Abdullah Shafique propels Pakistan to an epic win in Galle
Shafique’s ton powers Pakistan to a historic win in Galle
Abdullah Shafique scored an unbeaten 158 to guide his side to an improbable victory in Galle against Sri Lanka. With this famous win, Pakistan now holds the record for the highest successful run chase in Galle. After getting dismissed for 222 in the first innings, Sri Lanka did well and scored 337 runs in the second innings to set a target of 342 for the opposition. Pakistan batters in reply showed great application to oversee the tough conditions. Their opening pair - Abdullah Shafique and Imam Ul Haq displayed positive intent right from the start of the run chase. They were precise with their footwork and shot selection. The duo added 87 runs on the board before R Mendis removed Imam. Azhar Ali then perished trying to play a full fledged cover drive off Prabath Jayasuriya. Skipper Babar Azam then shared a crucial 101 run stand with Shafique to bring the visitors back in the game. Azam’s innings looked good while it lasted. The number one test batter was bowled round his legs with a one that spun right back into the right hander. Shafique was unfazed by what was going at the other end and he continued to play his natural game. The Pakistani opener stood tall and held one end for his side. He then stitched an important 71-run partnership with wicket keeper batsman Mohommad Rizwan to gain control. But the topsy turvy game was far from done. Just when the Shaheens looked to run away with the game, Jayasuria chipped in with two quick wickets. Dhananjay De Silva picked another to bring the game back in balance.
With Shafique still at the crease, Pakistan still had the chance of producing the unthinkable. But with Jayasuria spitting venom, Sri Lanka had the edge. The fall of the sixth wicket led to the arrival of Mohommad Nawaz. Nawaz survived a few close calls early during his innings but did well to negate the spinning ball. Seeing his partners struggle from the other end compelled Shafique to change his approach. He then started to counter attack the Lankan bowlers to put the game beyond the hosts’ reach. The closely fought game ended with Pakistan finishing off on top. They are now 1-0 up in the 2 match series.
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