Pakistan’s cricket team, led by Babar Azam’s captaincy and Fakhar Zaman’s batting prowess, secured a vital 21-run victory over New Zealand in a rain-affected ICC World Cup match on Saturday.
The win keeps their semi-final hopes alive in the thrilling tournament. The match at Bengaluru’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium saw New Zealand setting a challenging score of 401-6. In response, Pakistan went strong at 160-1 in just 21 overs when the first rain interruption occurred.
The revised target, upon resumption, was set to 342 from 41 overs, and Pakistan was comfortably placed at 200-1 in the 26th over when rain played spoilsport again. However, this time, the downpour ended the game, granting Pakistan the win as they were ahead on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method.
Milestones and Prospects
Amidst the rain and runs, Hasan Ali achieved a personal milestone by claiming his 100th ODI wicket, becoming the 22nd Pakistani bowler. Shaheen Shah Afridi had also recently joined this elite group of bowlers. With Pakistan and New Zealand now sitting on eight points, the race to the semi-finals intensifies, with each team having one more game left in the group stage.
Pakistan’s lineup showcased its depth and versatility. At the same time, New Zealand’s squad, despite the loss, continues to be a strong contender for the semi-finals, making the upcoming matches critical for both teams.