In Colombo, Sri Lanka fell short of expectations in their attempt to restrain Pakistan. They had Pakistan on the ropes at 130/5 in the 28th over, all thanks to an exceptional 5th wicket partnership between Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed. Despite the game being reduced to 42 overs due to rain, this duo managed to add 108 runs to the scoreboard in just 77 deliveries.
However, the Sri Lankan team had a golden opportunity to disrupt their opponent’s momentum. Unfortunately, skipper Dasun Shanaka’s stubborn decision denied Maheesh Theekshana a well-deserved wicket, which left the spinner furious.
During the 35th over, Theekshana was entrusted with the ball as the team was desperately seeking a breakthrough. It was remarkable that the 23-year-old continued to bowl despite suffering a hamstring injury in the previous over while attempting to save a boundary near the ropes.
Despite the evident pain, Theekshana delivered a decent over, concluding it with a speedy delivery angling into Iftikhar. The batsman failed to make contact with his attempted flick to the on-side, resulting in a loud appeal from the bowler. However, the umpire remained unmoved. Observing this, Theekshana turned to his captain, hoping for a review, but his plea went unanswered.
Afterward, Theekshana returned to the sidelines to receive treatment for his hamstring. It was at this moment that the big screen displayed the ball tracker for the contentious delivery. To everyone’s astonishment, the ball was shown to be hitting the leg stump. Upon seeing this, the off-spinner raised his arms in despair before pounding the ground with his fists in a fit of frustration.
Maheesh Theekshana deserves an honourable mention. Even after limping with injury he finished his spell, threw himself to stop the boundaries, was livid to find out his denied review turning out to be a wicket. Such passion and commitment helped Sri Lanka! #AsiaCup23 #SLvsPak pic.twitter.com/e6fmkUX1i5— Arindam (@arindampaul1224) September 15, 2023
Maheesh Theekshana displayed remarkable commitment by bowling his full quota of overs despite being injured.— CricTracker (@Cricketracker) September 14, 2023
He also expressed his frustration for not being able to use a review opportunity. Applause for his dedication! 👏 pic.twitter.com/254OYsjtuY
Eventually, Theekshana had to be assisted off the field by two staff members, his right leg limp and immobile. This incident led to an outpouring of frustration from fans on social media, who were dismayed that the spinner was denied his well-earned wicket despite his unwavering commitment to the team.