Regret losing game, not missing out on double-ton: Zaman

LAHORE/JOHANNESBURG: Opening batsman Fakhar Zaman said he does not regret missing the double ton in the second ODI against South Africa, but he does regret not being able to make Pakistan win.

Zaman’s valiant 193-run knock was ended on the first ball of the final over in the game as a direct hit from Aiden Markram from long-off caught him short of his crease. With this, Pakistan stumbled to a 17-run loss in the second and the last ODI.

“I don’t regret not getting double, I regret losing the match. If we had won this it would’ve been amazing so my regret is about that. The situation was such that I was only focusing on getting the win, not the double. I couldn’t finish it but I’d take scoring fewer runs than this and winning the game,” ESPNcricinfo quoted him as saying.

“Yes, to be honest, I thought we could win it even then, I think around the 25th over I just called Sarfraz Ahmed, he knows my game, I talked to him and said ask Babar can I start playing my natural game because [Tabraiz] Shamsi was bowling with small boundaries. At that time I was feeling that if I start hitting then I could win the game for Pakistan.”

Pakistan was at 120/5 at one stage, but Zaman kept on fighting from one end, and took the score past the 300-run mark as well. In the final overs of the game, he did provide a scare for the hosts.

“When wickets were falling and we were 200 for 7, I was just telling the others coming in to stick around. Don’t get out. Don’t worry about the runs, don’t get out. The wickets here, you can’t stop runs on so I was just telling them to stick around with me, don’t get out,” said Zaman.

“If you’re the first batsman, or the number 11, the first 10-15 runs are very difficult on these pitches. On Asian wickets, it isn’t like that but here it is. Unluckily not many of our top-order batsmen got through 20-25 balls.

Until you get through that start here, you don’t get runs. Babar got a little set but others didn’t so people got out quickly. Had anyone gotten set, it would’ve become easier but unfortunately, it just didn’t happen.”

In all, Zaman hit 18 fours and ten sixes in a 155-ball innings before being run out in the last over by a direct hit from long-off as he was trying for a second run.

With wicketkeeper Quinton De Kock deceptively gesturing for Aiden Markram to throw to the bowler’s end, he slowed down and was surprised when the ball hit the stumps at the batsman’s end when he was a metre or more short, ending his bold counter-attack.

Later on, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) posted on Twitter the law related to the dismissal — about a fielder wilfully attempting to distract, deceive or obstruct either batsman — but without really saying if de Kock was guilty or not.

With the win in the second ODI, South Africa has levelled the three-match series at 1-1 with the decider slated to be played on Wednesday.

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