Dunith Wellalage had a great outing against Indian in Sri Lanka’s Asia Cup 2023 Super 4 match on Tuesday. He accounted for the wickets of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya. On Thursday, the spinner got another big wicket in Babar Azam. In the 16th over, Babar got stumped by Dunith Wellalage. It was a stunning delivery from the spinner as he tossed it up around off stump. Babar moved forward, only to find the ball pitching and turning away. Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis made not mistake and broke the stumps. Replays showed that Babar’s back foot was in the air when the bails lit up. The Pakistan captain was shocked.
— Nihari Korma (@NihariVsKorma) September 14, 2023
The crucial Asia Cup Super 4 match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan was further reduced to a 42 overs-a-side affair following another rain interruption at the R Premadasa Stadium on Thursday. Pakistan were stuttering at 130 for five in 27.4 overs against hosts Sri Lanka when rain stopped play.
Mohammad Nawaz (12) was dismissed by Maheesh Theekshana on the last ball before the break. Mohammad Rizwan (22) was at the middle. Earlier, a delayed start had curtailed the contest to a 45-overs-per-side affair.
The match is a virtual semifinal as the winner of the game will play against India in the final on Sunday. Both teams are on two points each. However, if the match is washed out, Sri Lanka will qualify for the summit clash owing to a better Net Run Rate.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam recently claimed the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award for the third time, bagging the award for August 2023. Babar who currently sits comfortably at the summit of the ODI rankings continued to impress with bat in the month of August.
His richness of form was reflected in his performances as he struck two fifties and a century. In Pakistan’s ODI series against Afghanistan, Babar struck two fifties in the final two matches.
He brought up a 118-run stand with Imam-ul-Haq in the second ODI that laid the foundation for a thrilling last-over finale. Babar contributed 53 runs with the bat and was backed by Imam (91 runs) and the lower order.
Babar didn’t stop there, he replicated his performance in the 3rd ODI with his exquisite knock of 60. His sublime batting skills were on display in the Asia Cup opener against Nepal. Babar’s knock of 151 made him the first captain in the Asia Cup to score 150 or more than that.
“I am delighted to be named ICC Player of the Month for August 2023. The past month has been extraordinary for my team and I have put some terrific performances. With the Asia Cup coming to Pakistan after such a long time, it was great to play in front of the passionate and cricket-loving crowds of Multan and Lahore. That I scored my second ODI score of 150-plus in front of my own people in Multan doubled the joy,” Babar said as quoted from ICC.
“I am looking forward to making the most of the form as we head into an exciting phase of cricket with the backend of the Asia Cup nearing and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup around the corner. My team and I are eager to bring joy and happiness to the millions of Pakistan fans,” Babar added.
With ANI inputs
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