Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman en route to scoring 81 against Bangladesh. (Photo: AP)
Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman made a sensational comeback to the side after being benched for five matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. Zaman opened the innings with Imam-ul-Haq in Pakistan’s opening game against the Netherlands but was dropped due to poor form for the next five matches before making a comeback at the expense of Imam for the clash against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Tuesday.
In a ‘do-or-die’ clash for Pakistan, Zaman blasted 81 off 74 balls with 7 towering sixes and 3 fours as Babar Azam’s side chased down 205 to win in just 32.3 overs to break series of four successive losses in the World Cup. The veteran Pakistan opener took some time to get settled, taking 11 balls to score 3 runs before breaking free in the 5th over of the chase bowled by Bangladesh pacer Taskin Ahmed.
Zaman smashed Taskin Ahmed for a massive 99m six over mid-wicket in the 5th over of the innings to get going. The video of Fakhar Zaman’s massive six soon went viral over social media.
WATCH Fakhar Zaman smash a 99m six off Taskin Ahmed HERE…
Fakhar Zaman had enough time to score a 11th ODI century and become the second Pakistani batter after Nasir Jamshed to score a century at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata but chose to play for the interests of the team as Pakistan wanted to boost their net run-rate in the chase.
“The situation we are in at the moment, so we were looking to chase it like in 28, 29 overs, so that’s why I was just going. Otherwise, it was very easy for me to get to the 100 after 50, but our goal was to achieve the target within like 30 or 29 overs,” Fakhar Zaman said in the post-match press conference in Kolkata on Tuesday.
Pakistan may have vaulted to fifth place on the Points Table with 6 points from 7 matches but they still need a lot of results to go their way if they hope to reach the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 semifinal stage. Zaman said the team was looking to win both the remaining matches with big margins so that they can remain in contention for the semifinal stage.
“In the World Cup, each win gives you confidence and we were waiting for this win. We are on the ifs and buts right now – but we will try to win both the matches with good run rates. Our target is the semi-final and we will try for that,” Zaman said.