In an exhilarating World Cup match on Tuesday, Pakistan accomplished a historic feat by chasing down Sri Lanka’s enormous 345-run target. This astounding victory not only demonstrated Pakistan’s cricketing prowess, but also established a new World Cup record, leaving cricket fans around the world in astonishment.
Mohammad Rizwan and Abdullah Shafique’s exploits stole the show as they orchestrated Pakistan’s remarkable run pursuit. Despite suffering from leg cramping, Rizwan displayed grit and determination to score an extraordinary 131 not out off 121 deliveries. In contrast, Shafique played a pivotal role, contributing a magnificent 113 runs off 103 deliveries. The turning point of the match was their 176-run partnership for the third wicket, which was followed by another crucial 95-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Saud Shakeel, who scored 31 runs off 30 deliveries.
Pakistan surpassed the previous World Cup record pursuit of 328 runs, established by Ireland against England in 2011, by a considerable margin, making this chase even more historic. Rizwan’s eight fours and three sixes, along with Shafique’s ten fours and three sixes, exemplified the combination of aggression and composure that propelled Pakistan to victory.
Imam-ul-Haq (12) and captain Babar Azam (10) were both dismissed by pacer Dilshan Madushanka during the early phases of Pakistan’s innings. However, Abdullah Shafique, who was brought in as a replacement for the out-of-form Fakhar Zaman, justified his selection by reaching his first hundred in One-Day Internationals off only 97 deliveries. Shafique’s dismissal demonstrated his composure and ability to deal with duress.
Despite losing Shafique to Matheesha Pathirana in the 34th over, Mohammad Rizwan continued to lead the pursuit. He reached his third ODI century off 97 deliveries, remained unbeaten until the end, and struck the winning single while elevating his arms in jubilation.
Prior to Pakistan’s remarkable pursuit, Sri Lanka had amassed a formidable total of 344-9, predominantly due to the contributions of two remarkable centuries. Kusal Mendis played a stupendous innings, achieving the quickest century for Sri Lanka in a World Cup match with a 122-ball score that included 14 fours and sixes. Sadeera Samarawickrama also excelled, scoring 108 runs off 89 deliveries to record his debut ODI century.
Mendis was the fortunate recipient of two fumbled catches early in his innings. However, he took advantage of these opportunities and led Sri Lanka to victory. The partnership between Mendis and Pathum Nissanka, who scored 51 off 61 deliveries, supported Sri Lanka’s innings.
Hasan Ali excelled in the bowling department for Pakistan, accumulating figures of 4-71. His consistent and accurate delivery was instrumental in placing strain on the Sri Lankan batsmen. Haris Rauf also contributed with 2-64, despite being bombarded by Mendis and Samarawickrama’s boundaries.
With this historic victory, Pakistan now has two victories in as many games, boosting the team’s confidence as they prepare for Saturday’s high-profile match against archrival India in Ahmedabad.