Fakhar Zaman played a brilliant innings against New Zealand and Bangladesh in the ongoing ODI World Cup 2023. Before the two matches, Pakistan had lost 4 matches in a row against teams like India, Australia, Afghanistan, and South Africa. Pakistan was in a virtual must-win situation since their game against Bangladesh. They came up with some changes to their playing XI.
Against Bangladesh, Pakistan dropped Imam-ul-Haq and got in Fakhar Zaman. In the two games so far, Fakhar has been sensational with the bat. The Pakistan opener has been scoring runs for fun at a blistering rate at the top. Against Bangladesh, Fakhar scored 81 runs in 74 balls, which included 3 fours and 7 huge sixes. The Southpaw brought the much-required aggression to Pakistan's lineup.
While the challenge was not huge against Bangladesh, it was way too big in the match against New Zealand, where Zaman had to strike from the ball 1. To stay alive in the tournament, Pakistan had to chase a mammoth total of 402 runs, which was never chased before in the ODI World Cup. But Fakhar seemed up for the mission. Zaman was all over the bowlers of New Zealand, as he scored runs for fun.
Zaka Ashraf announces prize money for Fakhar Zaman
In his stay in the middle, Fakhar scored an unbeaten 126*(81), which included 8 fours and 11 huge sixes. The knock of the opener caught New Zealand off-guard. The famed bowling lineup of Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Glenn Phillips, and Mitchell Santner had no answer to Fakhar's batting. In the process, Fakhar scored his hundred in just 63 balls, which was the fastest ton by a batter from Pakistan in the ODI World Cup.
Pakistan won the game due to the efforts of Fakhar. They were helped by rain and the DLS method. But the eventual win happened due to Fakhar's brilliant show with the bat. After the match, Ashraf had a phone call with Fakhar, where he congratulated him for the performance and announced a prize money of one million PKR.