Despite struggling with stiffness, with Mohammad Rizwan’s career-best innings and opener Abdullah Shafiq’s career-first century, Pakistan registered its second consecutive win by defeating Sri Lanka by six wickets in the high-scoring match of the World Cup. This is the biggest win while chasing in the World Cup.
Chasing Sri Lanka’s target of 345 runs, Pakistan scored an unbeaten 131 off 121 balls with eight fours and three sixes from Rizwan and Shafiq (113 runs from 103 balls, 10 fours, three sixes) who scored his first century. With a partnership of 176 runs, India won by scoring 345 runs for four wickets in 48.2 overs.
Rizwan also made a partnership of 95 runs with Saud Shakeel (31) for the fourth wicket. Shafiq also became the highest run-scorer batsman while debuting for Pakistan in the World Cup. Earlier, Sri Lanka scored 344 runs for nine wickets with centuries from Kusal Mendis and Sadira Samarawickrama, which is the team’s highest score against any full member country in the World Cup.
Mendis scored 122 runs in 77 balls, which is the fastest century for Sri Lanka in the history of the World Cup. Samarawickrama scored 108 runs in 89 balls during his first ODI century. Mendis dominated the Pakistani bowlers and hit 14 fours and six sixes in his innings.
During this match, for the first time four centuries were scored in a World Cup match. Sri Lanka also had to suffer the consequences of directionless bowling. The team gave 25 runs on wides and also dropped many catches due to which it had to face its second consecutive defeat. While chasing the target, Pakistan had a bad start and the team lost the wickets of Imam ul Haq (12) and captain Babar Azam (10) for only 37 runs in the eighth over.
Madushanka got Imam caught by Kusal Perera at fine leg on a bouncing ball. Whereas Babar this fast bowler played the bad ball into the hands of wicketkeeper Samarawickrama. Samarawickrama was playing the role of wicketkeeper as wicketkeeper Mendis was not able to field due to stiffness.
Opener Abdullah Shafiq along with wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan took the innings forward. Both of them took the team’s score to 48 runs for two wickets in 10 overs. Shafiq looked in good form. After hitting two fours on Dasun Shanaka, he hit the first six of the innings on Mathisa Pathirana. Shafiq completed the team’s century in the 19th over with a four off Dhananjay de Silva and then touched the 50-run mark in 58 balls with a single on the next ball.
Shafiq adopted an aggressive attitude after scoring his half-century. After Dhananjay hit a six in the next over, he also sent Charith Asalanka’s ball to the boundary. Rizwan also hit two fours on Dunith Velalage while Shafiq also hit a six and a four on this spinner. He completed his half-century in 58 balls with four fours off Mathisa Pathirana.
Shafiq completed his century in 97 balls with four fours on Madushanka. He took the team’s score beyond 200 runs in 32 overs with a six in the same over. Pathirana broke this partnership by dismissing Shafiq. Substitute player Dushan Hemantha took a brilliant catch. After Shafiq was out, Rizwan took charge. He hit a four and a six on Dhananjay.
Rizwan got a good partner in Shakeel. Both of them took the team’s score to 271 runs for three wickets in 40 overs. Meanwhile, Rizwan was seen struggling with stiffness in his leg. Pakistan needed 74 runs to win in the last 10 overs. Rizwan completed his third century in 97 balls with one run off Pathirana.