- Pakistan triumphs over Bangladesh by seven wickets in the ICC World Cup 2023, fueled by Fakhar Zaman’s explosive performance.
- Shaheen Afridi makes history, becoming the fastest fast bowler to reach 100 ODI wickets in just 51 matches.
- Pakistan stays in the race for the semi-finals, facing a crucial must-win match against New Zealand on November 4 in Bengaluru.
In a stunning turn of events at the ICC World Cup 2023, Pakistan roared back to life with a commanding seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India. After a string of four consecutive defeats, the Green Shirts showcased resilience and determination, knocking Bangladesh out of the tournament and keeping their semi-final dreams alive.
Fakhar Zaman, making a comeback after five matches, emerged as the star of the match with a brilliant knock of 81 runs off 74 deliveries. His partnership with Abdullah Shafique, who scored a crucial 68 runs, laid the foundation for Pakistan’s dominance. The duo crafted a formidable 128-run opening stand, putting the team in a commanding position from the outset.
Captain Babar Azam, although unable to finish the game, contributed to the team’s cause. His early departure did not derail Pakistan’s pursuit of the target of 205, as Mohammad Rizwan (26*) and Iftikhar Ahmed (17*) calmly guided the team to victory.
Earlier in the match, Bangladesh faced the brunt of Shaheen Afridi’s opening spell magic. Tanzid Hasan’s dismissal for a duck in the first over set the tone, and Afridi continued to wreak havoc, claiming the wickets of Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mushfiqur Rahim in quick succession. The Tigers found themselves struggling at 23-3 within six overs.
However, a resilient partnership between Litton Das and Mahmudullah added 79 crucial runs to the scoreboard. Despite their efforts, the Bangladeshi innings crumbled under the relentless pace attack of Pakistan. Iftikhar Ahmed and Afridi played pivotal roles in dismantling the opposition, with Afridi finishing as the pick of the bowlers, claiming three wickets.
A notable milestone was achieved by Shaheen Afridi during the match. The 23-year-old pacer became the fastest fast bowler to reach 100 ODI wickets, achieving the feat in just 51 matches, surpassing the record held by Mitchell Starc.
Shaheen’s remarkable achievement adds to his growing reputation as one of the world’s premier bowlers. His proficiency across all formats and his ability to wreak havoc with the new ball make him a formidable force in the world of cricket.
With this victory, Pakistan remains in contention for a spot in the semi-finals. Their next challenge awaits against New Zealand on November 4 in Bengaluru, where a must-win situation looms large. The Green Shirts must secure victory to keep their hopes alive and continue their quest for ICC World Cup glory.