Shahid Afridi responds to Fakhar Zaman’s magnificent knock

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Pakistan’s former captain Shahid Afridi (right) and top-order batter Fakhar Zaman. — AFP/Reuters/File

Pakistan’s former captain Shahid Afridi has heaped praise on top-order batter Fakhar Zaman after he led the Green Shirts to victory over New Zealand in the World Cup.

“Fakhar the nation is proud of you. Always stick to playing on your strengths no matter what, sometimes it will and sometimes it won’t,” he said in a post on X on Saturday.

“Become a permanent match winner for Pakistan, we will be unbeatable. Congrats on the win boys, hope for #CWC2023 is not out,” the ex-skipper added.

Swashbuckling opener Fakhar cracked a blistering century to save Pakistan from World Cup elimination in a rain-affected and dramatic 21-run victory over New Zealand at Bengaluru.

The 33-year-old left-hander smashed 11 sixes and eight boundaries in his unbeaten 81-ball 126 as rain forced a premature end to the match with Pakistan 200-1 after 25.3 overs, chasing a revised DLS target of 342 in 41 overs.

“We planned to see off the first few overs; a few times I got lucky and really enjoyed this innings. We know that every game is do or die for us,” Fakhar said after the match.

“In the team meeting, our management decided that we would play aggressively so we are playing with that mind and everybody was trying to score more runs.”

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