Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup, Mirpur March 15, 2012

Maharoof's juggling act and Younis' quick reflexes

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the Asia Cup match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Mirpur

The juggle
Younis Khan isn't having a great time with the bat and his fallow run in one-dayers continued as he was dismissed for 2 by Suranga Lakmal. He clipped the ball towards mid-on and it was dying as it looped towards Farveez Maharoof. Maharoof lunged forward and managed to get his fingers under the ball, but when he landed it popped out prompting a juggle from the prone Maharoof, and he still couldn't get it under control. The ball was spinning furiously on the palm of his left hand, and threatening to spill out, before Maharoof finally managed to firmly latch on to it.

The dreaded over
Memo to Sri Lanka's batsmen: just defend the first over of the batting Powerplay. In the deciding final of the Commonwealth Bank series, Chamara Kapugedera was dismissed in it, leaving Upul Tharanga and the tail too much to do. Against India two days ago, Lahiru Thirimanne and Kumar Sangakkara had kept Sri Lanka in the game with a steady partnership, but both fell during the same over, more or less ending the contest. Today, after Sangakkara and Tharanga had hauled back Sri Lanka from the depths of 65 for 4, a Saeed Ajmal doosra fooled Tharanga in the 36th over. That opened the gates for a slump as 161 for 4 quickly turned into 188 all out.

The disdain
After winning the toss, Sri Lanka's openers went for their shots right from the start. With 17 runs coming off Aizaz Cheema in the second over, Pakistan tried to choke the runs in his next over by packing the off-side. As Tillakaratne Dilshan loves going for the powerful cut, and routinely threads the ball through cover with on-the-up drives, Pakistan placed a short point, short extra cover, cover and backward point to block those shots. Cheema bowled to his field as well, landing it just short of a length and outside off. Dilshan's response? An explosive stand-and-deliver carve past a diving short point fielder for four.

The catch
Younis Khan may be one of the senior statesmen in the Pakistan side, but he is showing no signs of slowing down in the field. On the tour of Bangladesh three months ago, he pulled off a blinder, flying to his right to pull off a one-handed take and dismiss Shahadat Hossain. Today's effort was less spectacular, but a better batsman was dismissed. An attempted dab from Dinesh Chandimal flew quick and low to Younis' left at wide slip, but it wasn't quick enough to evade a diving Younis.

The release
Misbah-ul-Haq made a speedy start to his innings, galloping to 17 off 18 deliveries. He was then bogged down by some naggingly accurate bowling, and he could only make four runs off his next 22 balls. Just as impatient Pakistan fans started muttering about the slow-going, Misbah gave them what they want to see more of from him in limited-overs - a big six, thumping legspinner Seekkuge Prasanna way over long-on.

Edited by Tariq Engineer

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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