Fakhar Zaman was axed for poor form and launched an assault against the New Zealanders on a rain-hit day. This innings full of bravado made sure the Pakistanis would secure a crucial victory as their hopes for qualification were still hanging in the balance. New Zealand’s bowling attack dealt a heavy blow after losing Matt Henry to an injury in the last game and is yet to recover from that. The race for the semi-finals has entered the final stage with three teams on 8 points fighting for the last two spots.
Pakistan decided on a four-pronged pace attack with Hasan Ali replacing Usama Mir in the team. The possibility of a reverse swing late in the day was back in the mind of the Pakistani captain when he decided against a specialist spinner.
Kane Williamson came to the team to play his second match of the year after injuring his finger against Bangladesh. Mark Chapman and Ish Sodi also came to the team. Matt Henry would miss the rest of the World Cup campaign with an injury. Will Young and Jimmy Neesham miss out on this match?
- Devon Conway 2. Rachin Ravindra 3. Kane Willamson (Cap.) 4. Daryl Mitchell 5. Tom Latham (WK) 6. Glenn Phillps 7. Mark Chapman 8. Mitchell Santer 9. Ish Sodhi 10. Tim Southee 11. Trent Boult
- Abdullah Shafique 2. Fakhar Zaman 3. Babar Azam (Cap.) 4. Mohammad Rizwan (WK) 5. Saud Shakeel 6. Iftikhar Ahmed 7. Salman Ali Agha 8. Hasan Ali 9. Shaheen Afridi 10. Mohammad Wasim Jr. 11. Haris Rauf
Pakistan captain Babar Azam won the toss and decided his team would bowl first in a surprising decision. The Chinnaswamy Stadium is known to be a batting haven that yields a lot of runs. The ideal scenario is batting first and putting a lot of runs on board.
|Venue||The 37th game of the tournament was played in the iconic M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.|
|Date||The game started from 01:30 p.m. onwards on Sunday, November 5|
Captaincy & Tactics
Pakistan’s decision to field first after winning the toss surprised many, as it seemed they were focused on improving their net run rate. However, New Zealand’s batsmen, including Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra, started strong. Pakistan’s bowling lacked effectiveness, with Iftikhar Ahmed’s spin being targeted by the Kiwi batsmen.
Haris Rauf took the crucial wicket of Conway, and Williamson, playing in only his second match of the tournament, showed great form. Despite the constant changes made by Pakistan captain Babar Azam, the bowlers struggled to find breakthroughs.
With this victory, Pakistan leveled the points with New Zealand, giving them a realistic chance of qualifying for the semi-finals of the World Cup. It was an extraordinary comeback for Pakistan after a challenging match and keeps their dreams alive in the tournament.
Despite facing great challenges, Pakistan managed to stay in the World Cup. In a match where their bowling performance was below par by World Cup standards, New Zealand scored 401 runs, their highest total in World Cup history. This put Pakistan in a difficult position. However, Fakhar Zaman’s incredible counterattack turned the game around. He scored an unbeaten 126 runs in just 81 balls, keeping Pakistan on track to meet the required rate according to the DLS method, despite the looming threat of rain during the second innings. When the rain finally came, Pakistan was comfortably ahead of the required rate, securing a victory that put them at the same level of points as New Zealand and brought them closer to a spot in the semi-finals.
Williamson and Ravindra were both in outstanding form, approaching their half-centuries with aggressive batting. They continued to score quickly, with Williamson taking risks and almost getting run out multiple times. Ravindra reached his third World Cup hundred, while Williamson fell trying to hit a six. Daryl Mitchell and Mark Chapman contributed quick runs, helping New Zealand reach a total of 401 runs.
Pakistan needed a remarkable start to have any chance of winning. Williamson took an exceptional catch to dismiss Abdullah Shafique early. Fakhar Zaman took on Trent Boult and Tim Southee, hitting boundaries and sixes. Pakistan scored 75 runs in the first powerplay, with Fakhar reaching his half-century. He continued to dominate, hitting sixes off Glenn Phillips and quickly reaching his century.
When rain interrupted the match, Pakistan was ahead of the required run rate. When they resumed, they maintained their dominance, reducing the target to a T20 game. Babar looked comfortable once again after his innings against India Fakhar hit two more sixes off Ish Sodhi, extending his momentum. As the rain returned, Pakistan was comfortably ahead of the target, securing a remarkable victory.
Before the game, it was uncertain whether Williamson would play due to an injury. The decision on his availability was left until the day of the game and was likely to be confirmed at the toss, as stated by NZC. But it was the captain in the great man who came out strong and took the helm from Tom Latham.
During Williamson’s batting, it was clear that he had not fully recovered. He would blow on his hand after playing a shot, indicating some discomfort. Hasan Ali, who was back to playing for the second game running since the game against Afghanistan, was at the receiving end of some heavy beating.
