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Pakistan needed something magical when they set out to chase down the record 402-run total and left-handed opener Fakhar Zaman conjured up just that to help his side secure a stunning 21-run win via DLS over New Zealand in the Bengaluru run-fest and stay afloat in the World Cup 2023.

This defeat, New Zealand's fourth successive in the World Cup 2023, has complicated Kane Williamson's chances of qualifying for the semifinals. New Zealand, who have won four matches, have one more match left, which is now a must-win for the Kiwis. Meanwhile, Pakistan have now won four matches from their eight and still have a mathematical chance of qualifying. Babar Azam's men have moved to fifth place in the points table.

When rain halted Pakistan's charge once again in their crucial World Cup match against New Zealand on Saturday, the Babar Azam-led side were 21 runs ahead on Duckworth Lewis's (DLS) par score. Pakistan had reached a comfortable position at 200 for one while chasing a target of 402 runs for victory, with 25.3 overs bowled.

After a nearly hour-long rain delay, Pakistan had been given a revised target of 342 in 41 overs (DLS) to win in Bengaluru. Pakistan needed to chase New Zealand's challenging target in 35.2 overs, which was essential to improve their net run rate (NRR), to keep their hopes alive for a spot in the semifinals.

During their innings, Pakistan only lost one wicket, that of Abdullah Shafique, while Fakhar Zaman (126 not out) and skipper Babar Azam (66 not out) were going great guns and



having added a massive 194-run stand for the second wicket.

Fakhar Zaman led Pakistan's charge with an incredible innings, scoring a sensational century off just 63 balls. Fakhar, on the other hand, continued his aggressive hitting, particularly against Trent Boult and Glenn Philips. His century is Pakistan's fastest in World Cup history. Meanwhile, Babar Azam held his ground and stood firm while scoring a brilliant fifty in the run-chase.

Earlier, Pakistan's initial decision to bowl first did not yield the desired results, as Rachin Ravindra scored a century (108 off 94) for the third time in the current World Cup, and he, along with skipper Kane Williamson (95 off 79), put up a significant 180-run partnership for the second wicket, laying the foundation for New Zealand's imposing total.

Rachin Ravindra hit his third World Cup century, and a fit-again Kane Williamson made up for lost time with 95, as New Zealand cruised to a commanding 401 for 6 from 50 overs against Pakistan on Saturday. Ravindra, who was born in Wellington to Bengaluru-born parents, delighted local fans with measured strokeplay and moments of magic as he passed 500 runs in the World Cup with a 94-ball 108 that included 15 fours and a six.

New Zealand had set a formidable total of 401 for six. This marked only the second time in the ongoing tournament that a team had scored over 400 runs, with South Africa having previously broken Australia's 2015 record by posting 428 for five against Sri Lanka in their World Cup opener in New Delhi.
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