Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup, Fatullah February 25, 2014

Lakmal versus Akmal

Karthik Krishnaswamy in Fatullah
ESPNcricinfo presents plays of the day from the first Asia Cup match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka

Lakmal v Akmal

Suranga Lakmal had been convinced he'd had Misbah-ul-Haq caught behind, third ball of Pakistan's 35th over. The umpire had been unmoved. Last ball of that over, Umar Akmal defended back to Lakmal, who threw the ball angrily at the stumps. A presumably pleasant exchange ensued.

When Lakmal came back into the attack, Akmal spanked him for two fours and a baseball-style six over deep midwicket. Possibly sensing a rash shot, Angelo Mathews kept Lakmal on, and Akmal obliged, edging a wild, on-the-up slash to the keeper.

The straight ball

On a pitch that offered the spinners barely any purchase, the ball that was meant to turn but did not became a particularly dangerous weapon. A legbreak that wasn't, from Shahid Afridi, cramped Mahela Jayawardene for room and bowled him off the inside edge. During Pakistan's innings, debutant left-arm spinner Chaturanga de Silva sneaked a probably unintentional arm-ball through the gap between Ahmed Shehzad's bat and front pad.

The long-hop

After dismissing Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez in successive overs, Sri Lanka were putting the brakes on Pakistan. Sohaib Maqsood had put on 38 runs in 59 balls with Misbah-ul-Haq when Sachitra Senanayake bowled the worst ball of the innings, the match and probably his career. Looking to pummel the long-hop as far as he could, Maqsood picked out the only fielder in front of square on the leg-side boundary.

The cover drive

Thirimanne is often seen as Kumar Sangakkara's long-term replacement at No. 3, and there is a certain resemblance in some of the strokes he plays, particularly the cover drive. Thirimanne's first three boundaries were drives through cover, and appropriately enough, the same stroke, a single off Umar Gul, took him to his second ODI hundred.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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