Pakistan batter Abdullah Shafique on Tuesday marked his World Cup debut with a match-winning century against Sri Lanka in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 fixture at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad, India.
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The 23-year-old, playing in only his fifth ODI, reached his maiden century off 97 balls with eight fours and three sixes. The batter was finally dismissed by Sri Lanka pacer Matheesha Pathirana after making 113 runs off 103 balls.
Abdullah Shafique, who replaced the out-of-form Fakhar Zaman, is one of the sport’s hottest prospects after he made 201 in a Test match against Sri Lanka in July.
It is pertinent to mention that Abdullah Shafique and Mohammad Rizwan’s centuries helped Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by six wickets.
Sri Lanka, electing to bat first on batting-friendly conditions, were guided to an imposing 344-9 on the back of Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama’s tons.
Kusal Mendis continued his impressive form in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 as he struck 14 boundaries and six boundaries on his way to 77-ball 122. Sadeera Samarawickra scored 108 off 89 balls with the help of 11 fours and two maximums.
Opener Pathum Nissanka chipped in with a half-century as well. He made 51 off 61 balls with seven fours and a six to his name.
Pakistan had a disastrous start to the chase of the 345-run target as opener Imam-ul-Haq and captain Babar Azam were dismissed early.
However, Abdullah Shafique and Mohammad Rizwan took the game away from Sri Lanka by scoring centuries. They put on a 176-run partnership on the third wicket.
Mohammad Rizwan stood out with the bat as he went unbeaten at 131 from 121 balls with eight boundaries and three sixes to his name.