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Asia Cup 2023: Why Sri Lanka are chasing target of 252 and not 253 in virtual knockout against Pakistan?

Pakistan scored 252 runs in their 42 overs owing to wicketkeeper batter Mohammad Rizwan's unbeaten 86 off 73 balls. However, the target was adjusted for Sri Lanka in the crunch game of Asia Cup 2023 Super Fours.

Anshul Gupta Written By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Published on: September 14, 2023 22:18 IST
Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed's 108-run partnership
Image Source : AP Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed's 108-run partnership for 6th wicket helped Pakistan get to a strong score of 252 runs

Pakistan are taking on Sri Lanka in a virtual knockout in the Asia Cup 2023 in Colombo on Thursday, September 14 as the winner will qualify for the final of the continental tournament and meet India. The match started late due to another frustrating rain delay before it became a 45-overs-per-side contest. Pakistan started watchfully before Abdullah Shafique and Babar Azam stitched a 64-run partnership. Shafique scored a fifty before Sri Lankan bowlers came back triggering a mini-collapse.

Pakistan lost four wickets for 57 runs before rain interrupted the game again making it a 42-overs-per-side contest now. Following the break, the Pakistan batters came out all guns blazing smashing Sri Lankan bowlers to all parts. Rizwan, in particular, went into overdrive mode while wayward bowling from Pramod Madushan didn't help as he gave a few wides and a no-ball as Iftikhar Ahmed hit a six off a free hit.

Rizwan smashed a well-compiled half-century while the duo brought up a century stand as Pakistan posted a 252-run score on the board. The last 10 overs yielded 102 runs as Pakistan came back from 130/5 to post a challenging total in a shortened game.

Why was Sri Lanka's target adjusted?

Since the overs were reduced in the middle of Pakistan's innings, the target was going to be adjusted by the DLS method. However, surprisingly the target was reduced by one run and didn't see an increase. Sri Lanka have a target of 252 runs, which is what Pakistan made and not 253.

This is because, Pakistan had lost five wickets before the rain break and when the overs were reduced, it is considered an advantage for the side. With three overs less, Rizwan and Iftikhar went over-aggressive which gave them a score of 252 runs. In the process, Pakistan also lost a couple of more wickets.

With seven wickets lost, the DLS adjustment almost got cancelled as Sri Lanka will play 42 overs from the start and Pakistan got an advantage in the middle of their innings by batting 18 balls less. 

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