The eighth match of the ODI World Cup 2023 between Pakistan and Sri Lanka started off with a brilliant batting performance from the Islanders. However, it was not just Sri Lanka’s batting that stole the show as they also carried their prowess in the bowling and fielding department during the second innings by striking a few early dismissals and sending Imam ul Haq back to the pavilion off a brilliant catch.
Sri Lanka’s sensational batting display
Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat first, setting the stage for a commanding performance. Their batters came out all guns blazing, putting up a formidable total of 344 runs on the board. The heroics of Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama were the major highlights of Sri Lankan innings. Mendis played a stunning knock of 122 runs off just 77 deliveries, while Samarawickrama contributed a brilliant 108 off 89 balls. Pathum Nissanka also played a crucial role with his 51 runs. Meanwhile, Hasan Ali picked up four wickets for Pakistan.
Kusal Perera’s sensational catch
In reply, Pakistan’s innings got off to a rocky start as they lost their opener, Imam, early in the game, with just 12 runs to his name. Although the wicket was taken by Dilshan Madushanka, it was Kusal Perera‘s sensational catch that made the moment unforgettable and left the fans and commentators in awe.
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It all happened on the third ball of the fourth over when Madushanka delivered a short ball to Imam, and he fetched it from outside off. The 27-year-old was not in a good position to execute the pull across the line and eventually ended up top-edging it towards Perera at fine leg, who kept his eyes on the ball, moved forward a bit, and got low to take a smart diving catch.
Sri Lanka players erupted in joy soon after Perera completed the catch. On the other hand, Imam walked back to the pavilion in disappointment.
Here’s the video:
Madushanka strikes again to dismiss Pakistan skipper Babar Azam
After the early departure of Imam, Madushanka continued to trouble Pakistan by later trapping Babar Azam, further raising concerns for the Pakistani team. With these early breakthroughs, Pakistan’s batters faced a daunting task and are now needed to spend significant time on the crease.
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