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Live: Pakistan rebuilds after losing early wickets in pursuit of a record target

Live: Pakistan rebuilds after losing early wickets in pursuit of a record target

As the two teams battled it out in Hyderabad on Tuesday, Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka won the toss, elected to bat first, and saw his team score the most runs Pakistan has ever conceded in an ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup match.

Kusal Mendis was the star of the show for Sri Lanka for the second time in a row, slamming a majestic century to get his side off to a fantastic start to the innings.

Sadeera Samarawickrama contributed to a formidable total of 344/9 with an excellent century of his own, departing for 108 from 89 balls.

Pakistan’s chase got off to a sluggish start, with both Imam-ul-Haq (1) and Babar Azam (10) dismissed in the first powerplay, both wickets taken by Dilshan Madushanka.

Pakistan, on the other hand, steadied the ship and built a platform, with Abdullah Shafique reaching a half-century and forming a sizable partnership with Mohammad Rizwan.

Pakistan’s men have only chased a score of more than 340 once in ODI history, and their previous highest World Cup chase is 263, so a record effort will be required to make it two wins from two at the tournament.

Sri Lanka’s innings had begun in perilous fashion, as they lost Kusal Perera without troubling the scoreboard – the second duck for a Lankan opener at the tournament.

Hasan Ali bowled brilliantly to take the wicket, with Pakistan’s opening bowlers looking dangerous on the Hyderabad pitch.

Mendis, on the other hand, blunted Pakistan’s threat, smashing 20 boundaries, including six maximums, in his sensational 77-ball 122 to set his side up for a big total.

At the other end, Pathum Nissanka (51) batted well before Samarawickrama joined Mendis in the middle.

And it was Samarawickrama who helped to steady the ship after Hasan returned to pick up the crucial wickets of Mendis and Charith Asalanka (1) in his next over, exposing Sri Lanka’s lower to middle order.

Sri Lanka were looking to finish big and pose a big challenge to Pakistan’s battling line-up, with Samarawickrama helping his side surpass 300.

As Sri Lanka pushed in the final overs, Samarawickrama became Hasan’s fourth wicket as he attempted to play a reverse pull to find a gap in the outfield.

Hasan finished with 4/71, and Pakistan did well to keep the scoring under control late on, with wickets falling at useful and regular intervals.

Sri Lanka were defeated in their first match by South Africa, but were buoyed by the inclusion of star spinner Maheesh Theekshana, who missed the loss to the Proteas due to a hamstring injury.

Pakistan are looking to remain unbeaten at the Cricket World Cup after an impressive first-round victory over the Netherlands. Pakistan have made one change to their XI for the match, with opener Abdullah Shafique replacing Fakhar Zaman.

Pakistan XI: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali,  Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf

Sri Lanka XI: 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

 

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