Bengaluru | Pakistan defeated New Zealand by 21 runs via DLS method in a rain-hit World Cup game to keep their semifinal hopes alive here on Saturday.
Opener Fakhar Zaman played an unbeaten knock of 126 and was well-assisted by skipper Babar Azam (66 not out) during their run chase, which was impacted by intermittent rain.
New Zealand had amassed 401 for six in their 50 overs.
Following a short spell of rain, Pakistan were set a revised target of 342 in 41 overs. The rain returned in the 26th over with Pakistan cruising at 200 for one but no play was possible thereafter.
With the Pakistanis ahead of the DLS par score by 21 runs, they took home two much needed points.
The Kiwis had put on a great show with the bat courtesy Rachin Ravindra's classy 108 and skipper Kane Williamson's 95.
It was the fourth successive defeat for the New Zealanders.
Brief scores: New Zealand 401/6 in 50 overs (Rachin Ravindra 108, Kane Williamson 95; Mohammad Wasim 3/60). Pakistan 200/1 in 25.3 overs (Fakhar Zaman 126 not out, Babar Azam 66 not out)
Bengaluru | New Zealand captain Kane Williamson praised Team Pakistan for their "exceptional" performance and said the Babar Azam-led side deserved to get the win against Kiwis in Bengaluru on Saturday.
Fakhar Zaman's mind-boggling knock helped Pakistan defeat New Zealand by 21 runs on DLS in a high-scoring rain-effected match in Bengaluru.
While the weather played a role, Williamson stated that nothing could be taken away from Pakistan. The New Zealand captain stated that the ground was insufficient for Fakhar on the day and that Pakistan deserved full credit for the victory.
"Quite hard to get our heads around after getting that total, for us we will take the positives before the next game. I mean 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," Williamson said in a post-match presentation.
Williamson praised the team's contributions and singled out Ravindra for special commendation. The New Zealand captain believed that the outcome may have been different if they had taken some quick wickets and eliminated the short side of the ground from the battle.
"Sort of, maybe we wanted 450, I don't know. (on positives) A lot of really good partnerships, and clearly a very good surface and that can be tough on the bowlers. So yeah a fantastic first half and obviously Rachin was batting absolutely beautifully and having a fantastic time, hope that continues, some really good signs from the unit. If you get a
wicket or two and you're able to take the short side out of it in terms of the left and right combination things can change quickly, but we weren't able to do that today and Pakistan exploited that to the max," he added.
Babar Azam and Zaman's phenomenal fireworks at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium helped Pakistan beat New Zealand on DLS in a high-scoring rain-effected match and keep their chances of qualification alive in the ongoing ICC World Cup 2023.
Pakistan were 21 runs up on DLS when the rain returned and got too heavy to continue, and the victory brought Babar Azam's team up to eight points, level with New Zealand, and back into the qualification race.