Cricket World Cup 2019 moments: Fakhar Zaman's unusual dismissal during Pakistan collapse vs West Indies

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The Cricket World Cup 2019 has so far lived up to its promise of delivering some special moments on the field. But as it often happens when one team ultimately lifts the trophy, the whole tournament can feel like a bit of a blur.

In an effort to really appreciate these moments whether for their spectacular nature or their meaningfulness, we’ve decided to look at them individually as the competition progresses and package our favourites into one series at the end.

These moments can be anything from a remarkable piece of play or wild celebration to a last-gasp victory or funny occurrence. Really, anything that stands out during this World Cup.

So without further adieu, here’s our latest edition of the series – Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman’s dismissal against West Indies.

WHAT HAPPENED

Andre Russell can be a pretty imposing bowler in full flight and facilitated by overcast conditions at Trent Bridge on Friday, he led a short-ball assault on Pakistan’s top order effectively.

Fakhar faced – literally – the brunt of his menacing bouncers and in the sixth over, was struck head-on by one of them. The ball took a nick off his bat, crashed into his helmet and – against the odds – dropped on to his stumps.

The rattled southpaw, still reeling from a bouncer that was pushing 140kph, was dumbfounded when he looked down and saw his bails dislodged.

WHY IT WAS SPECIAL

What makes this dismissal standout is its bizarre nature. Fakhar can count himself unfortunate to have the ball drop down on to the wicket after impacting his helmet. It’s not something that happens very often.

Add to that the ferocity of the bouncer from Russell whose muscle is more frequently flexed with the bat instead and it’s a moment that deserves a rewatch, especially since it set the tone for Windies to bowl out their opponents for just 105.

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Cricket World Cup 2019 moments: Ben Stokes' unbelievable catch in England's opener vs South Africa

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The Cricket World Cup 2019 has so far lived up to its promise of delivering some special moments on the field. But as it often happens when one team ultimately lifts the trophy, the whole tournament can feel like a bit of a blur.

In an effort to really appreciate these moments whether for their spectacular nature or their meaningfulness, we’ve decided to look at them individually as the competition progresses and package our favourites into one series at the end.

These moments can be anything from a remarkable piece of play or wild celebration to a last-gasp victory or funny occurrence. Really, anything that stands out during this World Cup.

So without further adieu, here’s our very first edition of the series – Ben Stokes‘ catch for England in the opener against South Africa.

WHAT HAPPENED

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Stokes!

The image of England’s star all-rounder flying through the air and plucking, what seemed destined to be a flat six, out of the sky one-handed will live long in the memory.

Andile Phehlukwayo swept Adil Rashid well towards deep midwicket for what should’ve been the maximum but for the incredible intervention of a towering Big Ben. Running back towards the boundary, Stokes leapt into the air and pulled off a sensational catch with his right hand while contorting his body awkwardly to reach it.

Former England spinner Phil Tufnell even labelled it “the catch of the century” on BBC.

WHY IT WAS SPECIAL

Apart from involving almost an impossible standard of skill and athleticism, the catch capped a phenomenal individual performance that earned Stokes the Man of the Match award in England’s 104-run win.

The 27-year-old came into the tournament on the back of some patchy form but top-scored with 89 off 79 balls on the day before impressing in all other aspects as well. He picked up a couple of wickets to help sweep up the South African lower order, took another catch to dismiss JP Duminy and ran out Dwaine Pretorius.

His fine catch was the cherry on top of a dream start to England’s World Cup campaign.

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Cricket World Cup 2019: Andre Russell leads West Indies' short-ball barrage to decimate Pakistan

Ajit Vijaykumar 17:26 31/05/2019
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West Indies blew Pakistan away through short-pitched bowling.

Nottingham has witnessed two of the highest totals in ODI history – 481 and 444. Recent record also pointed to a high-scoring encounter when Pakistan took on West Indies on Friday. But in overcast conditions and against a fired-up pace attack, the men in green were blown away for 105 in just 21.4 overs to succumb to a seven-wicket hiding.

West Indies won the toss and decided to bowl first, hoping to make the most of overcast conditions. But what they got was beyond even their wildest dreams as Andre Russell went on a short-ball offensive that was picked up by the rest of the attack and Pakistan simply had no answer.

Russell picked up two wickets for four runs in three overs of high pace while young quick Oshane Thomas snared 4-27 as Pakistan were shot out for their shortest innings in World Cup history.

The chase was a bit tricky with Windies batsmen also struggling against the short ball but a fifty from opener Chris Gayle was enough as they chased down the target three wickets down in 13.4 overs.

The entire match barely lasted 35 overs – not even half an ODI.

RUSSELL STUNS ZAMAN

Dre Russ is feared the world over for his insane hitting power, as was seen during the IPL. But in his opening game of the World Cup – his first ODI in a year – Russell showed the other facet of his incredible repertoire; quality pace.

Before knee issues held him back, Russell was a genuinely quick bowler who cranked up the speed gun to 150kph to go with his batting. But with his knees giving way, Russell had to cut down on his bowling.

However on a stage like the World Cup, Russell the bowler could be unleashed and it was the all-rounder who first exposed Pakistan’s weakness against the short ball. Opener Fakhar Zaman was going great guns before a quick short delivery hit him flush on the helmet and then on to his stumps.

Middle order batsman Haris Sohail was roughed up further before a 91mph delivery from Russell fizzed past his shoulders, took the outside edge of his bat to the keeper. West Indies had stumbled upon a a cruel and mighty effective formula.

THOMAS THE TANK

Oshane Thomas.

Oshane Thomas.

Oshane Thomas is in the Windies team as a battering ram and he took over from Russell, hammering away at the Pakistan batsman. Babar Azam wafted at a wide delivery to be caught acrobatically by keeper Shai Hope while veteran batsman Mohammad Hafeez was bullied into skying another bouncer.

Last man Wahab Riaz took the score past 100 before losing his woodwork to a Thomas yorker. The burly quick topped 90mph on multiple occasions and gave the Windies attack a menacing edge. Five wickets that fell on the day were to the short ball.

SILVER LINING FOR PAKISTAN

While Gayle was going hammer and tongs in the chase, blasting 50 off 34 balls, left-am pacer Mohammad Amir found some much needed rhythm from the other end.

Pakistan went in with experienced pacers Amir and Wahab Riaz and all eyes were on the former to see if he could rattle the Windies and cement his spot in the team, after a poor year in ODIs. Amir got the ball to nip around and also gained extra bounce from a responsive pitch, getting three wickets in the process. It was the first instance since the Champions Trophy final against India in June 2017 that Amir had taken two or more wickets in an ODI.

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