Zaman happy it's 'do-or-die' for Pakistan
November 4, 2023 09:03 PM
Pakistan batsman Fakhar Zaman admitted he is thriving in the "do-or-die" battle of World Cup survival.
Zaman on Saturday clubbed 11 sixes and eight fours in an undefeated 126 as Pakistan beat New Zealand by 21 runs in a rain-hit match where initially they had been set 402 to win.
As it was, set a revised target of 342 in 41 overs, Pakistan reached 200-1 after 25.3 overs when rain forced an early end and claimed victory on the DLS method.
"We know that every game is do-or-die for us," said the 33-year-old Zaman after hitting an 11th career one-day international century.
"In our team meeting, our management decided that we will play aggressively, everybody was trying to score more runs."
He added: "This is one of my best centuries, I will always remember my 193 against South Africa (Johannesburg, 2021) but this is one of my best."
Despite the win, Pakistan still need to defeat England in their last group game next Saturday while hoping New Zealand, with a better run-rate, slip up against Sri Lanka two days earlier.
Hosts India and South Africa are already assured of places in the semi-finals leaving Pakistan, New Zealand, Australia and Afghanistan to scrap over the last two places.
"We want to continue playing aggressively in our next game," added Zaman.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, who was undefeated on 66 off 63 balls on Saturday, said that he was confident a decent partnership would see them home despite New Zealand's huge score, the sixth highest total in World Cup history.
"When we started batting, we believed in ourselves," said Zaman.
"Inside the dressing room, we passed the message that we need one good partnership. In the back of the mind we knew rain was coming, but didn't expect it to be too much.
"I wanted to give the strike to Fakhar. We knew we had short boundaries and we tried to utilise them."
For New Zealand, Rachin Ravindra made 108, his third century of the tournament, while skipper Kane Williamson hit 95.
It is the second-highest losing total by a team batting first in an ODI behind Australia's 434-4 against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2006. South Africa made 438-9 to win by one wicket.
"It's quite hard to get our heads around after getting that total, but for us we will take the positives before the next game," said Williamson whose side have lost four in a row after winning their first four games.
"They played exceptionally well, gave themselves every chance and got over the line, they were certainly on target with their chase.
"Zaman played beautifully, they deserved that result today and for us it's about moving on to our next challenge."