Asia Cup - Final

Pakistan v Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets (with 22 balls remaining)

2.00 pm Sri Lanka are huddled up at the boundary, with their captain leading the team-talk. A couple of pats on the back and off they bound into the field. Gee, they're eager. Ahmed Shehzad and Sharjeel Khan stride out to the middle, sneaking in last-minute warm ups. Shehzad does a Chris Gaye as he surveys the field from the middle of the pitch. Here's rapid Lasith Malinga, with a slip and short midwicket...

Sohaib Ahmed: "I DO NOT understand this whole dropping Mendis in Finals strategy. Sri Lanka also dropped Mendis in the 2011 WC Final. It is a losing strategy"

"@Jiten Surtani: Nice job jinxing Afridi" Is that even possible, Khobab? I always thought he made his own luck, whichever kind he invited.

"Heros of last few matches can become zeros," Mubasher goes the other way. "What if same happened with Sangakara??"

1.50 pm Support is split down the middle in Mirpur as the two teams walk out for the national anthems

shakeel: "@JitenS. Yes he always will be. even if he doesn't get the runs he still has 10 overs to make it up with bowling performance"

S M Salik: "@Jiten Surtani: Of course, Sir! Heroes doesn`t make or break in one night, and Afridi is Our Hero Since last 17 years"

"A simple question: If a stage comes where Pakistan need to consolidate and Afridi goes for a shot and gets out," ponders Jiten Surtani. "If this dents Pakistan's chances of posting a good total and costs them the match, would Afridi still be Pakistan's hero at the end of Asia Cup!" If I may, I think Pakistan know the incredible vagaries of the man. I actually suspect it adds to his allure.

Ali Mushaf: "I sniff Ajmal vs Mahela and Sanga, a classic snake and mongoose contest. One of the best, picturesque and chess-y moements in Cricket to come in today's ODI."

Uwaisul Karnain: "Thanks for resting Dinesh Chandimal for this game! They hardly drop him, don't they? But I think Anjelo Mathews' inability to ball is one of the key factors behind that decision as Priyanjan can be used as the 6th bowling option."

imran: "guys, Israr his comment was about pakistan winning their asia cups in Bangladesh, not all of them...-p" Ah, my bad!

1.30 pm Pakistan have won the toss and will bat first and Afridi's playing. He's had a couple of injections and is all set to play through the pain. Sharjeel Khan and Junaid Khan return to the XI. Misbah-ul-Haq continues saying chasing would be hard with the added pressure of the final and their fast bowling is their strength and in the night time it might do a little more. No Sohaib Maqsood and Abdur Rehman

Sri Lanka have one change with Suranga Lakmal staying in the XI and Lasith Malinga coming in for Ajantha Mendis. Angelo Mathews said it was a "tough call" and rationalises they prefer their death bowling stocks enriched. He adds they had to fight every single game and are playing very good cricket and hope it will continue.

"Ajantha Mendis left out for a crunch game like this one? What were they thinking?" quibbles Mitch. Afridi factor strikes again. He's murderous against spin, remember?

"Pakistan has won both of its Asia Cups (2000, 2012) in Bangladesh. I don't mind winning the 3rd one too in Bangladesh," a gracious Israr Hashmi quips, forgetting the very first one in 1988 when India won.

1.25 pm The toss is just around the corner, but we still have tons more stuff for you to get through, starting with Karthik Krishnaswami's preview and an interesting head to head between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in finals, compiled by our stats man Shiva Jayaraman

"Lot of excitement in the capital of Pakistan and other cities," reports Shan Fastian. "Roads are empty. Number of people have gathered at different screening cafes and spots. Game On" The thrill's not any less in Mirpur. The ever-reliable Isam says there is a lot of security around the ground today. Big final, big guns.

