ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: Pakistan keep semi-final hopes alive

Pakistan kept their hopes of reaching the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 semi-finals alive with a 21-run win via DLS against New Zealand in a high-scoring match at M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Fakhar Zaman played a crucial role for Pakistan, scoring an impressive 126 runs off just 81 balls. His century came at a rapid pace, making him the fastest Pakistani batter to achieve this milestone.

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After a rain delay lasting nearly an hour, Pakistan were set a revised target of 342 runs in 41 overs. Pakistan needed to chase New Zealand’s target within 35.2 overs to improve their net run rate and keep their semi-final dreams alive.

During Pakistan’s innings, they lost only the wicket of Abdullah Shafique. Meanwhile, Fakhar Zaman (126*) and captain Babar Azam (66*) stitched together a match-winning 194-run partnership for the second wicket.

Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and chose to field first. Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra started off strong, adding 68 runs for the opening wicket, the highest opening partnership for New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. Hasan Ali dismissed Conway (35 off 39) with a well-executed bouncer, marking his 100th ODI wicket.

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New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was outstanding in his performance after coming in first drop. He and Ravindra formed a 180-run partnership for the second wicket, putting pressure on the Pakistani bowlers. While Ravindra got his third ODI century, Williamson (95 off 79) narrowly missed his ton, falling to Iftikhar Ahmed’s bowling.

New Zealand’s fourth consecutive loss in the 2023 World Cup has complicated Kane Williamson’s chances of making it to the semi-finals. New Zealand, with four wins to their name, now has one more crucial match left.

With four wins from eight matches, Pakistan can still progress in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.

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