Skip to main content

Exclusive News

Asia Cup 2023: Top 3 talking points from PAK vs. SL Clash

On Thursday night, the Pakistan team suffered a humiliating loss to host Sri Lanka in a virtual semi-final by two wickets. With this win, the Sri Lankan team have qualified for their second consecutive finals of the Asia Cup. In a rain-affected 45-over contest, Sri Lanka’s batting showcased its strength with Kusal Mendis leading the charge, well-supported by Nissanka, Samarawickrama, and Asalanka. Pakistan started steadily with Babar Azam and Abdullah Shafique stabilizing the innings, but Dunith Wellalage’s brilliant delivery dismissed Babar Azam, triggering a mini-collapse. 

Rain interrupted the game, reducing it to 42 overs per side, after which Mohammad Rizwan‘s heroic partnership with Iftikhar Ahmed boosted Pakistan to 252/7. In response, Kusal Perera’s run-out dampened Sri Lanka’s start, but Kusal Mendis and Pattum Nissanka displayed brilliant stroke play. Mendis scored a crucial 91, and a partnership with Samarawickrama set the foundation. Charith Asalanka’s cameo ensured a nail-biting victory for Sri Lanka, overcoming Pakistan’s late bowling resurgence. Let us now look at the top three talking points from this clash:

1. Poor Captaincy from Babar Azam

Babar Azam
Babar Azam

Throughout the Asia Cup 2023, it has been evident that Pakistan’s skipper Babar Azam has quite not got the captaincy right. Similarly, in this all-important match, Babar received similar criticism regarding his captaincy. The star batter saved the overs of debutant Zaman Khan who is best suited for death bowling but instead, he opted to bowl Shadab Khan out. Iftikhar Ahmed who was the most successful bowler for Pakistan was not even more overs. 

Along with that, the field placements were also not up to the mark. In Zaman Khan’s over, a boundary was struck with a shot over mid-off, and a similar four was hit during Shaheen Shah Afridi’s over, both deliveries being slower-paced ones. When opting for slower deliveries, it’s advisable to position the mid-off fielder at long-off and move the third-man fielder closer to the batsman. Similarly, in the last ball, all the fielders should have been inside the 30-yard circle but that was not the case.

2. Sri Lankan chasing masterclass

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka team literally mastered the chase by playing low-risk percentage shots. Kusal Mendis was the torchbearer for this scintillating chase scoring 91 runs along with Sadeera Samarawickrama (48) as well as Charith Asalanka (49).

The highlight of their run chase was running between the wickets as all the batters pushed hard between the wickets, converting ones into twos, and twos into threes. The batters had a clear mindset about which bowlers they would target and when they would be targeting.

3. Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed’s resilient fightback

Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed
Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed

At one stage the Pakistan team were struggling at 130/6 but then once the game resumed after rain, both Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed played aggressively and tried to take on the opposition bowling. Both the batter played shots all around the ground with Iftikhar being the aggressive partner. The duo stitched a partnership of 108 runs off just 77 deliveries.

 The 33-year-old scored a well-placed inning of 47 runs including four boundaries and two mighty sixes. In addition to it, the wicketkeeper batter also played a brilliant innings of 86 runs with the help of six boundaries as well as two sixes. 

More in Exclusive News

Brendon McCullum’s top 3 innings in T20I Cricket

Brendon McCullum Top 3 innings in T20I cricket career was nothing short of...

Brendon McCullum’s top 3 innings in IPL

The former legendary New Zealand skipper’s and the batting superstar of...

3 reasons why KL Rahul can be picked over Shreyas Iyer in India’s Playing XI for ODI World Cup 2023

With less than 10 days left for the ODI World Cup to start, the fans are...

Brendon McCullum’s top 3 innings in ODI Cricket

Former New Zealand wicketkeeper-batter Brendon McCullum’s career is a...