Mohammad Rizwan and Abdullah Shafique propelled Pakistan to a record-breaking six-wicket victory against Sri Lanka in the Cricket World Cup, successfully chasing a formidable target of 345.
Rizwan, playing through a pulled right calf, delivered an unbeaten performance with 131 runs off 121 balls, while Shafique, who replaced the struggling Fakhar Zaman, contributed with a stellar 113 runs, enabling Pakistan to achieve a score of 345-4 and chase down the Sri Lankans total with 10 balls to spare.
Their outstanding innings eclipsed the maiden ODI centuries from Sri Lanka’s Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama, who pushed Sri Lanka’s total to 344-9, setting the stage for a challenging chase for Pakistan on a pitch conducive to batting.
“Always proud when you perform like that,” commented a triumphant Rizwan, highlighting the collective belief within the team that the imposing target was within their reach. “It was difficult and when you chase like that, it’s always special.”
The Pakistani’s victory takes their Cricket World Cup record 8-0 against Sri Lanka and gives them two wins from two starts at the tournament. The Pakistani’s have defeated both the Netherlands and Sri Lanka, but now face a much more daunting task against tournament favourite India on Saturday.
Despite robust efforts from the Sri Lankan batsmen, team captain Dasun Shanaka believed they fell 20-25 runs short of a winning total, given the condition of the pitch. He expressed understanding for the bowlers’ challenge, emphasizing the need for a stronger finish to secure a victory in future matches.
Online bookmakers are yet to launch markets on the India v Pakistan clash, with the Indias due to clash with Afghanistan on Tuesday night AEST, a match they are $1.10 favourites to win, with the outsiders at around the $6 quote
The Sri Lankans continue their World Cup campaign on Monday, with a clash against Australia, which they must win if they want to advance to the quarter finals of the tournament.
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