1.10 pm Contrary to our expert fans here, the pitch report says the captains should want to bowl first because of the dew later in the evening. It's the same pitch that was used in the India-Pakistan game, flat and well rolled with just a bit of moisture to keep it together. So there might be a bit of seam on offer in the first 10 overs as well. The spinners are always going to have a say, but if they are bowling second they might struggle to grip the ball and it will skid onto the bat better as well.

"@ Nonymus- last two T20 finals. One to Pakistan and the other to West Indies," No point digging into past injuries, Sabani

"Misbah and Leonardo DiCaprio.... both are great at their professions but neither of them have gone on to get a big one.... Fingers crossed on Misbah getting a hundred today!" Vishane Perera opens more wounds and obviously disagrees with me.

Lala: "Is it not possible to start a bit earlier ? I cant wait more..."

"Don't worry folks! The Cup will remain in Asia." pipes the too-much-tongue-in-cheek Anees

1.05 pm Pakistan have a few injury worries heading into this big match. Good news for now is that Sharjeel Khan and Umar Gul are almost match fit. There is a bit of cloud around Shahid Afridi and Ahmed Shehzad, two very vital components in that batting order. Although early rumours are than Afridi's completed a fitness test and looks likely to play

"It's imperative for Pakistan to bat first in this big game & put pressure on Sri Lanka," Mubasher voices his concern. "It has been seen they lost early wickets in the chase so it will give Pakistan great chance to lift Asia Cup 2014. A fit Afridi will surely make an impact on the match. "

Shakil: "Both teams are equally balanced,full of confidence bur Pak will be under pressure if they will found themselves to chase the target. Malinga will be the key for SL and he will make the difference between two teams."

1.00 pm Sanga has been non-stop with the runs this season. I'm wondering if all he has to do is walk to the middle and suddenly the fates are seduced by the elegance of his cover drive and just give it to him. But they've not been always as kind. Mohammad Isam has ferreted out one last kink he has to correct. His form in finals

"Kumar Sangakkara now involves in 199 wins in ODIs," booms Daniel Alexander. "Hope he will make it 200 tonight "

"Sri Lanka are "bottlers" when it comes to a Final sadly. Runners up in the last two World Cups and the last T20 WC they lost to Pakistan in the Final as well. Hopefully they can change that with the Asia Cup Final," says a very savvy Nonymous.

12.50 pm I just love rematches. The chance to set the record straight. The opportunity to surprise and we all know how good these two teams are at that. Welcome to the Asia Cup final and we've come full circle. It was Sri Lanka v Pakistan to kick off this tournament and it will be the same to complete it. Only this time, there is the championship hanging over them. Who will be leap high enough to grab it?

0.1

Malinga to Sharjeel Khan, FOUR, 132kph, what a whip! Stayed on his back foot and punched this shortish ball outside off stump through the gap between point and cover! Aggression early on from Pakistan!

0.2

Malinga to Sharjeel Khan, no run, not this time says Malinga as he goes fuller and targets top of middle. Sharjeel gets in line and blocks

0.3

Malinga to Sharjeel Khan, FOUR, another punch! Gee, his timing is breathtaking this afternoon and of course, early signs that this pitch is a belter. It was far more closer to off stump this time but Sharjeel was camped on the back foot and drills it in front of point again

0.4

Malinga to Sharjeel Khan, no run, good length ball on middle, Sharjeel pushes to the newly placed short cover

0.5

Malinga to Sharjeel Khan, no run, fullish on off stump, Sharjeel prefers to stay back and push to cover

0.6

Malinga to Sharjeel Khan, OUT, the bowler has the last laugh! This was full and swinging in on middle and leg, Sharjeel has flicked it into the safe hands of mid-on! Two sumptuous strokes on the off side and he's thrown it away. If he was going to hit that straight, he should have kept it down or he should have nudged it through midwicket for a harmless single. But his own momentum has swallowed him.

