KOLKATA: Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman has no regrets about missing out on a World Cup hundred, for he knows how important it was to try and boost their net run-rate in Tuesday’s comprehensive win against Bangladesh.
Pakistan began their campaign with back-to-back wins but went into the match at the Eden Gardens with their semifinal hopes hanging in balance after four defeats in a row.
They beat Bangladesh by seven wickets, and chased down the victory target with 17.3 overs to spare in a major boost to their net run-rate, which could come in handy when separating teams level on points.
Fakhar led Pakistan’s chase with a freewheeling 81, which earned him player-of-the-match award, but fell short of a hundred trying to wrap up their chase early.
“The situation we were in at that moment, we were looking to chase it in 28-29 overs,” the 33-year-old, whose form and knee injury kept him out Pakistan’s first five matches, told reporters.
“So that’s why I was just going (after the bowlers).
“Otherwise, it was very easy for me to get to the 100 after 50. But our goal was to achieve the target within 29-30 overs.”
Pakistan are currently fifth in the table, level on six points with Afghanistan, who have played one game fewer, while Bangladesh became the first team to bow out of the tournament.
Sri Lanka and the Netherlands can also join them in a mid-table logjam should both win their next games.
Fakhar said the mood was upbeat in the dressing room despite the uncertainty around the 1992 champions making the last four in the showpiece 50-overs tournament.
“In the World Cup, each win gives you confidence and we were waiting for this win.
“We are in the ifs-and-buts (zone) right now — but we will try to win both the remaining matches with good run rates.
“Our target is the semifinal and we will try for that.”
Pakistan face 2019 runners-up New Zealand and holders England in their remaining group matches.