Dynamic Duo of Zaman and Shafique Keep Pakistan’s Playoff Hopes Alive

Dynamic Duo of Zaman and Shafique Keep Pakistan's Playoff Hopes Alive

Pakistan’s playoff hopes remain alive thanks to the incredible performance of openers Fakhar Zaman(81 in 74b) and Abdullah Shafique(68 in 69b). Fakhar Zaman makes a fantastic return after a fiasco by their selectors, much to the respite of Pakistani fans. 

A struggling Pakistan did what it does best, that is, they made a much-needed comeback by defeating Bangladesh by seven wickets to record their third win to stay in the hunt for a semifinal spot on Tuesday, at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

Bangladesh won the toss and opted to bat first on a dry track. But they didn’t even last for the whole 50 overs and were restricted to a sub-par score of 204 runs with Pakistani quickie Shaheen Afridi(9-1-23-3) scalping three important wickets. Other notable bowling performances by Pakistan included pacers Md. Wasim Jr.(8.1-1-31-3) and Haris Rauf(8-0-36-2)

Bangladesh’s problems started to fester right from the first powerplay, in which they lost 3 wickets for just 23 runs. Mahmadullah(56 in 70b) was the only one who reached the coveted 50-run mark. Other notable performances included that of opener Liton Das(45 in 64b) and captain Shakib Al Hasan(43 in 64b).

The Pakistani batting performance on the other hand was in stark contrast. The Green Shirts were all over the Bangladeshi bowlers. The left-right, Zaman-Shafique combine worked wonders for Pakistan as they built a solid foundation with their 128-run partnership. 

Zaman smashed seven sixes in the match, the second most by a Pakistani in a World Cup match. Keeper Md. Rizwan(26 in 21b, n.o) and Iftikhar Ahmed(17 in 15b, n.o) finished things off with style. The only notable performance was by Bangladeshi spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz(9-0-60-3) who scalped all of the 3-wickets that fell.

Pakistan defeated Bangladesh by seven wickets(105 balls to spare) and is currently placed 5th on the points table. Fakhar Zaman was named Player of the Match. With this, the Bangladeshi Tigers have formally exited the playoff race.

Here’s the latest look at the points table after Tuesday’s match:
TeamMatchesWonLost Points
South Africa65110
New Zealand6428
Sri Lanka6244

(E = Eliminated)

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