Sharjeel Khan c NLTC Perera b Malinga 8 (5m 6b 2x4 0x6) SR: 133.33

"Strategic Management tip for PK: Ask yourself three questions - Why am I doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful" Sharjeel obviously didn't listen to you, Munir Hussain

End of over 1 (8 runs) Pakistan 8/1 (RR: 8.00)
     SL Malinga    1-0-8-1
Ahmed Shehzad    0* (0b)     

Suranga Lakmal will have a lot to do to persuade Sri Lanka fans today. Lets see if he can get some swing again. Two slips

1.1

Lakmal to Ahmed Shehzad, no run, he does. Just a hint of movement away as he pitches back of a length and outside off. Left alone

1.2

Lakmal to Ahmed Shehzad, no run, there's that shuffle back and across which helps him get in line with this shortish ball outside off and he blocks right under his eyes

1.3

Lakmal to Ahmed Shehzad, FOUR, slashed behind point! Shehzad is moving as well. It was uppish, but was dying on the point fielder. Chaturanga it was. Shortish and only the smallest room, but it was enough

1.4

Lakmal to Ahmed Shehzad, 1 run, magnificent strike! But he will have to settle for a single as Priyanjan pulls off an amazing save at cover. This was overpitched and had loads of room outside off. Shehzad wades into a drive and has timed it just about perfectly, but the fielder dives to his left and saves three runs

Here's the professor's first ball

1.5

Lakmal to Mohammad Hafeez, 1 leg bye, overcorrection from Lakmal and he was waiting for that. Nudged off his knees to fine leg. No bat involved

short cover has been added to stop him from setting up for that booming drive

1.6

Lakmal to Ahmed Shehzad, no run, fullish on middle. pushed back to the bowler

Uwaisul Karnain: "Ashan Priyanjan 3* without facing a single ball." He deserved more. That was lovely reflexes

End of over 2 (6 runs) Pakistan 14/1 (RR: 7.00)
Ahmed Shehzad    5* (5b 1x4)      RAS Lakmal    1-0-5-0
Mohammad Hafeez    0* (1b)      SL Malinga    1-0-8-1

Khair: "Sharjeel is too casual to be entrusted with a job at the top. They need someone there who prizes his wicket, like Fawad Alam."

2.1

Malinga to Mohammad Hafeez, no run, lovely line from Malinga. This was on off stump with a bit of nibble away. Hafeez wasn't perfectly solid, but he keeps it out safely

2.2

Malinga to Mohammad Hafeez, no run, hint of swing away off that slingy action. The line was outside off though so Hafeez doesn't bother with it

2.3

Malinga to Mohammad Hafeez, no run, fullish on off stump, Hafeez is half-forward and blocks down the pitch

Malinga was almost ready to release when Hafeez pulls out and backtracks to square leg. Some trouble with the sightscreen.

2.4

Malinga to Mohammad Hafeez, 3 runs, too straight and that's what Hafeez needed. Moved his feet just enough and made sure he concentrated on keeping his balance. Flicked between square leg and midwicket. Crisp shot

2.5

Malinga to Ahmed Shehzad, no run, back of a length and outside off, Shehzad gets in line and blocks to short cover

2.6

Malinga to Ahmed Shehzad, OUT, another one, Malinga does it again! Punches the air and lets out a war cry that will ring throughout MIrpur. Shehzad saw a bit of width and was setting up for that back-foot punch in front of point. Struck a crisp boundary in the last over off that shot, but this time he only ends up nicking off. Touch of seam away does him in as he doesn't move his feet

Ahmed Shehzad c †Sangakkara b Malinga 5 (18m 7b 1x4 0x6) SR: 71.42

End of over 3 (3 runs) Pakistan 17/2 (RR: 5.66)
     SL Malinga    2-0-11-2
Mohammad Hafeez    3* (5b)      RAS Lakmal    1-0-5-0

Out walks the Pakistan captain, with his side yet again in an unenviable position

3.1

Lakmal to Mohammad Hafeez, no run, back of a length on off stump, defended with very soft hands

