World Cup 2023: Pakistan's largest-ever chase is sparked by centuries from Rizwan and Shafique

World Cup 2023: Pakistan's largest-ever chase is sparked by centuries from Rizwan and Shafique
Mohammad Rizwan and Abdullah Shafique each hit magnificent hundreds to lead Pakistan to the biggest-ever successful chase in ICC Men's Cricket World Cup history, defeating Sri Lanka by six wickets. Sri Lanka scored a significant total of 344/9 after being given the opportunity to bat first, propelled by a magnificent Kusal Mendis (122) and supported by Sadeera Samarawickrama's (108) century. Chasing the total, Shafique (113) and Rizwan (131 not out) set the platform with a 176-run partnership for the third wicket after Babar Azam departed in the eighth over with the score at just 37/2, and wrapped up their superb six-wicket, completing the highest-ever chase in the tournament’s history. This was the first time in men’s Cricket World Cup history that four centuries have been hit in the same match, with Pakistan coming out on top in a high-scoring thriller.
Pakistan's chase began on a disappointing note as both Imam-ul-Haq (1) and Babar (10) were dismissed during a slow start in the initial powerplay, Dilshan Madushanka claiming both the wickets. However, the men-in-green stabilized their innings and set a foundation, with Shafique achieving a hundred for the first time in his early ODI career. He reached this milestone with a powerful four through the leg side, one of the 13 times he hit the boundary in his impressive 113 off 103 balls.
Then, it was wicketkeeper-batter Rizwan, who collapsed with a cramp at one stage during his brilliant innings, fittingly struck the winning runs to finish on an unbeaten 131 from 121 balls and steered Pakistan to a six-wicket win. Earlier, Kusal Mendis was the star of the show for Sri Lanka for the second successive game, slamming a majestic century to get his side off to a phenomenal start to the innings. However, Mendis was taken to the hospital after he suffered cramps upon returning from the field after his brilliant knock of 122 runs from 77 balls.
Dushan Hemantha replaced him in the field, while Sadeera Samarawickrama has taken over the wicketkeeping duties in his absence. Sri Lanka's innings began in troubling fashion as Hasan Ali dismissed Kusal Perera for a duck, the second duck for a Lankan opener at the tournament. Mendis countered the Pakistani attack, hitting an impressive total of 20 boundaries, including six maximums, in his outstanding innings, propelling his side towards a substantial total. Pathum Nissanka (51) batted well at the other end before Samarawickrama joined Mendis out in the middle.
It was Samarawickrama who steadied the ship as Hasan returned to pick up the key wicket of Mendis and Charith Asalanka (1) in his next over to dismantle Sri Lanka’s lower to middle order. Samarawickrama then reached his century as Sri Lanka accelerated in the final overs. However, he fell victim to Hasan, who claimed his fourth wicket, attempting a reverse pull to locate a gap in the outfield. Hasan finished with figures of 4/71, and Pakistan did well to keep the scoring in check late on as wickets fell at useful and regular intervals.
Source: IANS