Pakistan have broken the record for biggest run chase in Cricket World Cup history, with Mohammad Rizwan and Abdullah Shafique both hitting centuries in a thrilling six-wicket victory. Sri Lanka posted 345 while batting first on Tuesday, with Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama smashing tons.
But Pakistan got over the line with 10 balls to spare, as Rizwan finished unbeaten on 131 not out in one of the best knocks in World Cup history. Pakistan's record chase eclipsed the previous mark for the highest ever in World Cup history - set by Ireland with 329 against England in 2011.
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"Always proud when you perform like that," Rizwan said after his heroics. "It was difficult and when you chase like that, it's always special. Every player in the dressing room had the belief we can chase that."
Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka said: "We should've finished stronger in the end. The way the wicket behaved, we were 20-25 runs short. … I can't ask too much from the bowlers."
Pakistan got off to a shaky start when Dilshan Madushanka dismissed Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam inside the first eight overs. Shafique was cautious early before cutting loose to build a match-turning 176-run partnership with Rizwan.
Shafique, who went on to make 113 on his World Cup debut, hit 10 fours and three sixes in his 103-ball innings before falling to Matheesha Pathirana after a stunning catch by substitute fielder Dushan Hemantha. Rizwan was hit in the face and battled cramps after getting into the 80s, but soldiered on for 121 balls. Iftikhar Ahmed added 22 off just 10 balls as Pakistan ultimately won with ease.
"We had the belief to chase that down," Rizwan said. "Shafique played very well and when there is a 345-run target on the board then as opener you have a burden and he was up to the challenge."
50 overs of keeping with brilliant 💯 from Rizwan. Best player of spin from team Pakistan doing it under pressure for them. #PAKvsSL
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) October 10, 2023
This pain will be remembered forever.
TAKE A BOW, RIZWAN...!!!! pic.twitter.com/phxrU0C9OQ
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) October 10, 2023
R for Respect. R for Rizwan 👏🏼 pic.twitter.com/HTIPtRZtoT
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) October 10, 2023
Absolutely incredible match 👏 👌
— Phil Maggs (@maggs_phil) October 10, 2023
Rizwan is insane man. Clutch. Absorbs every every kind of pressure. Gets hate because of his beliefs but one thing is for sure he has worked really hard and deserves all the respect!
Alhumdulilah#PAKvSL #SLvPAK #AbdullahShafique #rizwan pic.twitter.com/eMs3iuMDvr
— Sheraz (@sheraz567890) October 10, 2023
I can't believe what I'm seeing here from Rizwan.
What a bloody warrior oh my God.#CWC23
— Hassaan (@HassUTD) October 10, 2023
England bounce back after thrashing at hands of New Zealand
Earlier on Tuesday, England revived their World Cup title defence with a 137-run hammering of Bangladesh. Dawid Malan made 140 and Reece Topley wreaked havoc with the ball as England bounced back from their nine-wicket thrashing at the hands of New Zealand in the tournament opener.
England made 9-364 while batting first, with Malan forging century partnerships with Jonny Bairstow (52) and Joe Root (82). Playing his first match of the tournament, left-arm quick Topley then took 4-43 as he wrecked havoc on Bangladesh's top order in the first six overs.
Bangladesh were all out for 227 in 48.2 overs, with Litton Das (76) and Mushfiqur Rahim (51) saving some face with battling knocks. Malan smashed five sixes and 16 fours in his 107-ball innings, silencing the doubters who question his ability in white-ball cricket.
"I feel like every series I'm under pressure," he said. "For me to keep silencing people is all I can do. If I can score as many runs as I can and help contribute to wins hopefully eventually people's opinions might change.
"I'm just hungry, hungry to play, to play well, hungry to score runs and win games of cricket. I've wanted to be part of this team for so long and it's been impossible to break into with players that have been so good. I'm desperate to do well in this format and prove a point that I deserve to be in there."
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