3.2

Lakmal to Mohammad Hafeez, no run, dropped but that was tough to pull off. It was short and wide, but this one bounces a bit more off the deck. Hafeez thought this was an easy boundary and went for a cut. Goes uppishly and to the left of point where Sena dives full length and is off the ground when he connects with both hands

3.3

Lakmal to Mohammad Hafeez, no run, shortish and just outside off, goes back and blocks

3.4

Lakmal to Mohammad Hafeez, no run, terrific delivery! This time he drags the batsman forward with one of those outswingers and Hafeez was very tentative. Wafts at it and his balance was nowhere near proper

3.5

Lakmal to Mohammad Hafeez, no run, fullish and outside off, left alone wisely as this moves away as well

3.6

Lakmal to Mohammad Hafeez, no run, fullish and outside off, Hafeez lunges forward and lets it go

Khobab: "I think I should say now that my national game is hockey, before it is too late. "

End of over 4 (maiden) Pakistan 17/2 (RR: 4.25)
Mohammad Hafeez    3* (11b)      RAS Lakmal    2-1-5-0
Misbah-ul-Haq    0* (0b)      SL Malinga    2-0-11-2

Farrukh: "Can we have only 5 balls over of Malinga? He takes wicket on 6th in each over... Shahzad was too casual by the way"

4.1

Malinga to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, fullish on off stump, Misbah works to midwicket and calls "one"

Mazaher Arshad says, "Misbah-ul-Haq (39 years and 284 days) has become the oldest Pakistan captain in Tournament Final, beating Imran Khan (39y and 121d)."

4.2

Malinga to Mohammad Hafeez, no run, bit more bounce there again as Hafeez has to check his shot. Went forward at the good length pall with a push, but then softens his hands to smother it

agent: "Should be like this: "Out walks the Pakistan captain, with his side yet again in a "believable" position""

4.3

Malinga to Mohammad Hafeez, OUT, Malinga is taking this final by the scruff of it's neck! Another catch to Sanga and Pakistan are three down in the fifth over! Good length ball, with a bit of movement away and it proves enough to snare a regulation outside edge. Hafeez has hung his bat out there with no feet and perishes. Squared him up.

Mohammad Hafeez c †Sangakkara b Malinga 3 (19m 13b 0x4 0x6) SR: 23.07

"Situations like these bring out the best in Misbah. expecting another fifty from him today. dont worry pakistanis" Ali Ayyaz says in his attempt to appease

Fawad Alam gets ready to face his first ball, a la Shiv Chanderpaul

4.4

Malinga to Fawad Alam, no run, fullish on middle and leg, he nudges forward and blocks

4.5

Malinga to Fawad Alam, no run, fullish on middle and leg, Fawad pushes to mid-on and there is a loud call of "no." Guess they remember Misbah's run-outs from the previous games

4.6

Malinga to Fawad Alam, no run, full on leg stump, it was the slower ball. Fawad was a little too soon to close the face of his bat and gets a leading edge to cover. Malinga presents a million-dollar smile, and who can stop him?

End of over 5 (1 run) Pakistan 18/3 (RR: 3.60)
Fawad Alam    0* (3b)      SL Malinga    3-0-12-3
Misbah-ul-Haq    1* (1b)      RAS Lakmal    2-1-5-0

5.1

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, back of a length and outside off, stands up tall and blocks into the off side

5.2

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, full and angled in, Misbah plays that as he leans forward and turns in front of square leg

5.3

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, this time Lakmal ducks it back in! That was a very brave leave! I daresay Misbah did not pick that! Good length ball outside off, but once it pitched it swerved to attack off stump. Missed it by a whisker and Lakmal has his hands on his head

5.4

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, fullish and nibbles away this time, that's his stock delivery. Misbah is forward and nudges into the covers

