Sri Lankan spinner became the face of courage as far as getting through his nine-over spell was concerned in the Asia Cup 2023 Super Fours encounter against Pakistan in Colombo on Thursday, September 14. Theekshana pulled his hamstring while diving to stop the ball from going towards the boundary. He failed to collect the ball, Rizwan completed his fifty and he ended up injuring himself.
However, despite hobbling, Theekshana came to bowl in the 34th over. Theekshana was limping in his run-up and even gave a boundary in the over, however, he almost ended up taking a wicket on the last ball. Theekshana kept the length shorter but it was a quicker and Iftikhar Ahmed misread the pace and was late on the shot. The ball hit him on the leg on the leg stump and seemed to be going down.
The umpire thought so and denied the appeal and the keeper wasn’t too confident as well to tempt the skipper Dasun Shanaka to take the review. Even though Theekshana was confident, Shanaka didn’t go for the review and it seemed like a correct call.
But it wasn’t to be as the replays showed that it was hitting the stumps and Theekshana, who was getting treatment from the physio on the boundary line saw it and was furious. Theekshana was really angry and slapped the ground a couple of time in disgust as had they gone for the review, Iftikhar could have been dismissed for just 21 runs.
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Iftikhar made the most of the reprieve as he scored a brilliant 47 and stitched a 108-run partnership with Mohammad Rizwan, who slammed an unbeaten 86 off just 73 balls. Iftikhar and Rizwan’s partnership helped Pakistan get to a strong score of 252 runs in 42 overs from a tricky situation they were in, at 130/5.
Sri Lanka have made a good start but they will need both their set batters Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama to bat long to help their side chase the target.
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