Asia Cup Rizwan, Iftikhar fight back as Pakistan set Lanka a stiff target of 252 runs

Colombo, Sep 14 : A superb rearguard 108-run partnership between Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed, the highest for the sixth wicket in Asia Cup, after the early fall of wickets, helped Pakistan post 252/7 in 42 overs in a rain-delayed match in the Super 4 stage at the R.Premadasa Stadium, here on Thursday. The start for Pakistan wasn???t what they expected, as yet again Falkhar Zaman departed early. Skipper Babar Azam and Abdullah Shafique held the inning and added 64 runs for the second wicket as Shafique reached his half-century. Babar yet again became the prey of a left-arm spinner, as Dunith Wellalage pulled him forward in defense and got his wicket. Pakistan were in a spot of bother at 130/5 after 27.4 overs, but then rain interrupted play and pretty much turned their fortunes. The ball started spinning less and got a bit damp, as Ifthikhar and Rizwan took full advantage of the better batting conditions. Both the batters showed calmness and played less risky shots but managed to pull the game in the death overs. The superb partnership added 108 runs on the score for the sixth wicket which is now the highest in ODI in the Asia Cup for Pakistan. Rizwan turned up a gear to rack up a 73-ball 86, while Iftikhar Ahmed hammered 47 off 40. Matheesa Pathirana was the star with the ball, gave an early shock to Pakistan, and sent well-set Abdullah Shafique and Mohammad Harris before he ended his spell with figures of 3 for 65 in 8 overs. After DLS adjustment a run has been taken off Sri Lanka's target. Pakistan finished at 252. Sri Lanka's target will also be 252 in 42 overs. Brief score: Pakistan 252/7 in 42 overs (DLS) (Mohammad Rizwan 86, Abdullah Shafique 52; Matheesa Pathirana 3-65, Maheesh Theekshana 1-42) against Sri Lanka. /IANS


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