5.5

Lakmal to Fawad Alam, no run, good length ball pushed across him, Alam whips his bat out of the way

5.6

Lakmal to Fawad Alam, no run, shortish and angled across him, Alam bends his knees and evades it

Saqib: "With Pakistan team... It's a roller coaster ride....but one never get used to it...." And the loopy loop is still yet to come

End of over 6 (1 run) Pakistan 19/3 (RR: 3.16)
Fawad Alam    0* (5b)      RAS Lakmal    3-1-6-0
Misbah-ul-Haq    2* (5b)      SL Malinga    3-0-12-3

hamaad: "Malinga has now taken 8 wickets from last 32 balls against Pakistan"

6.1

Malinga to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, 134 kph, always at the stumps and this time Misbah tries to move across to off stump and flick to fine leg. This was full and straight and it kissed the pads through to the keeper. Mild appeal, but I guess that would have gone down

6.2

Malinga to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, curves in as Malinga is full on middle. Misbah makes sure he doesn't have to play around his front foot and works to midwicket

6.3

Malinga to Fawad Alam, no run, yorker on middle and Alam digs it out with a little turn to midwicket. He's sticking steadfast to that Chanders-like stance

6.4

Malinga to Fawad Alam, no run, fullish on of stump and that seemed to keep low judging by the batsman's reaction. Crouches down as he defends

Suhail: "Suddenly Mirpur Becomes Cape Town."

6.5

Malinga to Fawad Alam, no run, fullish on off stump, Alam defends from his crease

"The oldest captain in ODIs it is Norman Gifford 44 y 361d," chimes in our stats man Shiva Jayaraman

6.6

Malinga to Fawad Alam, no run, 115 kph, change of pace but it's been picked. Fullish delivery on off stump. Alam is on his back foot and keeps it out

End of over 7 (1 run) Pakistan 20/3 (RR: 2.85)
Fawad Alam    0* (9b)      SL Malinga    4-0-13-3
Misbah-ul-Haq    3* (7b)      RAS Lakmal    3-1-6-0

7.1

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, back of a length and just outside off, Misbah pushes into the covers

7.2

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, good length ball on middle, Misbah's straight bat comes down in answer

7.3

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, good length ball outside off, dabbed towards point

7.4

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, 138kph, jumps up off a good length and strikes Misbah on the glove! Lovely line from Lakmal as he's making an excellent case for himself in the final. The batsman was lunging forward and had to adjust quickly to make sure the ball goes down

7.5

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, 137 kph, good pace too. Length ball outside off, strides out to defend

7.6

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, full and drifting in, Misbah works it down to midwicket

Tariq: "This final reminds me the final of World Cup 1992, when Pakistan were in trouble against England and Imran Khan came at No.3 position and alongwith Javed Miandad, he steadies the ship and fought like real tigers and then post a good total on the board. Come on Misbah this is your day......be like the great Imran Khan."

End of over 8 (maiden) Pakistan 20/3 (RR: 2.50)
Misbah-ul-Haq    3* (13b)      RAS Lakmal    4-2-6-0
Fawad Alam    0* (9b)      SL Malinga    4-0-13-3

"Thank God Malinga's fourth over passed peacefully for Pakistan. Now mathews act wisely and save him for death overs ;)" It might well be Saleemi captaining Sri Lanka. Here's Sachithra Senanayake, with white paint on his cheeks and sun glasses. There's slip, and short leg to assist him

8.1

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, no run, tossed up just outside off, Alam prefers to stay back and slice to point

8.2

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, no run, flighted on middle and leg, Alam defends

8.3

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, FOUR, flighted just outside off and he's punched it through cover. That was all timing. Opened the face at the last minute to evade Mathews on his right and despite a dive at the boundary, this ball just skimmed away

8.4

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, no run, flighted on middle and leg, nudged into the on side

He's been bowling around the wicket, by the way

8.5

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, no run, tossed up and angled in on middle, Alam protects his stumps and blocks

