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Fakhar Zaman Has Provided Purpose To Pakistan's Top Order in Champions Trophy

Arnab Sen |Cricketnext | Updated: June 18, 2017, 6:38 PM IST
Fakhar Zaman Has Provided Purpose To Pakistan's Top Order in Champions Trophy

Fakhar Zaman. (Getty Images)

London: "Fortune favours the brave", this old adage is often used in cricket and holds true mostly for batsmen, who decide to continue playing an attacking brand of cricket even in the face of good bowling by the opposition.

And that holds true for Pakistan's latest batting star Fakhar Zaman. Included in the playing XI after the team's humiliating defeat to India in the Champions Trophy opener, the southpaw has added a sense of purpose at the top of the order.

And that sense of purpose was on view in the all important final against India on Sunday. Pakistan needed to attack the Indian new ball pair of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, who had so far bowled an impeccable line and length and the newcomer did just that.

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But not before a hiccup. Zaman got a faint edge to a wide-ish delivery outside the off-stump on the first delivery of the fourth over by Bumrah. The left-hander was on 3 and started to go back to the pavilion, which also would have been his first outright failure with the bat in his fourth innings. But destiny had something else in story, replays showed Bumrah had overstepped and the 27-year old got a reprieve.

After that he made it a point to cash in on the extra life. While it was his opening partner Azhar Ali who opened up and started getting the boundaries, Zaman played the waiting game and targetted the spinners.

He hit Ravindra Jadeja for two boundaries in the 20th over to bring up his half century. But after that was involved in a mix up, that cost Azhar Ali his wicket as he was run out.

India realised there was an opportunity to curb the scoring rate but the southpaw came into his own after the fall of the wicket and didn't let the duo of Jadeja and Ashwin stop the flow of runs.

The momentum continued as Zaman treated the spin duo with disdain. The left-hander hit a six and two boundaries off the 26th over bowled by Jadeja and then hit a six and a boundary off the 27th bowled by Ashwin.

Fakhar Zaman reached his century with a boundary off the first delivery of the 31st over bowled by Ashwin and thus reached his maiden ODI century.

He finally departed for 114 off 106 deliveries, but by then he had provided the foundation, needed to score a big total, which Pakistan finally managed to achieve.
First Published: June 18, 2017, 6:38 PM IST

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