Sri Lanka set Pakistan a challenging target in World Cup clash

World Cup

Sri Lanka put up a formidable total of 298 for 5 in 43 overs against Pakistan in the eighth match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad. The match was reduced to 43 overs per side due to rain interruptions. Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka won the toss and opted to bat first, hoping to exploit the batting-friendly conditions.

World Cup

The decision paid off as Sri Lanka got off to a solid start with Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Perera adding 51 runs for the first wicket. Nissanka scored a fluent 51 off 61 balls with seven fours and a six, while Perera was dismissed for a duck by Hasan Ali. Kusal Mendis then joined Nissanka and took the attack to the Pakistan bowlers, smashing 122 off just 77 balls with 14 fours and six sixes. He reached his century in 63 balls, the fastest by a Sri Lankan in World Cup history.

Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama added 166 runs for the third wicket in 17.2 overs, setting a new record for the highest partnership for any wicket by Sri Lanka in World Cup matches. Samarawickrama played a supporting role to Mendis, scoring 87 off 74 balls with 10 fours and a six. He completed his maiden ODI fifty in 49 balls.

Pakistan fight back with late wickets

Pakistan’s bowlers struggled to contain the Sri Lankan batsmen, who scored at a rate of almost seven runs per over. Hasan Ali was the most successful bowler for Pakistan, taking three wickets for 61 runs in eight overs. He dismissed Perera, Mendis and Shanaka, who scored only two runs off six balls.

Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan also chipped in with a wicket each, removing Nissanka and Charith Asalanka respectively. Nawaz conceded 52 runs in eight overs, while Shadab gave away 55 runs in eight overs. Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf went wicketless, leaking 49 and 57 runs respectively in their eight-over spells. Iftikhar Ahmed bowled four overs of part-time spin, giving away 22 runs.

Dhananjaya de Silva provided some late impetus to the Sri Lankan innings, scoring an unbeaten 25 off 34 balls with three fours. He added 31 runs for the sixth wicket with Dunith Wellalage, who remained not out on four off five balls. Maheesh Theekshana, Maheesh Pathirana and Dilshan Madushanka did not get a chance to bat.

Pakistan face a stiff chase

Pakistan will need to score 299 runs in 43 overs to win the match and maintain their unbeaten run in the tournament. They beat the Netherlands by nine wickets in their opening game, chasing down a modest target of 143 with ease.

Pakistan’s top order will have to fire against a disciplined Sri Lankan bowling attack, led by Theekshana, who is fit after missing the previous game due to injury. Theekshana is a mystery spinner who can bowl both off-spin and leg-spin variations. He made his ODI debut against South Africa earlier this year and took six wickets in two matches.

Pakistan will also have to contend with Madushanka, who is a left-arm fast bowler with a slingy action. He made his ODI debut against Bangladesh in January this year and took four wickets in two matches. Pathirana is another spinner who can trouble the Pakistani batsmen with his left-arm orthodox spin. He also made his ODI debut against Bangladesh this year and took three wickets in two matches.

Sri Lanka will be hoping to bounce back from their heavy defeat against South Africa in their first match of the World Cup. South Africa scored a record-breaking 438 for 4 in 50 overs, thanks to centuries from Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen. Sri Lanka were bowled out for 189 in 36.4 overs, losing by 249 runs.

Pakistan have never lost to Sri Lanka in seven previous World Cup encounters, dating back to 1975. The last time they met was in the Asia Cup final in Dhaka in March this year, where Pakistan won by five wickets.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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