- Anil Kumble praised Pakistani middle-order batsman Saud Shakeel.
- Kumble also expressed concerns about the form of Shaheen Afridi.
- Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka in their eighth match of the tournament.
Anil Kumble, a former Indian spinner, spoke candidly on Tuesday on the performance of Pakistani middle-order batsman Saud Shakeel and bowler Shaheen Afridi in the present ICC World Cup 2023.
Shakeel, who struck 31 and 68 in Pakistan’s opening two matches of the tournament, according to Kumble, has been a breath of fresh air for their batting.
“If you look at both the games that Pakistan have won, they were in trouble. Thanks to Rizwan on both occasions, they got through that phase. But was really impressive in this game and even against Netherlands is that number five, which is Saud Shakeel, looked very busy and that takes pressure off because you don’t want your number five to take his time and get stuck because it puts pressure on Rizwan since he is a busy player. Even after Abdullah got out [against Sri Lanka], Saud came in and kept the momentum going so that really augers well for Pakistan,” Kumble told the cricketing media.
Ahead to Shaheen’s match against India on October 14 in Ahmedabad, he was also worried about his form.
“Bowling on this surface looked vulnerable. They have pace certainly but Shaheen Shah Afridi has still not hit the straps that you would expect from someone of his ability and quality. If he comes good for Pakistan, then you better watch out,” he said.
In the eighth match of the ICC World Cup 2023, a left-arm bowler from Pakistan conceded 66 runs and took one wicket against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
This match followed Pakistan’s impressive form, leading them to a historic victory against Sri Lanka. It marked their second consecutive win in the tournament and also set a new record for the highest-ever run chase in the history of ODI World Cups, surpassing Ireland’s achievement.
Pakistan faced early setbacks, losing their top-order batsmen, Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam, within 7.1 overs, leaving them at 37-2. However, a game-changing partnership between Mohammad Rizwan and debutant Abdullah Shafique, worth 176 runs, turned the tide for the struggling Pakistani side.
Although Abdullah Shafique scored 113 runs off 103 balls with 10 fours and three sixes before leaving the field, Rizwan stayed till the end and played a pivotal role in guiding his team to victory by scoring 131 runs. This became Pakistan’s second-highest individual score in the World Cup, surpassing Ramiz Raja’s 119 against New Zealand in 1992.
This remarkable win serves as a significant confidence boost for Pakistan, especially as they prepare to face their arch-rivals India in the highly anticipated match at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on October 14.
In the match, Sri Lanka posted a formidable total of 344 runs, their highest-ever score against Pakistan in a World Cup match. Kusal Mendis played an exceptional innings, scoring 122 runs off 77 deliveries with 14 boundaries and six sixes. Additionally, Sadeera Samarawickrama continued the momentum by completing his century, scoring 108 runs in 89 balls, including 13 boundaries.
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Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 7 wickets in historic win
Pakistan chased down 345 to beat Sri Lanka in the World Cup,...