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Bristol washout against SL leaves Sarfraz frustrated

Updated June 08, 2019

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BRISTOL: Pakistan batsman Fakhar Zaman takes a ‘selfie’ with waiting fans as rain delays the start of the match against Sri Lanka at the County Ground.—AFP
BRISTOL: Pakistan batsman Fakhar Zaman takes a ‘selfie’ with waiting fans as rain delays the start of the match against Sri Lanka at the County Ground.—AFP

BRISTOL: Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed was left frustrated after Friday’s World Cup match against Sri Lanka was abandoned without a ball being bowled following persistent rain in Bristol.

The rain started to ease around noon and conditions had improved at the time of a pitch inspection, with occasional sunshine, but umpires Ian Gould and his England compatriot Nigel Llong decided the County Ground was too wet. The decision was announced shortly after 3:45pm local time (1445 GMT).

It is the first match at the World Cup in England and Wales to be abandoned without a result. Both teams went into the game with a win and a loss, and now each get a point for the washout.

Sri Lanka will value that point more than their opponents. The 1992 champions Pakistan had won all seven of their previous World Cup completed matches with Sri Lanka, including three in England and Wales, since 1975.

It was a blow to Pakistan’s bid to reach the semi-finals and Sarfraz said: “As a team we really wanted to play this match, especially after gaining momentum with the win against England. It is unfortunate that we were not able to play.”

Sri Lanka’s next game is against Bangladesh here on Tuesday. Pakistan play defending champions Australia in Taunton on Wednesday.

“Our next match is against Australia. Like other teams in the tournament they are also tough opponents and they also have momentum as they have won their first two matches.”

Pakistan had ended a run of 11 straight losses in One-day Internationals by beating top-ranked England by 14 runs in a high-scoring thriller at Trent Bridge on Monday. That impressive performance came after their second-lowest World Cup total of 105 in a shambolic opening loss to West Indies. Sarfraz remains confident Pakistan can still push for a last-four place in the 10-team tournament desp­ite the Sri Lanka washout.

“We have great team spirit and our confidence is on a high after the win against England,” he said.

Sri Lanka crashed to a 10-wicket defeat against New Zealand before pulling off a 34-run win against Afghanistan in a rain-affected game.

Hundreds of Pakistan and Sri Lanka fans, draped in their country’s colours, had hoped at least for a reduced, 20-over match but took the decision well.

The call-off in Bristol, however, upset some Pakistan fans who travelled to watch the game.

“We came from Lahore to watch this match and it proved a damp squib,” said Farhan Malik. “We lost a crucial point because we were sure of beating Sri Lanka.”

Standings

(Tabulated under played, won, lost, no-result, points, net run-rate):

New Zealand 2 2 0 0 4 +2.279

Australia 2 2 0 0 4 +1.059

Sri Lanka 3 1 1 1 3 -1.517

Pakistan 3 1 1 1 3 -2.412

West Indies 2 1 0 0 2 +2.054

England 2 1 0 0 2 +0.900

India 1 1 0 0 2 +0.302

Bangladesh 2 1 1 0 2 +0.008

South Africa 3 0 3 0 0 -0.952

Afghanistan 2 0 2 0 0 -1.264

Updated after Friday’s abandoned match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Bristol

Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2019