In a scintillating display of batting prowess, left-handed opener Fakhar Zaman carved his name into the annals of cricket history with a record-breaking century during the 35th match of the ICC World Cup 2023. Fakhar’s remarkable feat came on the heels of his match-winning 81-run performance against Bangladesh, further solidifying his reputation as a formidable force in cricket.
In a high-stakes contest against New Zealand, Pakistan faced the daunting task of chasing a colossal target of 402 runs. Even with the early departure of his opening partner Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman’s clean hitting and sheer determination kept Pakistan in the hunt. With a blazing run rate and impeccable timing, he set the stage for a cricketing spectacle.
The left-handed dynamo, Fakhar Zaman, unleashed a relentless assault on New Zealand’s bowlers, reaching his 11th ODI century in a mere 63 deliveries. His fiery innings propelled Pakistan to a score of 160/1 in just 21.3 overs, surging ahead of the par score by ten runs as per the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern (DLS) method, just before rain temporarily interrupted the match.
— Waqar Kazmi (@WQRulHassanSyed) November 4, 2023
At the rain-induced break, Fakhar Zaman stood unbeaten at 106 runs off 69 deliveries, embellished with seven boundaries and an astonishing nine sixes. Notably, his century in 63 balls is the fastest by a Pakistan batter in a World Cup game, a testament to his exceptional skill and unwavering commitment to his team’s cause.
While Fakhar Zaman’s 63-ball hundred is indeed a remarkable achievement, the record for the fastest World Cup century still rests in the hands of Australia’s Glenn Maxwell. Maxwell’s incredible feat saw him reach the century mark in just 40 deliveries, achieved in the ongoing mega event against the Netherlands.
Fakhar’s 63-ball century ranks him in a shared ninth position on the list of fastest World Cup centuries. He shares this spot with India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, who also managed a 63-ball century against Afghanistan in the ongoing World Cup edition. This thrilling race to the century mark has added an extra layer of excitement to the tournament, captivating cricket enthusiasts worldwide.
— Basharat Rehan (@BasharatRehan1) November 4, 2023
Moreover, Fakhar Zaman’s extraordinary knock was punctuated by a remarkable display of power-hitting, as he soared past Imran Nazir’s long-standing record for the most sixes by a Pakistan batter in a World Cup innings. During this inning, Fakhar sent the ball over the boundary rope an astonishing nine times, firmly establishing his legacy as a six-hitting maestro.
It’s worth noting that Imran Nazir’s record, set during the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, had remained unbroken until Fakhar’s dazzling display. In his previous outing for Pakistan against Bangladesh, Fakhar came tantalizingly close to breaking the record, smashing seven sixes, serving as a preview of the fireworks that were to come.