Pakistan team sets foot in Sri Lanka for high-voltage clash with India
By News Desk
August 31, 2023 01:58 PM
Anticipation reaches fever pitch as Pakistan's cricket team, the Greenshirts, touched down in Sri Lanka on Thursday, setting the stage for their high voltage match against arch-rivals India. The clash is scheduled for September 2 at the renowned Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Having recently showcased their dominance with a colossal 238-run victory over Nepal in the Asia Cup opener, the team made its way to Kandy within a mere 15 hours of concluding their match. Upon their arrival at the Colombo airport, they proceeded to Kandy by road, embracing a well-deserved day of relaxation before hitting the nets for the upcoming duel.
The Asia Cup 2023, while hosted by Pakistan, sees a majority of its matches — nine out of thirteen — being played on Sri Lankan soil. This shift in venue emerges from the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) reservations about the security situation in Pakistan, resulting in their refusal to tour.
As the clock ticks closer to the PAK vs IND face-off in Kandy, cricket enthusiasts are brimming with excitement. The Pallekele stadium, boasting a seating capacity of 35,000, reports that tickets for the match are already sold out. However, the weather forecast seems to cast a shadow on the match day as Balagolla may bring rains to the Central and South Province of Sri Lanka. A rain interruption would certainly disappoint millions, considering the rarity of these cricketing giants battling it out, with their face-offs limited to the Asia Cup and ICC tournaments.
Looking back at the spectacular game against Nepal, Pakistan's Green Shirts displayed an all-around cricketing masterclass. Captain Babar Azam and middle-order batsman Iftikhar Ahmed were the stars of the show, with both notching up brilliant centuries. Iftikhar’s blazing knock, an unbeaten 109 off just 71 balls, was adorned with 11 boundaries and four massive sixes. Not to be outdone, Azam's classical 151 off 131 balls, inclusive of 14 fours and four sixes, made headlines.
The 28-year-old skipper added another feather to his cap by shattering Hashim Amla's record, becoming the quickest batsman to register 19 ODI centuries. Babar achieved this remarkable milestone in 102 innings, besting Amla's 104 innings. Azam's prowess was further highlighted as he combined with Iftikhar for a blistering 214-run partnership in 131 balls.
Pakistan's next challenge lies in the much-awaited clash against India, and the nation holds its breath, hoping for another memorable performance.