8.6

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, no run, tossed up on off middle and leg, kept out. He's definitely a different bowler when he flights it

End of over 9 (4 runs) Pakistan 24/3 (RR: 2.66)
Fawad Alam    4* (15b 1x4)      SMSM Senanayake    1-0-4-0
Misbah-ul-Haq    3* (13b)      RAS Lakmal    4-2-6-0

Michael: "Lakmal is faster version of Kulesakara, his extra pace and impressive lengths can be a serious asset come England series" And we can't underestimate the impact of his tightness at the other end here

9.1

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, good length ball on off stump brings Misbah forward in defence

9.2

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, walks at him and this becomes a shorter ball on off stump, Misbah blocks into the covers

Nitin: "Mathews keeping Malinga for Afridi 'overs' Looking forward to Afridi vs Malinga battle."

9.3

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, 2 runs, sliding down the pads this time and this is tickled around the corner. Neat stroke from Misbah. Long leg rushes across to keep it to two. Vithanage was the man, subbing for Malinga

9.4

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, fullish and just outside off, eased towards midwicket with soft hands and Misbah completes the single with yards to spare.

slip and gully

9.5

Lakmal to Fawad Alam, no run, back of a length and probing outside off, Alam chases it and dabs towards point

Malinga is chilling in the dug out. Four overs and three wickets earns him a bit of a bit of a drink, I guess

9.6

Lakmal to Fawad Alam, 1 run, full on middle and leg, pushed to mid-on and since he's not timed it at all they race through for another quick single. Excellent ploy

End of over 10 (4 runs) Pakistan 28/3 (RR: 2.80)
Fawad Alam    5* (17b 1x4)      RAS Lakmal    5-2-10-0
Misbah-ul-Haq    6* (17b)      SMSM Senanayake    1-0-4-0

slip and silly point this time as he continues around

10.1

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, no run, good length ball on leg stump, doesn't turn and he nudges to midwicket

10.2

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, FOUR, too short there and Alam has pounced. It was just outside off stump, but he's made a world of room for himself and slams it in front of point

Point goes back now and there's no longer a silly point. Six in the circle

10.3

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, no run, flighted on off stump brings Alam forward with a block

10.4

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, no run, tossed up on leg stump and he pushes to mid-on

10.5

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, 1 run, short again and Alam's smacked it to the sweeper that's been placed

10.6

Senanayake to Misbah-ul-Haq, FOUR, flighted just outside off and Misbah's essayed a charming extra cover punch. Came nicely forward to reach the pitch so that striking against the turn isn't as big a danger. Lovely straight bat came down on that

Kapil: "If Matthews is keeping Malinga's overs for Afridi, its a mistake. He should look to take 2 more wickets using Malinga itself as he is super form and get Afridi in really early."

End of over 11 (9 runs) Pakistan 37/3 (RR: 3.36)
Misbah-ul-Haq    10* (18b 1x4)      SMSM Senanayake    2-0-13-0
Fawad Alam    10* (22b 2x4)      RAS Lakmal    5-2-10-0

Naveed: "Fawaw Alam reminds me of Freddie Mercury of Queen." He has to face Thisara Perera now

11.1

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, no run, back of a length and just outside off, defended

11.2

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, no run, moves away to punch this shortish ball outside off to short cover

11.3

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, no run, 136kph, back of a length and outside off again. Alam was playing a little away from the body as he opens the face to find cover

11.4

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, no run, shuffles across to punch this back of a good length delivery towards short cover

Uwaisul Karnain: "Pakistan should ask Abdur Rehman to conduct a training session to Malinga on how to bowl beamers as soon as possible."

