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Sudeshna Ray, Pune

On Tuesday, a new Cricket World Cup record was set in Hyderabad by Pakistan, as they won against Sri Lanka’s score of 345 with six wickets remaining while still having ten extra balls to play. Sri Lanka’s 344/9 was met with an outstanding 345/4 by the Pakistan team.

Achieving this feat at 48.2 overs is now a new record in the tournament’s history for the best run chase. Both Mohammed Rizwan and Abdullah Shafique scored centuries with 131 and 113 runs respectively. 

While the game looked very different in the beginning with Imam and Babar Azam’s wickets being taken by Dilshan Madushanka, the course changed with Shafique and Rizwan’s streak. Rizwan stated after the match, “It was difficult because when you chase like that it’s always special. When we went to the dressing room every player believed we were going to chase that. This is a team game and we decided to go with a deep partnership.”

The previous best run chase record was held by Ireland when they defeated England at the 2011 Cricket World Cup in Bengaluru. While they set a run chase of 328 with 329/7, Pakistan’s performance was ahead by a mile while they beat that record.

These two performances stand above Bangladesh’s win against Scotland at 322/4. With Sri Lanka being a popular name on the run chase scoreboard, especially their chase against England in Wellington at 312/1, this match turned the tables with Pakistan taking the first position. “It’s always a proud memory when you perform for your country”, Rizwan added.

While Mendis and Samarawickrama played aggressively in the middle overs, the trajectory post the 111-run score didn’t match up to get them success. Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka displayed optimism about their performance stating, “I’m really happy about the way both of the guys (Medis and  Samarawickrama) played, but we should have finished a bit stronger than this. We have to look at the areas we bowled and the number of extras. We had our chances in the field but missed a lot today.”