Pakistan captain Babar Azam has paid tribute to Fakhar Zaman after he scored a stunning century in his team’s ODI defeat to South Africa on Sunday.
Chasing 342 at the Imperial Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, Fakhar smashed 193 from 155 balls, including 18 fours and ten sixes.
Despite no other Pakistan player surpassing 31, Zaman almost took his side to an incredible victory before being run out in the penultimate over.
Pakistan eventually finished 17 runs short – with South Africa levelling the three-match ODI series at 1-1 – but Babar described Fakhar’s innings as ‘one of the best he has ever seen’.
‘The innings from Fakhar Zaman is one the best innings I have seen in my life,’ Babar said. ‘It was an outstanding innings and he deserves a lot of credit.’
After losing the toss and being inserted, South Africa produced a superb batting display, with Temba Bevuma (92), Quinton de Kock (80), Rassie van der Dussen (60) and David Miller (50) taking the hosts past 340.
Pakistan slipped to 71-3 and 120-5 in reply but Zaman shared partnerships of 66 with Asif Ali and 68 with Shaheen Afridi to give South Africa a scare.
Much to the relief of the home side, Zaman – who made the highest score of any player in an ODI in South Africa – was eventually run out at the start of the 49th over.
The ODI series will be decided on Wednesday when the teams meet at Supersport Park in Centurion. A four-match T20I series between the sides follows.
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