one fewer game, Afghanistan, in sixth place, also has eight points. In their last two matches, they take on South Africa (ranked second) and Australia (ranked third), the latter of which advanced to the semi-finals without having to play due to Pakistan’s victory.
With two games remaining, Sri Lanka and the Netherlands—both with four points—are very much in the running. The only two teams that have been formally eliminated are Bangladesh and England.
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