The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) couldn't help but praise opening batter Fakhar Zaman for his fireworks against New Zealand at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday. PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf has considered Zaman's performance worthy enough to award him 1 PKR million after having a telephonic conversation with him.
Zaman's role was indeed critical as he blasted an unbeaten 126 off 81 deliveries, laced with 11 towering sixes. The southpaw's 63-ball 100 is also the fastest World Cup hundred by a Pakistan batter in World Cup history. Pakistan bowlers had conceded 401, but Zaman's innings and his partnership with Babar Azam ensured their side won by DLS method.
In a statement on X, issued by PCB media, it said that Ashraf was hugely impressed by Zaman's efforts in Bengaluru and remained optimistic of making it to the semi-final.
"Chairman of the PCB Management Committee Zaka Ashraf has lauded Fakhar Zaman's outstanding innings of 126 not out in Pakistan's victory over New Zealand in the ICC World Cup match in Bengaluru. In a telephone conversation with Fakhar Zaman, Mr Zaka Ashraf praised his exceptional performance."
"In recognition of his stellar effort, Chairman of the PCB Management Committee has announced a reward of PKR 1 million for Fakhar. Mr Zaka Ashraf extended his best wishes to Fakhar Zaman and the entire Pakistan team for their upcoming fixtures and expressed optimism about witnessing similar performances and success in the future."
"We still believe we can play the semi-final and final" - Fakhar Zaman
After the match, Zaman revealed their intent to play aggressively and believes it's one of his best hundreds. The left-hander vowed to play the same way in their final league game .
"We know every game is do-or-die for us. In the team meeting, our management decided that we would play aggressively, so we're playing with that mindset and everybody was trying to score. This is one of my best (centuries), I'll always remember my 193 against South Africa, but this is one of my best. We want to continue playing aggressively in our next game. We still believe we can play the semi-final and final."
Pakistan's final league match is against England in Kolkata on November 11th.