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Pakistan narrowly win over New Zealand to stay alive in the World Cup

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  • Pakistan won by 21 runs (DLS) in ICC World Cup 2023.
  • Fakhar Zaman’s century and 11 sixes were crucial.
  • New Zealand scored 401-6, Pakistan’s bowlers struggled.
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In a thrilling encounter at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, India, Pakistan secured a crucial victory in the 35th match of the ICC World Cup 2023 by defeating New Zealand by 21 runs using the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method. This win keeps Pakistan’s hopes alive for a spot in the semi-finals of this mega cricket event.

The match was halted due to rain when Pakistan was batting at 200-1 in 25.3 overs, with Fakhar Zaman, who played a remarkable innings of 126 not out, and skipper Babar Azam, unbeaten at 66, still at the crease.

Fakhar Zaman’s explosive performance with the bat was the highlight of the day, propelling Pakistan to victory. Thanks to his exceptional batting, Pakistan was 21 runs ahead of the DLS target after 25.3 overs, securing the win.

The incredible 194-run partnership between Azam and Fakhar played a pivotal role in this essential victory. With this win under their belt, Pakistan is gearing up to face England, who have been struggling, at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on November 11.

Fakhar Zaman achieved a significant milestone by scoring the fastest century for Pakistan in a World Cup match, taking just 63 balls to reach this feat. He surpassed former cricketer Imran Nazir, who accomplished it in 95 balls during the 2007 World Cup. Fakhar’s innings featured a stunning 11 sixes, making him only the fourth batter in World Cup history to hit ten or more sixes in a single match.

New Zealand, batting first, posted an imposing total of 401-6, the second-highest total in the ongoing competition. This formidable score was achieved on the back of outstanding performances by Rachin Ravindra (108), Kane Williamson (95), and Glenn Phillips (41). Mark Chapman (39), Daryl Mitchell (29), and Mitchell Santner (26) also made valuable contributions to the innings. Williamson, making a strong comeback after recovering from a thumb injury earlier in the tournament, fell just short of a century, scoring 95 and sharing a crucial 180-run second-wicket partnership with Ravindra.

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However, Pakistan’s fast bowlers, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf, set some unwanted records during this match. They bowled the most expensive spells for the Pakistani team in World Cup history, with Shaheen Shah Afridi conceding 90 runs in his 10 overs, and Haris Rauf conceding 85 runs in his 10 overs.

Looking ahead, New Zealand faces an all-important match against Sri Lanka on November 9 at the same venue as today’s encounter. If the Black Caps emerge victorious in that match, it could potentially complicate matters for the Babar Azam-led Pakistani unit in their quest for a spot in the World Cup semi-finals. Cricket enthusiasts are eagerly awaiting the outcome of these upcoming matches, as the competition intensifies.

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