Century-maker Fakhar Zaman leads Pakistan’s lathi-charge of New Zealand bowlers
By News Desk
November 4, 2023 09:47 AM
Pakistani opener Fakhar Zaman launched a lathi-charge on New Zealand bowlers as he hit a swashbuckling 36-ball century studded with nine sixes and seven fours while chasing a stiff 402-run target set by New Zealand in a crucial World Cup match on Saturday.
After the completion of 21 overs, Pakistan have scored 159 runs for the loss of one wicket. Fakhar is unbeaten on 106 while captain Babar Azam is on 47.
Earlier, Rachin Ravindra hit his third century of the tournament while Kane Williamson just missed a hundred as New Zealand pushed Pakistan closer to World Cup elimination by piling up 401-6.
Ravindra continued his superb form with a 94-ball 108 with 15 boundaries and a six and was matched stroke for stroke by Williamson whose 79-ball 95 was spiced with two sixes and ten boundaries.
This was Ravindra's third century of the tournament -- in addition to two half centuries -- and he was in total control until he holed out at deep mid-wicket off Mohammad Wasim in the 36th over.
On a dry looking Chinnaswamy pitch, Pakistan entered the match with four fast bowlers and two part-time spinners and with rain forecast in the afternoon sent New Zealand in to bat.
In contrast, New Zealand brought in leg-spinner Ish Sodhi in addition to three other slow bowlers including an in-form Mitchell Santner.
Pakistan, needing a win to stay in the tournament, have never chased more than the 348 they achieved against Australia in Lahore last year.
Ravindra and Devon Conway scored 66 in the first power-play before Conway fell to a short pitched ball from Hasan Ali after scoring a 35-ball 39 with six boundaries.
Williamson, who recovered from a knee surgery just before the World Cup, had just played one game against Bangladesh before fracturing his thumb.
But the regular New Zealand skipper showed no signs of rustiness and added 180 for the second wicket with Ravindra.
Williamson fell with the score at 248, holing out off Iftikhar Ahmed at long-off while an over later Ravindra also miscued a lofted shot and was caught at the boundary off Mohammad Wasim.
Daryl Mitchell (29) and Mark Chapman (39) added a quickfire 57 for the fourth wicket as none of the Pakistani bowlers could stem the flow of runs.
Glenn Phillips hit a 25-ball 41 with four boundaries and two sixes while Santner was not left behind, smashing two sixes in his 17-ball 26 not out.
Wasim was the best Pakistan bowler with 3-60 but Shaheen Shah Afridi conceded 90 and Haris Rauf 85 respectively in their ten overs -- the worst-ever figures by Pakistan bowlers in all World Cups.
The worst previous World Cup performance by a Pakistani bowler was Hasan's 1-84 against India at Old Trafford in 2019.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 401-6 in 50 overs (R. Ravindra 108, K. Williamson 95, G. Phillips 41; Mohammad Wasim 3-60)