ODI: Fakhar hits ton as records fall in thrilling Pakistan victory vs New Zealand

Fakhar Zaman smashed his third consecutive ODI century to lead hosts Pakistan to a remarkable record-breaking seven-wicket victory over New Zealand here.

Fakhar Zaman smashed his third consecutive ODI century to lead hosts Pakistan to a remarkable record-breaking seven-wicket victory over New Zealand here.

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.

A host of records fell during the match, as Fakhar became just the fourth Pakistan batter to hit three straight ODI centuries and also claimed the honour of being the fastest player from the country to bring up 3000 ODI runs, reports ICC.

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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.

Skipper Babar Azam (68) and fellow experienced batter Mohammad Rizwan (54*) played their part in the exciting victory, but it was Fakhar that stole the show as the dynamic left-hander continued his rich vein of form in devastating style.

Pakistan needed something special from Fakhar’s 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 innings included eight boundaries and three sixes and his score was the highest by an New Zealand batter in an ODI in Pakistan and took him past Ricky Ponting’s 124* in 1998 for the highest by any No.3 from a visiting country.

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.

-IANS

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