Pakistan brilliantly chased down a World Cup record 345 to defeat Sri Lanka in the first game of the 2023 tournament in Hyderabad.
The Green Shirts also made history by chasing down 345 against Sri Lanka, passing Ireland to earn the record for the highest-ever run chase in ODI World Cup history.
Men in Green were 37-2 after losing their top-order batters, Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam, in 7.1 overs, but the match-winning combination between Mohammad Rizwan and World Cup rookie Abdullah Shafique transformed the fortunes of the struggling Pakistani team.
The 176-run outing between the two batters gave their team a much-needed reprieve and put them back in control.
Abdullah returned to the pavilion after scoring 113 off 103 balls with ten fours and three sixes. Still, Rizwan stayed until the end and guided Pakistan to victory with 131 runs — Pakistan’s second-highest individual score in the World Cup, surpassing Ramiz Raja’s 119 against New Zealand in 1992.
The incredible victory will strengthen Pakistan’s confidence as they prepare to face arch-rival India in the World Cup’s most anticipated match on October 14 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Batting first, Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama led Sri Lanka to a magnificent 344-run total, the highest-ever total against Pakistan in a World Cup match, surpassing India’s 336 in the 2019 World Cup in Manchester, England.
Mendis scored 122 runs on 77 deliveries, with a strike rate of 158.44, and his knock contained 14 hours and six sixes.
Meanwhile, Samarawickrama maintained his momentum by smashing 108 runs in 89 balls with 13 boundaries.
This is the first World Cup match in history to include four centuries.
Pakistan has won two opening games, while Sri Lanka has lost both.
Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis (wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (c), Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Matheesha Pathirana, Dilshan Madushanka
Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf
- In Tuesday’s other World Cup match, England defeated Bangladesh by 137 runs after losing the first game.
- In Delhi on Wednesday, India will face Afghanistan in World Cup play.
- Pakistan will face India in Lucknow on October 14, while Sri Lanka will face Australia on October 16.
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