However, New Zealand wanted him to play despite the pain because they understood his importance. This was evident from the second ball he faced. Although it was a delivery with no real width, he managed to play it crisply off the back foot, resulting in a well-placed shot between backward point and deep third.
It was as if he had never been away from the game. But it became apparent that this version of Williamson playing at the Chinnaswamy stadium was slightly different from the calm and composed Williamson we have seen many times. This time, he appeared more aggressive and animated.
Early in his innings, for example, Williamson attempted a powerful drive at a delivery that wasn’t quite suitable for such a shot from Rauf. As a result, he slightly misjudged it, and the ball produced a thick edge that went wide of the slip fielder. Rachin Ravindra looked poised and calm early on and then started his assault on the Pakistani bowling. Ravindra scored 15 boundaries and a six in his innings that oozed subcontinental subtlety.
Mohammad Wasim Jr. has been impressive with the ball in this tournament. Iftikhar Ahmed’s performance went under the radar as he gave away just 55 runs off 8 overs, claiming the valuable wicket of Kane Willamson. Haris Rauf’s nightmarish campaign continued with 85 runs conceded in 10 overs. Shaheen Afridi had a rare off day as he gave away 90 runs.
The New Zealand bowlers found their life hard whenever they were bowling when Fakhar Zaman was at the striker’s end. Fakhar was on fire, hitting sixes off Glenn Phillips and making it difficult for Williamson to stop him. He continued his incredible form, smacking Santner for his ninth six and getting close to reaching a hundred in just 62 balls.
The rain briefly interrupted the game when Pakistan was ten runs ahead according to the DLS method. But when they resumed, Pakistan dominated, reducing the target to 342 runs off 41 overs, almost like a T20 match. Williamson made the fateful decision to bring Sodhi into the bowling attack, and Fakhar took advantage, hitting two huge sixes off him that showed he hadn’t lost any of his momentum.
As the rain started again, Pakistan was comfortably ahead, 21 runs beyond what they needed. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t allow the game to continue, and Pakistan walked away with a remarkable victory. Their performance will be remembered and talked about for a long time, especially if other results go their way in the upcoming week.
It was a sensational performance by Fakhar and Pakistan, and their hopes of reaching the semi-finals remain alive if certain results go their way in the following matches.
The fielding performance was good from a Pakistani point of view. They are the team with the most catch efficiency and so it was proved once again. Fakhar Zaman took a blinder to dismiss Kane Willamson. There were also some good catches but it couldn’t stop the stem of runs. Pakistan showed incredible commitment on the pitch in a crucial game.
New Zealand was impressive in the field with some magnificent boundary stops. But Fakhar Zaman negated that effort by taking the aerial route, he was regularly clearing the boundaries with relative ease.
Rachin Ravindra enhanced his reputation with the bat once again with his third century of the tournament. Kane Willamson seemed to have never gone away with a fantastic knock of 95 runs, barely missing out on a century. Glenn Phillps launched a late assault on the Pakistani bowlers and finished with 41 from 25 balls. Mohammad Wasim Jr. was the pick of the ballers with a figure of 3 for 60. Iftikhar Ahmed and Hasan Ali both finished with one wicket.
Fakhar Zaman was in fine touch after the good knock against Bangladesh and dismantled the opponent’s bowling by scoring 126 runs off 81 balls. Babar Azam was the perfect companion for the left-hander with a typical sangfroid innings of 66 from 63 balls. Tim Southee was the only one who was exceptional among the onslaught of Pakistan with the wicket of Abdullah Shafique.
The turning point in the match in the 25th over of the match when Ish Sodhi came into bowling. He hit three sixes in that over with Babar and then Fakhar swinging their bat hard. Eventually, it was a 20-run-over that swung the momentum toward the Kiwis. The rain came after 3 balls of the 26th over meaning this was the over that changed the whole complexion of the game as Pakistan emerged victorious by a 21-run margin on the DLS method.
Pakistan claimed a crucial victory by a 21-run margin in the DLS method
Player of the Match
Fakhar Zaman won the player of the match award for his fantastic innings of 126 runs from 81 balls which ultimately decided the fate of the match.
|New Zealand Total: 401/6 (50 overs)||Pakistan Total: 200/1 (25.3 overs)|
|Rachin Ravindra 108 (94)||Fakhar Zaman 126* (81)|
|Kane Willamson 95 (79)||Babar Azam 66* (63)|
|Mohammad Wasim Jr. 3/60 (10)||Tim Southee 1/27 (5)|
|Iftikhar Ahmed 1/55 (8)||Daryl Mitchell 0/1 (0.3)|
The match was ultimately decided by the rain. It’s a shame because it was going to go down the wire. New Zealand would feel hard done by the inclement weather. Pakistan has come back from the dead to launch a late assault for the semi-final places. New Zealand have lost four games on the trot to find themselves in a spot of bother. The last round of games will be interesting to see which team qualifies for the final four.