ANI Photo | CWC 2023: Babar Azam opens up on Pakistan’s aggressive style of cricket against New Zealand

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam talked about their approach while chasing a massive target of 402 against New Zealand in a rain affected game in the ongoing World Cup on Saturday at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
After Abdullah Shafique’s early dismissal, Fakhar Zaman and Babar took on the opposition bowlers scored maximums for fun and keeping the momentum in their favour even after the game was halted by rain.
Zaman struck eleven sixes on the night scoring most sixes by a Pakistan batter in an ODI innings. On the other end, Babar approached the game cautiously, but as soon as he understood the condition of the surface, he shifted through the gears rapidly to contribute to Pakistan’s healthy run rate.
After Pakistan’s crucial victory over the Kiwis, Babar spoke about their approach of utlising short boundaries throughout the chase in a game which was marred by rain.
“When we started batting, we believed (in ourselves). Inside dressing room, we passed the message that we need one good partnership. Back of the mind, we knew rain was coming, but didn’t expect it to be too much. To be honest, we just planned to build a partnership. I wanted to give strike to Fakhar; we knew we had short boundaries and we tried to utilise it. We were trying to give 100 per cent but in some matches we were not up to the mark. If we win our next match, let’s see. We will try to play positively and we are going match by match,” Babar said.
Coming to the match, after losing an early wicket, in the form of opener Abdullah Shafique, Babar and Fakhar came together for a scintillating and rollicking partnership on the back of which Pakistan raced to 200/1 after 25.3 overs, staying ahead of the required score when persistent showers brought an early end to the contest prompting the outcome to be decided by the DLS method.
The crowds in Bengaluru were witness to some sparkling batsmanship from both sides, but Fakhar’s ton, arguably one of the finest under pressure in the tournament’s history helped Pakistan prevail in the do-or-die battle.
Launching a fierce counter-attack on the Kiwi attack, Fakhar slammed nine sixes en route to a hundred off just 63 balls.
While the win gave hopes of qualification to the 1992 World Cup champions, the Kiwis suffered their consecutive fourth defeat of the tournament and now have to win their last round-robin fixture to progress to the business end of the tournament.
Pakistan’s win over New Zealand also meant that South Africa became the second team to qualify for the knockout stage by virtue of a superior net run rate of +2.290. (ANI)

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