Pakistan carried on to their impeccable form and registered a historic win against Sri Lanka in the eighth match of the ICC World Cup 2023 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad, India on Tuesday.
Chasing the target of 345 runs, the Men in Green met with early blows as they had lost their top-order batters, Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam, in just 7.1 overs and were 37-2 but the match-winning partnership between Mohammad Rizwan and the World Cup debutant, Abdullah Shafique, changed the fortunes of the struggling Pakistani side.
The 176-run stand between the two batters provided their side the much-needed break and got them in a dominating position once again.
Abdullah walked back to the pavilion after scoring 113 off 103 courtesy of 10 fours and three sixes but Rizwan stayed till the end and took his side over the line by scoring 131 runs — Pakistan’s second-highest individual score in the World Cup overtaking Ramiz Raja’s 119 against New Zealand in 1992.
The astounding win will be a great confidence booster for the Pakistani side who play the arch-rivals India in the most-anticipated match of the World Cup at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on October 14.
Batting first, the staggering batting display by Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama guided Sri Lanka to a massive 344-run total which was the highest-ever total against Pakistan in a World Cup match, overtaking India who scored 336 in the 2019 World Cup in Manchester, England.
Mendis scored a total of 122 runs on just 77 deliveries, at an impressive strike-rate of 158.44, as his knock included 14 hours and six sixes.
Meanwhile, Samarawickrama carried on the momentum and completed his century, scoring 108 runs in 89 balls with 13 boundaries.
Pakistan will now play India on October 14 while Sri Lanka will lock horns with Australia on October 16 in Lucknow.