Pakistan beat New Zealand by 21 runs in rain-hit Cricket World Cup clash

In Sports, news, pakistan, pakistan news, trending
November 04, 2023

Fakhar Zaman and captain Babar Azam starred as Pakistan pulled off a dramatic, rain-hit 21-run victory over New Zealand to stay alive at the Cricket World Cup.

After New Zealand had piled up a mammoth 401-6 in the match on Saturday in Bengaluru, Pakistan was 160-1 in the 21st over when rain brought a stoppage.

Set a revised target of 342 off 41 overs, Zaman had moved to 126 and Azam was on 66 with their team on 200-1 in the 26th over when the rain returned, this time bringing the game to an end and Pakistan declared the winners as they were ahead of the required rate.

Pakistan and New Zealand both have eight points and remain in contention for semifinal spots with a match each left to play in the group stage.

India and South Africa have already wrapped up two of the semifinal places. That has left Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Afghanistan in the race for the final two spots.

Earlier, Rachin Ravindra smashed his third ton of the World Cup while a fit-again Kane Williamson made up for lost time with a 95 as New Zealand posted a commanding 401-6 from 50 overs.

Ravindra, who was born in Wellington to Indian parents from Bengaluru, delighted the local fans with measured stroke play and provided moments of magic to go past 500 runs in the World Cup with a 94-ball 108 that included 15 fours and a six.

The 23-year-old stitched together a 180-run partnership with captain Williamson while Daryl Mitchell (29), Mark Chapman (39), Glenn Phillips (41) and Mitchell Santner (26 not out) fired to swell the New Zealand total to 401-6 in 50 overs.

Babar’s decision to bowl first after winning the toss had raised some eyebrows as New Zealand made a fiery start at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium with opening batsmen Devon Conway and Ravindra dominating the powerplay.

Hasan Ali, who replaced Usama Mir to give the 1992 champions an extra pace option, had Conway caught behind for 35 to end the pair’s 68-run stand and bring Williamson to the wicket.

Playing his first match since sustaining a fractured thumb against Bangladesh last month, Williamson toyed with the bowlers and provided the perfect foil to Ravindra before cutting loose, having made his second half-century of the tournament.

Williamson fell to Iftikhar Ahmed while going for his third six before Ravindra was dismissed by Mohammad Wasim (3-60), but 2019 runners-up New Zealand would heap more misery on Pakistan, only to suffer disappointment later.