Pakistan emerged victorious in a rain-affected match against New Zealand, keeping their chances of winning the World Cup alive.
Pakistan was heavily attacked by New Zealand’s leading players, but they fought back with a strong performance from Fakhar Zaman, who scored a century. This helped them win a World Cup match by 21 runs using the DLS method, despite the interference of rain. This victory keeps them in contention for a spot in the semi-finals.
Pakistan aggressively pursued a score of 402 to win the high-stakes match against New Zealand. Fakhar achieved a remarkable century in just 63 balls, while Babar Azam steadily approached his own fifty. However, heavy rain interrupted play when the score was 160 for one in 21.3 overs. The revised target was set at 342 in 41 overs, and Fakhar continued his impressive performance, ending with a score of 126 not out, including eight fours and 11 sixes. Babar also remained unbeaten with a score of 66. Unfortunately, the rain returned and Pakistan was only able to add 40 runs to their total in four overs before the match had to be stopped again.
Pakistan’s explosive performance gave them a 21-run lead over the DLS par score, ultimately resulting in a victory and bringing their total points to eight in eight matches. This puts them on the same level as fourth-ranked New Zealand, who have suffered four consecutive losses.
Before, Rachin Ravindra hit his third century of the World Cup while a healthy Kane Williamson caught up for lost time with a score of 95, helping New Zealand score a strong 401 runs for six wickets in 50 overs.
Ravindra, a 23-year-old with Indian roots from Bengaluru, impressed the Wellington crowd with his precise shots and achieved a milestone of scoring over 500 runs in the World Cup with a 94-ball 108. His impressive performance included 15 fours and a six. He teamed up with captain Williamson to create a partnership of 180 runs, while also receiving support from Daryl Mitchell (29), Mark Chapman (39), Glenn Phillips (41), and Mitchell Santner (26 not out), resulting in a final score of 401 for six in 50 overs for New Zealand.
Babar’s choice to field first after winning the coin toss surprised some, as New Zealand came out strong at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Devon Conway and Ravindra, the opening batsmen, dominated the powerplay. Hasan Ali, who replaced Usama Mir to give the 1992 champions another fast bowling option, dismissed Conway for 35, breaking their 68-run partnership and bringing Williamson to the crease.
After injuring his thumb against Bangladesh last month, Williamson returned to the field for his first match. He skillfully outplayed the bowlers and supported Ravindra, before unleashing his full potential and scoring his second half-century of the tournament.
Williamson was caught out by Iftikhar Ahmed while attempting his third six. Ravindra was then taken out by Mohammad Wasim (three for 60). Despite the 2019 runners-up causing trouble for Pakistan, they would ultimately be let down themselves.