Rawalpindi, April 30: Fakhar Zaman smashed his third consecutive ODI century to lead Pakistan to a remarkable record-breaking seven-wicket victory over New Zealand in Rawalpindi on Saturday.
The Pakistan opener hit 17 boundaries and six massive sixes during his unbeaten knock of 180* as the Asian side successfully chased down New Zealand’s healthy total of 336/5 with 10 deliveries to spare.
Several records were broken during the game, including Fakhar becoming the fourth Pakistani batter to score three straight hundreds in ODIs and becoming the nation’s fastest player to reach 3000 ODI runs.
Pakistan’s total of 337/3 was also the fourth-highest ODI score by Pakistan’s men’s team in an ODI and their second-best run chase.
Mohammad Rizwan (54*), a veteran hitter and the team’s skipper Babar Azam (68) each contributed to the thrilling triumph, but it was the dynamic left-hander Fakhar who stole the show as he continued his destructive form.
Pakistan needed something special from Fakhar in reply as New Zealand posted what looked to be a very decent score on the back of a brilliant century from Daryl Mitchell (129) and an equally important knock from captain Tom Latham (98).
Mitchell’s knock featured eight boundaries and three sixes, and his score, which surpassed Ricky Ponting’s 124* in 1998 as the best by any No.3 batsman from a visiting nation, was the most by a New Zealander in an ODI in Pakistan.
Pakistan looked to be cruising to victory in reply with Fakhar and Babar at the crease and the score at 200/1, but the hosts’ skipper fell and Abdullah Shafique (7) was dismissed shortly after to provide New Zealand with a glimmer of hope.
But Rizwan joined Fakhar at the crease and the experienced duo successfully guided the home side to victory to ensure Pakistan opened up a 2-0 lead in the five-game ODI series.–(ANI)