Fakhar Zaman's struggles continue, gets dismissed by pearler from Pramod Madushan in Asia Cup 2023 fixture versus Sri Lanka

Fakhar Zaman had a great start to the year but his numbers have dwindled alarmingly in recent times.

By Adreej Kumar Mitra

Updated - Sep 14, 2023, 20:42 IST

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Pakistan and Sri Lanka played the fifth match in the Super Four stage of Asia Cup 2023 in Colombo. This encounter was virtually a semi-final between the two Asian giants, with the winner facing India on Sunday, September 17.

Pakistan announced their team on Wednesday for their crucial fixture against Sri Lanka. Fakhar Zaman, who has been in woeful form as of late, was dropped from the side with Mohammad Haris being the likely option to open alongside Imam-ul-Haq. However, at the toss, it was revealed that Saud Shakeel and Imam were not fit to take part in the contest and therefore, Fakhar got another go.

The left-handed batter started cautiously but his innings was cut short by a stunning inswinging yorker from Pramod Madushan in the fifth over. Fakhar departed for 4 off just 11 deliveries. So far in Asia Cup 2023, the 33-year-old has scored just 65 runs in four innings at a paltry average of 16.25 and an uncharacteristically low strike rate of 60.

It is interesting to note that Fakhar started 2023 with a bang as he scored a hat-trick of centuries against New Zealand at home and also won the ICC Player of the Month award for the month of April. However, in the last 10 innings, the experienced campaigner has just scored 190 runs at an average of 19. In this period, his highest score is just 33. Fakhar's form will be a massive cause of concern for Pakistan with the ODI World Cup set to commence in three weeks' time.

Abdullah Shafique shows promise with solid half-century versus Sri Lanka

Pakistan's opener in red-ball cricket, Abdullah Shafique got a chance to play in the game against Sri Lanka and he made good use of the opportunity. On a difficult pitch to bat on, the 23-year-old showed great technique and registered his maiden half-century in the format. He was eventually dismissed for 52 off 69 balls when he pulled a bounced straight to deep square leg.

The match started late due to rain and was subsequently reduced to a 45-over-per-side contest. Pakistan lost their fifth wicket for 130 runs in the 28th over. They would desperately want to get a total in excess of 200 to give Sri Lanka a tough time.

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