In a high-octane run-fest at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in Bengaluru, Pakistan emerged victorious through the DLS method against New Zealand in a rain-affected match that left viewers in awe. Fakhar Zaman and their skipper, Babar Azam, displayed an exceptional showcase of skill, composure, and resilience, ultimately securing two crucial points for their team.
The match began with New Zealand's Rachin Ravindra stealing the spotlight by smashing a century that powered his team to an imposing first-innings total of 401/6. The innings witnessed a partnership of 180 runs between Ravindra and their captain, Kane Williamson, who made a stellar comeback despite nursing a thumb and knee injury.
While New Zealand's performance set a formidable target, the second-highest total set in this World Cup, Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman took center stage during the initial 20 overs of their innings. Fakhar's blistering century, scored in just 63 balls, included a remarkable tally of nine sixes. The incredible partnership between Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam further elevated Pakistan's hopes, taking them to 200/1 after 25.3 overs, well ahead of the required run rate.
As rain began to fall during the 22nd over, Pakistan found themselves ahead on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method. The overs were reduced to 41, and Pakistan's target was adjusted to 342.
Remarkably, Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam continued their explosive batting, which included hammering Ish Sodhi for a 20-run over, relentlessly chasing their revised target. When rain returned and became too heavy to continue, Pakistan was 21 runs ahead on the DLS method, securing a crucial win. This victory propelled Babar Azam's side to eight points, putting them level with New Zealand but behind on net run rate (NRR).
New Zealand set an imposing total of 401.
The Pakistan bowlers began poorly, struggling to find consistent lines and lengths. Rachin Ravindra took full advantage, showcasing his class and skills as he crafted an innings of 108 runs from just 94 deliveries. Captain Kane Williamson, despite battling a thumb injury, also appeared in great touch but fell just short of his century, scoring 95 runs.
The middle order saw the entry of heavy-hitters Daryl Mitchell, who scored 29 runs from 18 deliveries, and Mark Chapman, who added 39 runs from 27 balls to the tally. Their partnership further accelerated the scoring rate, propelling New Zealand beyond the 300-run mark with only three wickets lost and more than 10 overs to spare.
The final surge came from the capable bats of Glenn Phillips, who contributed 41 runs from 25 balls, and Mitchell Santner, who remained unbeaten with 26 runs from 17 deliveries. Their remarkable performance ensured that the solid foundation laid by the top order witnessed a late flourish.
However, despite their substantial score, it wasn't ultimately enough, as Pakistan managed to secure victory through the DLS method. Although Pakistan won the match, their margin of victory was not significant enough to surpass New Zealand's net run rate. As a result, their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals appear rather slim, but they can take pride in the heart they displayed tonight.