Pakistan has boosted their chances of qualifying to the top 4! A great day for all Pakistani fans worldwide. Pakistan won the toss and elected to bowl first. New Zealand was simply ruthless in the first innings; Rachin Ravindra and Kane Williamson were on fire; it was raining sixes and fours in the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium Bengaluru.Pakistan's bowling efforts were not successful in slowing New Zealand's run rate in spite of taking a few wickets in the end.
New Zealand secured an enormous score of 401 runs (401-6) after an explosive overall performance in the first innings.
Most people thought that was it, game over for Pakistan and were looking forward to a one-sided match.
When the first wicket fell, it felt as if Pakistan was done and dusted. And that's when Fakhar Zaman came into the equation! He came to prove everyone wrong. Fakhar batted in monstrous fashion and made the high-quality New Zealand bowling lineup look weak.New Zealand batted well, but it was nothing compared to Pakistan's batting performance.
Babar Azam also batted flawlessly as he gave excellent support on the other end. However, It was a complete Fakhar Zaman show. Unfortunately, fans couldn't see the entire run chase as rain interrupted the match, further forcing the umpires to call the game off.
Pakistan was 21 runs ahead in the DLS system, and thus, they claimed the much-deserved victory. South Africa has also qualified to the semi-finals since New Zealand lost. Pakistan need a massive win against England to strengthen their chances of qualifying to the semi-finals.
Post Match interviews
Babar Azam (Pakistan's captain)
"When we came to the dressing room, just passed message we need good partnerships," Azam said, as quoted by cricbuzz.com. "Said to Fakhar if he plays 15 overs we'll be ahead.
Back of the mind we knew rain was coming. Full credit to Fakhar. We knew there was a short boundary and utilised it. We're just trying to give 100 percent. You never know. We're just going match by match".
Kane Williamson (New Zealand's captain)
"Obviously a nice first half," Williamson said as quoted by cricbuzz.com.
"Weather played its part but can't take away from Pakistan. Zaman - the ground wasn't big enough for him. They played exceptionally well and gave themselves every chance. Match getting shortened brings both teams closer together.
Would've been nice to have the full 50. Was tricky to protect the shorter side. Full credit, they deserved the result today. I thought the contributions throughout were great. Clearly a very good surface. Can be tough on the bowlers sometimes.
Rachin is batting absolutely beautifully. There's always small margins with the ball. If you get a wicket or two, you can take the short side out of it with the left-right combo. But we couldn't do that".