11.5

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, no run, fullish and pushed across him, Alam is forward and steers just behind point. Sena dives and keeps it to none

Mathews is warming up

11.6

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, no run, full and just outside off and Alam sets off after driving to mid-off. The fielder was quick to the ball and the call of no arrives just soon enough to allow Misbah to get back

End of over 12 (maiden) Pakistan 37/3 (RR: 3.08)
Fawad Alam    10* (28b 2x4)      NLTC Perera    1-1-0-0
Misbah-ul-Haq    10* (18b 1x4)      SMSM Senanayake    2-0-13-0

And here's the captain himself, with a widish slip

12.1

Mathews to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, fullish on off stump, Misbah walks at him and blocks

12.2

Mathews to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, keeps it right up there and outside off, Misbah strides out and blocks into the covers

sabani: "Wowww NLTC Perera bowling a maiden over... OMG!!!" He kept to some great lines. SL's efficiency on display again

12.3

Mathews to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, fullish and outside off, Misbah's defence is good enough

12.4

Mathews to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, good length ball just outside off as he strides forward to block. he's played it with such soft hands that the ball squirms around back towards the stumps, but Misbah's wise to it's progress and stops it

12.5

Mathews to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, walks at him again as Mathews pulls his length back. Dabbed towards point. More dot balls

12.6

Mathews to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, fullish and outside off, pushed into the covers and its another maiden

End of over 13 (maiden) Pakistan 37/3 (RR: 2.84)
Misbah-ul-Haq    10* (24b 1x4)      AD Mathews    1-1-0-0
Fawad Alam    10* (28b 2x4)      NLTC Perera    1-1-0-0

13.1

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, 1 run, fuller and rather wide outside off, enough for Alam to slash but gets a thick outside edge to deep third man

Ahaan: "Poor captaincy from Misbah, dropping a bowler although he just gave eight runs!!" Uh, blaming Misbah for SL's captaincy blunders now? If indeed it was a blunder. They've strung two maidens since then

13.2

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, back of a length and just outside off, finds mid-off with a little push

13.3

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, fuller and just ducks back in off the pitch. Misbah was looking to drive on the up and gets an inside edge onto pad

13.4

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, comes forward and across to set him up to the fuller delivery on off stump and drives to cover

13.5

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, 136kph, skips down the track but as this is slid outside off stump, Misbah refrains from playing

13.6

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, fullish and outside off, steered to point and that's just one of the last three overs

Mark: "Good pressure from Sri Lanka here. If they can't break this partnership they have to frustrate it and stop them getting Pakistan back on an even keel."

End of over 14 (1 run) Pakistan 38/3 (RR: 2.71)
Misbah-ul-Haq    10* (29b 1x4)      NLTC Perera    2-1-1-0
Fawad Alam    11* (29b 2x4)      AD Mathews    1-1-0-0

14.1

Mathews to Fawad Alam, no run, fullish and angled across him, Alam stays leg side of it and works towards point

14.2

Mathews to Fawad Alam, no run, fullish and just a shade outside off, Alam is forward with a block

14.3

Mathews to Fawad Alam, 2 runs, clipped off his pads towards deep square leg. Mathews strays too straight and allows a release of the pressure

Ruchi Pokhrel: "Alagappan perhaps Ahaan meant Misbah dropping Rehman although he gave away "only" eight runs in the last match!" Ah, but even then you can't fault Misbah's decision. Can't have a bowler who's recent form boasts 0-0-8-0

14.4

Mathews to Fawad Alam, no run, fullish and outside off, steered to point

14.5

Mathews to Fawad Alam, no run, Alam wants the single, but is sent back. This was full and just outside off. Pushed down the ground and though it was the batsman's call, Misbah says no

14.6

Mathews to Fawad Alam, no run, good length ball, pushed into the covers

End of over 15 (2 runs) Pakistan 40/3 (RR: 2.66)
Fawad Alam    13* (35b 2x4)      AD Mathews    2-1-2-0
Misbah-ul-Haq    10* (29b 1x4)      NLTC Perera    2-1-1-0

