- Pakistan chases 402 runs in ICC World Cup 2023.
- Azhar Mahmood advises Babar to anchor, Fakhar to attack.
- Rain pause, Pakistan at 160-1, 10 runs ahead by DLS.
In a thrilling 36th match of the ICC World Cup 2023, Pakistan is on a historic chase against New Zealand, pursuing a colossal target of 402 runs at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, India.
The former Pakistani all-rounder, Azhar Mahmood, has offered some strategic advice to skipper Babar Azam as the Green Shirts embark on this monumental challenge.
Fakhar Zaman has been the driving force behind Pakistan’s batting onslaught, displaying his fiery form with the bat. Azhar Mahmood’s counsel is clear: Babar Azam should maintain his anchor role in the innings, allowing the rest of the batsmen to play aggressively. He emphasized the importance of avoiding unnecessary wickets at this stage, as losing wickets could prove crucial to Pakistan’s chances of a successful chase.
Azhar Mahmood conveyed his thoughts on this approach on social media, stating, “Babar needs to play as an anchor and the rest of the guys can continue being aggressive. If you lose a wicket here by both being aggressive – then they may just stumble. They need to keep doing what they’re doing. #PAKvsNZ.”
As of the time this report was filed, rain has interrupted the match, with Pakistan at 160-1 in 21.3 overs. Fakhar Zaman is leading the charge with an unbeaten 106 runs, while Babar Azam is providing vital support at 47 not out. Pakistan currently holds a 10-run advantage over the required score according to the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method, adding more drama to this high-stakes encounter.
New Zealand had set a formidable target of 402 runs, making it the second-highest total of the ongoing World Cup. Key contributors to the Black Caps’ innings were Rachin Ravindra with a stunning century (108), Kane Williamson, who returned to the team after overcoming injury, with 95 runs, and Glenn Phillips with 41 runs. Mark Chapman (39), Daryl Mitchell (29), and Mitchell Santner (26) also chipped in with valuable contributions. Williamson’s 180-run partnership with Ravindra was a significant highlight in New Zealand’s innings.
It’s worth noting that Pakistan won the toss and chose to field first. Kane Williamson, who had recently recovered from a knee surgery, had been sidelined with a thumb injury earlier in the tournament but made a strong comeback in this crucial match against Pakistan.
If Pakistan successfully chases down this target, it will mark one of the most significant comebacks and historic victories in the history of the World Cup, as they aim to achieve an extraordinary feat. Cricket fans around the world are on the edge of their seats, eagerly awaiting the outcome of this thrilling contest.
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