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ICC World Cup: The rain supports to Pakistan declared winner against New Zealand at Bengaluru

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In ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup match at M. Chinnaswami Stadium, Bengaluru, Pakistan have won by 21 runs as per the DLS method against New Zealand and by doing so, kept their qualification hopes alive. But Afghanistan may still bring up a surprise being at par with New Zealand and Pakistan, with more matches still in offering.
Rain interrupted twice and ultimately handing over the victory to Pakistan. For Pakistan, Fakhar Zaman led the chase and remained unbeaten on 126 runs off just 81 ball with 11 sixes and eight fours. Babar Azam was 66 not out at that moment. Pakistan were at 200 for ONE in 25.3 overs off 41 overs when rain ended play.
Pakistan were 21 runs ahead of the DLS par score at the moment. Earlier, the new victory target for Pakistan against New Zealand was revised as per DLS to 342 runs.  The match was reduced to 41 overs.
Put in to bat first, Rachin Ravidra hit 108 runs, his 3rd century in this World Cup, and Kane Willamson made 95 to help New Zealand raise 401 runs for the loss of 6 wickets in their stipulated 50 overs. For Pakistan, Mohammad Wasim Jr. picked up 3 wickets.

A 63-ball hundred from Fakhar Zaman, the fastest by a Pakistani batter in World Cups, has kept Babar Azam’s side relevant in World Cup 2023, leading them to victory in a rain-affected game which saw them chasing a mammoth target of 402 runs. Fakhar’s counterattack meant that Pakistan were ahead by 21 runs on DLS when the rains intervened for the second and final time at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. While the result just about keeps Pakistan’s campaign alive, it also ensured a semifinal berth for South Africa.

After dominating the first 50 overs of the match, New Zealand looked primed for doing some more of that in the second innings too. Kane Williamson, their captain who was returning from an injury and had earlier stroked a sublime 95, took a fantastic running catch to dismiss Abdullah Shafique and set the tone for his side. But that early wicket failed to deter Pakistan who blazed off the blocks, thanks to Fakhar and Babar Azam who laid into Trent Boult and pinched 42 runs off his first four-over spell.

It was how the 194-run association between Fakhar and Babar kicked off, with the latter playing the perfect foil and rotating strike. The left-hand opener hit 8 fours and 11 sixes in total, and the only time he looked quiet was the maiden he played against Glenn Phillips at the start of the second powerplay. But a couple of overs later, he was running down the track to break the shackles and hit back-to-back sixes to resume the usual for Pakistan.

The rains first interrupted the game when Pakistan were 160/1 but found themselves ahead by 10 runs on DLS at the time. When the game resumed after a 90-minute wait, the target was revised to 342 in 41 overs. But the joy was short-lived, for cricket lasted only four overs after resumption. And in that short window, Fakhar took down Ish Sodhi in a calculated manner, hitting him for 3 sixes in an 18-run over which put Pakistan comfortably ahead of the DLS par score.

Earlier in the day, a 180-run stand between Rachin Ravindra (108) and Kane Williamson (95) propelled New Zealand to 401/6 against Pakistan in a crucial World Cup fixture in Bengaluru. For Ravindra, it was his third ODI hundred and also his third in this edition of the World Cup.

Williamson and Ravindra got together after Devon Conway was bounced out by Hasan Ali to end a 68-run opening stand, the highest by the Black Caps at this World Cup. The duo targetted Iftikhar Ahmed and Agha Salman in particular, the two part-time spinners who make up Pakistan’s sixth bowler and returned combined figures of 10-0-76-1. The only wicket in there was picked by Iftikhar was largely down to a brilliant catch by Fakhar after Williamson made room to clear long-off and holed out instead.

Williamson finished on 95 off 79, hitting 10 fours and 2 sixes in yet another sublime knock which accelerated after his 49-ball fifty.

Ravindra followed Williamson to the dressing room in the next over, falling to another good catch taken by Saud Shakeel this time. For Mohammad Wasim Jr, it was a reward for bowling some tight overs after Hasan Ali had been taken apart for 29 runs in his two-over spell.

From 261/3 then, New Zealand vroomed to 318/4 in quick time, thanks to an attacking stand between Daryl Mitchell and Mark Chapman, just the kind the team needed while bringing up 300 runs inside 40 overs.

Both were out bowled, with Mitchell perishing to a slower ball from Haris Rauf and Chapman bowled by a hint of reverse from Wasim.

Pakistan had picked four quicks for this match but found little comfort in the performance of their senior pacers. Shaheen Afridi (0 for 90), Haris Rauf (1 for 85) and Hasan Ali (1 for 82) were all expensive, with the only Wasim Jr. looking the part. The 22-year-old was the pick of the bowlers and finished with three wickets.

Glenn Phillips employed the long handle towards the end, hitting 4 fours and 2 sixes in his 25-ball 41 and helping New Zealand add 54 runs in the last five overs.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 401/6 (Rachin Ravindra 108, Kane Williamson 95; Mohammad Wasim Jr 3-60) lost to Pakistan 200/1 in 25.3 overs (Fakhar Zaman 126*, Babar Azam 66*) by 21 runs (DLS)


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