Rizwan and Shafique Lead Pakistan to Historic World Cup Chase Against Sri Lanka

In a thrilling encounter at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, Pakistan scripted history by successfully chasing down the highest-ever total in the tournament’s history against Sri Lanka. Mohammad Rizwan and Abdullah Shafique shone with splendid centuries, guiding Pakistan to a record-breaking victory in Hyderabad.

Sri Lanka’s batting fireworks, ignited by Kusal Mendis’s majestic century and Sadeera Samarawickrama’s impressive ton, propelled them to a challenging total of 344/9. The Lankan innings, headlined by Mendis’ aggressive stroke play featuring 20 boundaries and six maximums in his 122 off 77 balls, seemed to set an imposing target for Pakistan.

However, the Pakistani chase faced an initial setback as they lost early wickets of Imam-ul-Haq and skipper Babar Azam within the powerplay. Yet, Shafique and Rizwan turned the tide with a formidable 176-run partnership for the third wicket, steadying Pakistan’s innings and setting the stage for a monumental chase.

Shafique’s brilliant knock of 113 from 103 balls, where he found the boundary ropes on 13 occasions, paved the way for Pakistan’s resurgence. Rizwan, battling cramps during his innings, showcased remarkable resilience, steering Pakistan toward the highest-ever successful chase in the World Cup’s history with his unbeaten 131 off 121 deliveries.

This thrilling encounter marked a significant milestone as it became the first instance in men’s Cricket World Cup history witnessing four centuries in a single match, culminating in Pakistan’s victory in a high-scoring and memorable thriller.

In contrast, Sri Lanka’s innings, bolstered by Mendis and Samarawickrama’s stellar performances, ultimately fell short as Hasan Ali’s four-wicket haul (4/71) and Pakistan’s consistent wicket-taking at crucial intervals disrupted Sri Lanka’s late charge.

This extraordinary victory stands as a testament to Pakistan’s resilience and chasing prowess, solidifying their unbeaten streak in the World Cup following a commanding win over the Netherlands. Conversely, Sri Lanka, after a close defeat against South Africa earlier, faces a daunting challenge, having suffered another setback despite their formidable batting display.

The historic chase orchestrated by Rizwan and Shafique will be etched as a remarkable feat in the annals of Cricket World Cup history, leaving an indelible mark on this edition of the tournament.


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