ODI World Cup 2023: Rizwan and Shafique create history for Pakistan in record breaking chase against Sri Lanka
In a cricketing spectacle for the ages, Pakistan etches its name in history books with an astonishing World Cup record chase. Mohammad Rizwan and Abdullah Shafique's heroics propel Pakistan to victory, shattering a 12-year-old record in the process.
Pakistan has etched a historic moment in the annals of cricket! This incredible feat can be attributed to the remarkable performances of Mohammad Rizwan and Abdullah Shafique. As the dust settled on an astonishing run chase, Rizwan found himself on the pitch, expressing his gratitude to the heavens. This remarkable achievement now stands as the highest successful run chase ever witnessed in the history of the World Cup. Pakistan has decisively shattered a record that stood strong for 12 years, previously held by Ireland, who had chased down 328 against England in the 2011 World Cup at Bengaluru.
It's worth noting that Pakistan's track record in chasing scores exceeding 265 had been less than stellar before this game. However, they now find themselves at the pinnacle of successful run chases. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka missed a golden opportunity to break their World Cup jinx against Pakistan, as they are yet to secure a victory against their Asian counterparts in the 50-over World Cup event.
When it came to the chase itself, the Men in Green suffered significant setbacks within the initial Powerplay, with Dilshan Madushanka dismissing both Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam inexpensively. However, what followed was nothing short of a cricketing miracle. Abdullah Shafique and Mohammad Rizwan joined forces to construct a monumental 176-run partnership for the third wicket, effectively batting Sri Lanka out of the contest. Both batsmen surpassed the century mark, leaving the Lankans disheartened.
Shafique's heroic innings of 113 runs off 103 deliveries came to an end in the 34th over, with substitute fielder Dushan Hemantha taking a breathtaking catch at backward point. Saud Shakeel contributed a vital 31 runs off 30 deliveries, providing crucial support to Rizwan. Together, they added 95 runs for the fourth wicket. Finally, Iftikhar Ahmed (22* off 10) briskly wrapped up proceedings, as Pakistan successfully chased down the historic total of 344 with 10 balls to spare and six wickets in hand. Rizwan, battling cramps, remained unbeaten with a sensational 131 runs off 121 balls and had the honour of hitting the winning runs.