While chasing a meagre target of 237 in the virtual quarter-final of 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, Pakistan had the target look like a staggering task. Their batsmen struggled to not throw their wickets, while the Sri Lankan pacers kept chipping away at the wickets. Not Fakhar Zaman though, who scored a match-winning half-century.
The Green Army seemed like they would easily chase down the target when he released an onslaught in the start of his innings. He smacked the bowlers all over the park. Zaman scored a 36-ball 50 which included 8 fours and a six. The Pakistan dressing room was pretty relaxed when Fakhar was striking the ball in the middle.
By the look of his swashbuckling half-century, Fakhar seems to have made an eternal impact in Pakistan’s otherwise ordinary batting line-up. The team has recently experimented heavily with their opening combinations, but with Zaman’s heartening start and Azhar Ali’s anchoring role, Pakistan may just be looking at an auspicious new opening duo.
Here are some interesting facts about Fakhar Zaman:
Zaman belongs to Mardan, where the standard of a batsman is always compared with the legendary Pakistan’s Test batsman Younis Khan. Fakhar has been practicing his skills in Pakistan’s unappreciated domestic circuit for over five years, without having received any attention.
The southpaw is a gifted opener and he bats with a high backlift still manages to balance his timing with the ball for scoring his runs. His eagerness to score runs is exemplified by his outstanding domestic average, which stands at 42 in first-class cricket and 49 in List A.
Fakhar touched some fame within Pakistan during the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in 2016-17. His brilliant form was noticed when he amassed as many as 663 runs in the competition at an average of 51. The rewarding season included a 170 in the second innings of the final, a game which was conquered by the twin centuries of former Pakistan captain Salman Butt.
Zaman’s fruitful form earned him a contract in the PSL with the Lahore Qalandars. In Pakistan’s domestic T20 league as well, he showed his sparks of the class he’d been presenting elsewhere. His best knock was possibly a 33-ball 56 against Karachi where he demolished the opposition bowling attack and looked enormously stylish while doing so.