SA vs PAK: Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman records highest individual score in a chase in One-Day internationals

SA vs PAK: Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman records highest individual score in a chase in ODIs as Quinton de Kock's 'fake fielding' denies him 200
SA vs PAK: Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman records highest individual score in a chase in ODIs as Quinton de Kock's 'fake fielding' denies him 200

SA vs PAK: Fakhar Zaman scores record-breaking 193- After four half-centuries helped South Africa set a 342-target for Babar Azam’s Pakistan in the 2nd ODI at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, Fakhar Zaman’s incredible fighting knock of 193 off 155 deliveries kept South Africa on the toes. But ultimately, South Africa won by 17 runs as Zaman’s single-handed assault that was the highest individual score in a chase in the ODIs went in vain after Quinton de Kock’s ‘fake fielding’ run him out.

Fakhar Zaman came into the game on the back of two single-digit scores in the last two matches. He had also not scored a century since the 2019 World Cup and critics had already begun asking for his exclusion. But under pressure, he flourished.

With Pakistan losing Imam ul-Haq in the second over during the tough chase, Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman stitched the innings together. But after the Pakistan captain was dismissed, it was all up to him as his partners came and went back to the pavilion in a fiery spell from Anrich Nortje.

Also Read: Fakhar Zaman’s 193 in vain as all-round show helps South Africa beat Pakistan by 17 runs and level ODI series 1-1

But Fakhar Zaman wasn’t ready to give up yet. As Pakistan kept losing wickets at the other end, Zaman put his feet on the pedal and launched an assault on Tabraiz Shamsi and Andile Phehlukwayo. His knock included 18 fours and 10 sixes. In the end, he came up short as a “fake run-out” stopped him from achieving his second double century in the ODIs.

“It was one of the best innings I’ve ever seen. He played it so perfectly. Unfortunately, couldn’t finish it. I congratulate him on this innings. We really enjoyed his knock. As long as he was there, we had hope of a win. If someone had stood with him, we could have probably won the game. Fakhar had too much pressure on him in the end,” Pakistan captain Babar Azam said after the match.

Also Read: ICC ODI Rankings No 1 Batsman: Pakistan’s Babar Azam set to overtake Virat Kohli as World No 1 ODI batsman

However, Zaman was disappointed despite winning the Man of the Match award. “Can’t say if this was my best innings. If we had won, then maybe yes,” said Zaman after the match.

Records achieved by Fakhar Zaman on Sunday:

  • His 193 is the highest individual score during a chase in ODIs. He surpassed Australia’s Shane Watson’s 185 not out against Bangladesh in 2011.
  • It was the highest score against South Africa in ODIs. David Warner’s 173 was the previous best.
  • Fakhar Zaman’s 193 is the third-highest in ODIs by a Pakistani batsman. His 210 not out is the highest score.
  • It was also the highest individual score in ODIs on South African soil. Faf du Plessis’ 185 against Sr Lanka was the previous best.
  • Zaman now has the second-most 190+ scores in ODIs after Rohit Sharma. He has two while Rohit has three.

Was Fakhar Zaman’s run out fake?

While Zaman’s innings earned praise from the opponents as well as his teammates, it was his run-out in the last over that created a controversy. As Zaman was running for his second run, South Africa’s wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock pointed towards Lungi Ngidi. Believing that Ngidi has the ball, Zaman slowed down but instead, Aiden Markram had the ball and his direct hit got South Africa the wicket.

What does the law say?

Fake fielding is the action caused by a fielder when he makes movements of some of his body parts only to confuse batsmen into making mistakes. As per MCC Law 41.5.1, 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.

If the law of the sport is to be considered, Pakistan should have been awarded five runs instead of the run-out as de Kock’s gesture clearly confused Zaman. In addition, Pakistan should have been allowed an extra ball in the over as the ball would not have been counted. But the law gives umpires the power to decide whether to call it fake fielding or not.

“It is for either one of the umpires to decide whether any distraction, deception or obstruction is wilful or not,” the law says.

However, Zaman did not want to blame Quinton de Kock for the run-out. “The fault was mine as I was too busy looking out for Haris 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, I don’t think it’s Quinton’s fault,” he said after the match.