Fakhar Zaman powered Pakistan’s charge batting first. He scored 114 off 106 balls as Pakistan made 338/4 in 50 overs. It was his maiden ODI ton and the half-century that he reached in the process was also his third on the trot. It is also telling that he was saved by a no-ball early on in the innings and he admitted in a televised interview during the match break that he did get lucky with it.
“It’s a final against India, so I just tried to enjoy the innings,” he said, “I was lucky with the no-ball.” It was the fourth over of the Pakistan innings and Jasprit Bumrah was the bowler. The ball was bouncy, came at a length and Fakhar poked at it. He only got an edge and it went straight to Dhoni behind the stumps. The Indians went up in celebrations but the umpire only lifted his arm to hold it at the shoulder level instead of pointing it to the sky. Replays showed that Bumrah was well over the line.
He then punished them in the best possible manner, scoring a century and being part of a 128-run opening partnership. “It’s a final against India, so I just tried to enjoy the innings. I wasn’t feeling well yesterday, I was thinking I wouldn’t be able to play but the physio said I would be fine in the morning,” said Fakhar.
The two Pakistan openers took their time settling in, with the first over going for a maiden. “I took my time to begin with, you look at the wicket and then play your natural game,” said Fakhar.