Sri Lanka faced a setback during their Asia Cup Super 4 clash against Pakistan when spinner Maheesh Theekshana suffered a right hamstring strain while fielding. An official statement from Sri Lanka cricket board explained, “Theekshana sustained the injury while he was fielding during the ongoing game between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The player will undergo a scan tomorrow to fully assess his condition.”
Despite the injury, the match continued, and it witnessed impressive performances, especially from Pakistan. Abdullah Shafique and Mohammad Rizwan scored crucial fifties, anchoring Pakistan’s innings to reach a competitive total of 252 for seven. Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka had two points each in the Super 4 stage, and the winner of this game would earn a spot in the final against India on Sunday.
🚨 Maheesh Theekshana has strained his right hamstring.
The player will undergo a scan tomorrow to fully assess his condition.
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) September 14, 2023
Shafique contributed 52 runs off 69 balls, and Rizwan remained unbeaten with 86 runs off 73 deliveries. Their partnership provided a stable foundation for Pakistan’s innings, along with some late contributions from Iftikhar Ahmed, who scored 47 runs from 40 balls. The match was marred by intermittent rain, which initially reduced the game to 45 overs per side and later to 42 overs. This forced Pakistan to adjust their target throughout the innings.
Despite facing challenging pitch conditions, Pakistan managed to find early momentum, thanks to Shafique and captain Babar Azam (29). Their partnership added 64 runs in a little over 11 overs. Shafique’s classical batting style, including a sublime cover drive, impressed the viewers.
However, Sri Lanka’s Dunith Wellalage disrupted their partnership by dismissing Babar. The left-arm spinner, who had earlier taken five top-order wickets against India, tricked Babar into a stumping opportunity. At 130 for five, Pakistan faced the risk of posting a below-par total.
Nonetheless, Rizwan and Iftikhar’s entertaining 108-run partnership for the sixth wicket dashed Sri Lanka’s hopes. Rizwan, in particular, ended his recent batting slump with a valuable contribution in a crucial match.