- Saud Shakeel’s debut heroics, scoring 68 off 52 balls, rescued Pakistan from a tough situation in the ICC World Cup 2023 opener.
- Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Rizwan’s 120-run stand turned the tide for Pakistan, paving the way for a crucial victory against the Netherlands.
- Saud Shakeel’s stellar performance earned widespread acclaim on social media, with fans and cricket personalities lauding his match-winning contribution
In a thrilling ICC World Cup 2023 opener at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad, Pakistan faced a daunting challenge against the Netherlands.
The Green Shirts encountered early setbacks as their top order, featuring Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, and skipper Babar Azam, faltered significantly. Losing Zaman (12), Imam (15), and Azam (5) within the first 10 overs left Pakistan with less than 50 runs on the scoreboard.
Amidst the precarious situation, Mohammad Rizwan and Saud Shakeel emerged as the saviors, forging a remarkable 120-run partnership that not only stabilized the innings but also provided a much-needed breakthrough for the Men in Green. Saud, in particular, had a stunning World Cup debut, showcasing his batting prowess with an impactful knock of 68 runs off 52 balls, 10 boundaries, and an impressive strike rate of 130.77.
Saud Shakeel’s exceptional performance did not go unnoticed by the cricketing community. The left-handed batter received praise from both former and current cricketers for his match-saving innings, demonstrating maturity and resilience under pressure.
Saud’s ability to rise to the occasion was not unexpected, as he had earlier displayed his capabilities during Pakistan’s warm-up match against New Zealand, where he crafted a notable 75 off 53 deliveries with nine boundaries.
The social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) buzzed with reactions from Irfan Pathan, fans, and cricketing personalities, lauding Saud Shakeel for his pivotal role in steering Pakistan to victory.
Pakistan Squad: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf
Netherlands Squad: Vikramjit Singh, Max O´Dowd, Colin Ackermann, Bas de Leede, Teja Nidamanuru, Scott Edwards (captain), Saqib Zulfiqar, Logan van Beek, Roelof van der Merwe, Aryan Dutt, Paul van Meekeren