Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup final, Mirpur March 8, 2014

The Gul-Thirimanne clash

Karthik Krishnaswamy and Mohammad Isam in Mirpur
Plays of the Day from the Asia Cup final between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Mirpur

The altercation
Lahiru Thirimanne had opened the face of his bat and guided his previous delivery cheekily past the keeper for four. Minimum effort, maximum reward. Umar Gul wasn't pleased. When Thirimanne defended his next ball back to Gul, he picked it up and shaped to throw at the stumps. He didn't let go, but held his pose. Thirimanne said something, and bowler and batsmen came nose-to-nose before Mahela Jayawardene put a hand on Gul's shoulder and eased them apart.

The false dawn
Sharjeel Khan started off the Pakistan innings with two sweetly-timed boundaries, almost brushing aside any doubt about him replacing Sohaib Maqsood. But off the last ball, he clipped a catch to mid-on, very well held by Thisara Perera. Whether Sharjeel felt the pressure of proving himself can be argued, but it was a wasted dismissal after showing his touch.

The shot
Fawad Alam batted like a man possessed towards the end of the Pakistan innings, culminating in the completion of his first ODI century. He reached the mark with a superb shot, clipped over midwicket off Perera. He had jumped back inside his crease like he often does in the last few overs, and that threw off Perera's length. And like many shots in this tournament, Alam knew the result even before the ball had landed in the Mirpur grandstand, and took off his helmet to start celebrations.

The mis-step
Kusal Perera was giving Pakistan a fright at the start of Sri Lanka's chase, smashing their bowlers to all parts with his fierce short-arm punches and jabs. He had moved to 35 when he pulled Junaid Khan high to deep midwicket, where a backtracking Sharjeel took an overhead catch. His foot, however, trod clumsily on the boundary rope. In an era when fielders are hyper-aware of the boundary line and pull off all sorts of acrobatics to complete clean catches at the rope, Sharjeel's effort looked a touch comical.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo; Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sidh on March 9, 2014, 17:55 GMT

    Noticed one thing how the nature of the tracks(pitchs) change the quality of team.SL wins on super flat roads of bangaladesh.but same SL team thrashed by india in CT & tri series in ENG & WI on fast seaming bouncy tracks & SL not win a single series OUt side SL since 2000.really cricket is funny game.

  • Dummy4 on March 9, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    @nabeel: as if losing all games across all formats during last month was not enough for them? For playing final they need to win in group stage as well.

  • ESPN on March 9, 2014, 7:17 GMT

    Well deserved victory for lankans, Pakistan need to do some thing about fielding standards

  • Dummy on March 9, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    Pakistan team is not a consistent team at all if they win 2 or 3 matches against big teams they will loose double of that after. Lankans deserves to win.

  • Android on March 9, 2014, 1:46 GMT

    People who played superb cricket through out the series won the cup.well done lions.

  • Muhammad on March 8, 2014, 23:38 GMT

    Pakistan Team Management should realize by now that Umar Gul is no more a big game bowler ( remember his thrashing in last WC SF by India) and when he is being hit all over the park he losses his cool and resort to such foolish behavior.

  • Dhushan on March 8, 2014, 20:31 GMT

    How do you spoil a ODI debut maiden century party? You score your own century, help the team win the match, resulting in winning the tournament, & scoop the player of the series award. & to think Thirimanne might not have played if Dilshan had not gotten injured. Well done lads. Enjoy the champagne.

  • Dummy4 on March 8, 2014, 19:05 GMT

    There was no challenge for the Lions.....Pak doesn't deserve to come for the finals......Banga would have given a good challenge for the Lankans at least.......

  • chris on March 8, 2014, 18:56 GMT

    The world best bowling attack got hammering from Sri lanka today. Pakistan could not defend a formidable total. Bad captaincy and poor leadership from misbah. He became so cautious and negative from the start . It was a good batting track. I remember Saeed anwar and afridi opening together and tearing apart any bowling line up on this kind of surfaces. It was not only the skills but also their approach towards batting and Cricketing in general. We need that kind of stuff. Not only to take the pressure but to put it back on the opposition.

  • Dummy4 on March 8, 2014, 18:48 GMT

    Thirimanne definitely won that! :P

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