Asia Cup 2023: Sri Lanka restricts Pakistan to 252 runs

Pakistan scored 252 runs in a do-or-die Super Four match. The winner of this match will meet India in the Asia Cup Finals.

Sri Lanka and Pakistan faced off in a do-or-die match in the Super Four of Asia Cup 2023. The match served as a virtual semi-final with the winner going to face India in the Asia Cup finals. Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat first and scored 252 runs in the first innings.

Injuries strike Pakistan camp

Pakistan had named their squad a day before their clash against Sri Lanka. A move which came to bite them before the match. Imam-ul-Haq who was named in the playing XI originally was removed from the team after suffering a back spasm during training. Imam’s injury meant that Fakhar Zaman who was dropped was back to open the innings along with Abdullah Shafique who replaced Saud Shakeel from the squad that was announced the day before. This was not the first injury in the Pakistan camp. Both Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf too suffered injuries during their match against India while Agha Salman too got injured while playing a sweep shot against Ravindra Jadeja without a helmet. 


Fakhar Zaman’s struggles continued at the top of the order. He was dropped and brought back into the team but could not make use of the golden opportunity. Zaman only scored four runs in 11 balls and was dismissed by Pramod Madushan. Shafique showed resistance as Sri Lanka scored 36 runs in the nine overs of powerplay.

Shafique and skipper Babar Azam steadies Pakistan

Pakistan were in a bit of trouble when they lost their first wicket. In 4.2 overs, they had scored just nine runs and had utilised almost 50% of the powerplay. Babar Azam took a slightly aggressive approach when he came into bat, while Shafique batted cautiously. Sri Lankan bowlers, particularly Maheesh Theekshana bowled economically. The Pakistani duo shared a 64-run stand for the second wicket. Babar was then dismissed by Dunith Wellalage as he stumped the number 1 ODI batter. 

Mohammad Rizwan shared a 27-run stand with Shafique during which the latter brought up his maiden half-century in the format. Shafique was dismissed soon after reaching his 50 while pulling a short delivery from Matheesha Pathirana straight to Madushan stationed at deep square leg. Mohammad Haris who replaced Agha Salman was pretty disappointing in his return. The wicketkeeper batter only managed to score three runs in nine balls.

Pakistan lost half of their side after scoring just 130 runs. Mohammad Nawaz was sent in to bat with a positive intent and he did so but his stay at the crease was shortlived. Nawaz scored 12 runs in 12 balls scoring two fours. The rain once interrupted the match right after Nawaz’s dismissal. The match was already reduced to a 45-over-per-side match. After a brief delay, the match restarted once again. The game was reduced to 42over-per-side.

Iftikhar Ahmed and Rizwan provide the finishing touch

After the match started once again, Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed played in an aggressive manner. Rizwan who is an opener in the T20 format played with a similar approach. A century partnership ensured Pakistan did not only get to a respectable total but got a winning total. Rizwan during the partnership scored 54 runs in just 38 balls, while Iftikhar on the other hand scored 47 runs in 40 balls before being dismissed by Pathirana. This was a great boost for the Pakistani middle-order who have struggled in the past. This was the first 100+ partnership for the 6th wicket for Pakistan since January 2018.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More