Pakistan defeated New Zealand in the ODI World Cup 2023, by 21 runs (DLS method), at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. Fakhar Zaman played a blistering knock against the Kiwis and kept their hopes alive for the semi-final race, in the tournament. The former India opener Virender Sehwag praised the Pakistani opener during the game.
The Pakistani opener was struggling with form and was dropped after playing one game in the tournament. Since his return to the side, in the game against Bangladesh he has never turned back since then. He scored a brilliant, 81 runs off 74 deliveries, and against the Black Caps, he scored a hundred while chasing a mammoth target of 402 runs. But the target was reduced to 342 runs in 41 overs due to rain and after some over of play again the rain poured down and the Men in Green was ahead by 21 runs till then and they won the game.
The back-to-back wins from Babar Azam's side have given them the confidence, to fight for the semi-final race. They will next play the defending champions England in Kolkata on November 11.
What an innings by Fakhar Zaman, by far Pakistan’s best batter: Virender Sehwag
Sehwag said, "What an innings by Fakhar Zaman, by far Pakistan’s best batter. Which brains kept him on the bench for the best part of the tournament, God knows. Protein ki bhi kami nahin, jajbe ki bhi (no lack of protein and intent)." Fakhar showed the intent and played an innings of 126 runs off 81 balls which consisted of 11 sixes and 8 fours.
The Southpaw was named the man of the match and he said, "We planned to see off first few overs, few times I got lucky and really enjoyed this innings. We know that every game is do or die for us. In team meeting, our management decided that we will play aggressively so we are playing with that mind and everybody was trying to score more runs. This is one of my best (century), I will always remember my 193 against South Africa but this is one of my best. (on World Cup hopes) we were also praying for (no resumption). We want to continue playing aggressively in our next game."