Once again, Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam couldn’t capitalize on his opportunity, as he was dismissed for 29 runs from 35 deliveries during the Super 4 match against Sri Lanka in Colombo. He fell victim to Dunith Wellalage’s left-arm spin when wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis executed a clever stumping. This incident unfolded during the 16th over of Pakistan’s innings when the 20-year-old bowler was in his fourth over.
The last delivery of the over to Babar was pitched on the off-stump but turned away. Kusal Mendis removed the bails with Babar’s back foot momentarily off the ground. The decision was referred to the third umpire, who confirmed the dismissal.
Wellalage shone in Sri Lanka’s prior Super 4 encounter with India, securing five wickets, notably dismissing Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma during his 10-over spell. Despite his impressive performance, Sri Lanka ended up losing that match by 41 runs, and as a result, this current match became crucial for them, a must-win situation.
— Anik Chandra Sen (@Aniksenofficial) September 14, 2023
Babar Azam has not made a significant impact in his innings since scoring 151 against Nepal
Babar Azam began Asia Cup 2023 with an impressive 151 off 131 balls, leading Pakistan to a 238-run victory over Nepal. However, since then, he has scored 17, 10, and 29 in his next innings. Taskin Ahmed and Hardik Pandya dismissed him for 17 and 10 in Pakistan’s matches against Bangladesh and India, respectively. Despite these setbacks, he is currently the top run-scorer in the tournament.
The latest match was delayed by rain and reduced to 45 overs per side. Pakistan made two changes to their playing XI, opting to bat first. Fakhar Zaman replaced Imam-ul-Haq, who had a back spasm, and Abdullah Shafique took the place of Saud Shakeel, who was reportedly ill. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, would benefit from a no-result, but Pakistan needed a win due to their negative net run rate.