Pakistan batsman Fakhar Zaman was the lone wolf during their steep run-chase against South Africa in the second ODI in Johannesburg on Sunday. With all seemed lost at 120-5 in the 24th over, chasing 342, Fakhar Zaman rose to the occasion by playing a mature knock to take the tourists closer. Zaman, who departed for 193 in the last over, owing to a controversial run-out, refused to blame Quinton De Kock for the same.
Needing 31 from the last over, Fakhar Zaman went for a double to keep the strike against bowler Lungi Ngidi. However, keeper Quinton De Kock tricked him into believing that the throw would end up at the non-striker’s end. As a result, Zaman’s focus was on the non-striker’s end where he wanted to see whether Haris Rauf made it. Instead, it was the southpaw’s stumps that got disturbed by Aiden Markram’s direct hit from the deep.
While the incident divided several people in the cricketing fraternity, Fakhar Zaman admitted that Quinton De Kock was not at fault here. The Pakistan opener accepted his mistake of watching Haris Rauf if he made it to the other end since he started late from the crease. Zaman left it to the match referee to further action and refused to blame the Proteas’ keeper-batsman.
“The fault was mine as I was too busy looking out for Haris Rauf at the other end as I felt he’d started off a little late from his crease, so I thought he was in trouble. The rest is up to the match referee, but I don’t think it’s Quinton’s fault,” Zaman said as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo.
The following is a section of the MCC fair and unfair play rules:
“41.5 Deliberate distraction, deception or obstruction of a batsman”
41.5: it is unfair for any fielder wilfully to attempt, by word or action, to distract, deceive or obstruct either batsman after the striker has received the ball,”
Fakhar Zaman deservedly received the man of the match:
Fakhar Zaman might have failed to take Pakistan over the line in a mammoth chase; however, he earned respect from the cricketing fraternity and the man of the match award. The 30-year old marched on to 193 off 155 balls, laced with 18 fours and ten sixes, along with small stands with the lower-order to do the near impossible.
But the downside was that Pakistan’s next highest score was from their captain Babar Azam, who made 31 after striking a flamboyant century in the first ODI. The visitors did their best but could not stop Temba Bavuma’s men from leveling the series. The two sides will meet in the series decider at the Centurion on Wednesday.