And it’s raining, and hopes are alive; what will happen next? These were the feelings and emotions running through the dressing room of Pakistan. Millions of fans were stuck in their imaginations. The game was out of reach once the first innings was completed.
And who knows what Fakhar Zaman can do, but he knows better than all of us. When he came to the crease, a big target of 401 was on the board. The New Zeeland batters brutally thrashed the spirit of Pakistani team. And the nature looked like has hit very hard on the hopes of the Pakistan team.
Then he smashed a ball, which was on his pads, all the way over the fence, and then there was no coming back. The Kiwi bowlers were clueless, and the only answer they found was the sixes and fours coming out of Fakhar Zaman’s bat. He had a total of 11 sixes he hit during that innings. Kane Williamson smartly summed up Zaman’s innings,
“The ground wasn’t big enough for Fakhar”
“The ground wasn’t big enough for Fakhar [Zaman], and he played an exceptional knock. [We] need to take the positives into the next match,”
But the way Babar supported him can not be undermined. He played according to the plan. Hit the boundary when needed and kept the scoreboard ticking. Herschelle Gibbs was somehow deceived by the batting of Babar when he posted. “Can someone tell Babar they chasing 400.”
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Babar knew his team very well; a fall of wicket would have made the DLS equation very challenging for Pakistan. Babar said, “We planned to build partnerships. I just tried to give maximum strike to Fakhar. We knew we could utilize the short boundaries,”
Hopes for the semifinals alive with many ifs and buts
Fakhar Zaman, in his post-match talk, said, “This is one of the best [innings I have played], but I will always remember my 193 against South Africa. New Zealand is a great side, so this is definitely one of my best. We want to play aggressive cricket onwards.”
Earlier New Zeeland posted 401, while Ravindra, continuing his red-hot form, scored a sizzling century. When Pakistan came to bat, they lost Abdullah Shafique early in the innings. Babar and Fakhar then posted a tremendous partnership.
When rain came for the second time during Pakistan’s innings, Pakistan was 20 runs ahead as per DLS calculations. Pakistan was 200 for one after 25.3 overs. When the rain did not stop, Pakistan was declared the winner, keeping the hopes for the semifinals alive with many ifs and buts.