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Babar Azam's advice to Fakhar Zaman that helped Pakistan win over New Zealand

Babar Azam’s advice to Fakhar Zaman that helped Pakistan win over New Zealand

طوبیٰ Tooba 9 months ago 0 3

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Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman celebrates with his captain Babar Azam (R) after scoring a century (100 runs) during the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) match between New Zealand and Pakistan at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on November 4, 2023. — AFP/File
Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman celebrates with his captain Babar Azam (R) after scoring a century (100 runs) during the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) match between New Zealand and Pakistan at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on November 4, 2023. — AFP/File

Pakistan on Saturday beat New Zealand to keep their World Cup semi-final hopes alive thanks to Green Shirts’ skipper Babar Azam’s advice to swashbuckling opener Fakhar Zaman.

Pakistan were declared winners against New Zealand on DLS (Duckworth Lewis method) after rain played spoilsport in India’s Bengaluru today.

Talking after the match, Babar said he told the opener that they could win if he stayed at the crease for 15 overs.

“When we started batting, we believed [in ourselves]. Inside [the] dressing room, we passed the message that we need one good partnership. Back of the mind, we knew rain was coming but didn’t expect it to be too much. To be honest, we just planned to build a partnership,” said Azam.

“I wanted to give strike to Fakhar; we knew we had short boundaries and we tried to utilise it. We were trying to give 100 % but in some matches we were not up to the mark. If we win our next match, let’s see…we will try to play positively and we are going match by match.”

Zaman, who scored a total of 126 runs at a strike rate of 155.55 and was awarded the Man-of-the-Match title, said that they planned to see off the first few overs.

“Few times I got lucky and really enjoyed this innings. We know that every game is do or die for us. In team meeting, our management decided that we will play aggressively so we are playing with that mind and everybody was trying to score more runs.”

The batter said that this was one of his best centuries. He smashed 100 runs on 63 balls at a strike rate of 157.81 and bagged the title of the fastest Pakistani batter to smash a century.

“I will always remember my 193 against South Africa but this is one of my best. (on World Cup hopes) we were also praying for (no resumption). We want to continue playing aggressively in our next game,” he added.

Lauding the Green Shirts’ impressive performance during the match, Kiwis’ captain Kane Williamson said: “… they played exceptionally well, gave themselves every chance and got over the line, they were certainly on target with their chase. Zaman played beautifully, they deserved that result today and for us it’s about moving on to our next challenge.”

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