Zohaib: "Looking at Fawad Alam reminds of Alex from the movie Madagascar." Moves a little too much, doesn't he? But I can't deny how effective he was in the last game

15.1

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, 138kph, walks at him as this is a good length ball just outside off. Blocked

15.2

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, shortish delivery has enough room for Misbah to run this behind point

15.3

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, no run, walks across his stumps to try and pick up some easy runs down the leg side, but this good length ball strikes him on the pads. Mild appeal, this would have slid down leg

15.4

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, no run, punched into the off side and short cover runs to his left to get a hand to it. That caused enough confusion to prevent the batsman from taking a single as the ball runs down to mid-off

15.5

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, 1 run, flicked away to deep midwicket. Too straight with the length ball

15.6

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, fullish on middle and off, worked just wide of mid-on

Ritam: "Come on mate, Ahaan was being sarcastic... how could you not pick that up?!!" Ah, the litter pleasures in life, eh? Fine. I'll concede . It's drinks by the way

End of over 16 (3 runs) Pakistan 43/3 (RR: 2.68)
Misbah-ul-Haq    12* (32b 1x4)      NLTC Perera    3-1-4-0
Fawad Alam    14* (38b 2x4)      AD Mathews    2-1-2-0

SamSL: "Can a stance like Alam make bowlers aim yorkers better?" You would think so, but the pioneer of that stance has over 20000 international runs

16.1

Mathews to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, bit of width outside off and Misbah exploits it by dabbing to third man. Good use of the open face

16.2

Mathews to Fawad Alam, no run, walks at him, but can only push the fuller delivery angled across him towards short cover.

16.3

Mathews to Fawad Alam, no run, fullish on off stump, strides forward to defend

saroj: "Since the runs are dried up Mathews should capitalize on the situation by reintroducing Malinga, another wicket immediately will give more chance to restrict Pakistan below 200 runs" He's not the only wicket-taker in the side though, just saying

16.4

Mathews to Fawad Alam, no run, back of a length and just outside off, Alam was looking to whip through the leg side and gets a thick inside edge. Bit more bounce there for Mathews

16.5

Mathews to Fawad Alam, 1 run, full on leg stump, leans forward and completes an easy flick to deep midwicket

16.6

Mathews to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, back of a length and outside off, left alone

lala: "last 4 overs; score progress : 0 , 1, 2, 3. They are building it up.... "

End of over 17 (2 runs) Pakistan 45/3 (RR: 2.64)
Misbah-ul-Haq    13* (34b 1x4)      AD Mathews    3-1-4-0
Fawad Alam    15* (42b 2x4)      NLTC Perera    3-1-4-0

"Its going to be very interesting,Pakistan will be relying on there spinners and they are not going to pose any threat today,looks 220 will be the total." Still a long way to go, Mr Kallis. How's post-retirement life, byw?

17.1

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, no run, fullish and outside off, nudged to short cover. Look out for that word if Alam keeps batting

17.2

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, 1 run, full and just outside off, Alam is forward and pushes down the ground. Used a closed face to make sure it was fine of mid-off, who has to run to his left and dive. A parry to mid-on keeps it to one

17.3

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, full on off stump but Misbah moved across outside off and clipped towards midwicket. Quick single, well taken

17.4

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, 1 wide, short and wide outside off, Alam is set up to slap through point. Too wide to connect, says umpire Llong who has not seen the bottom edge that falls short of the keeper. Shrugs his shoulders at Sanga who tells him there was a nick

17.4

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, no run, fullish and angled across him, pushed to mid-on

17.5

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, 1 run, too full and too straight clipped to deep midwicket. I'm counting one of those every over in the past three. First signs?

17.6

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, 2 runs, walks across and sets up on off stump, picked away to deep square leg for a couple. That was lovely placement from the Pakistan captain

End of over 18 (6 runs) Pakistan 51/3 (RR: 2.83)
Misbah-ul-Haq    16* (36b 1x4)      NLTC Perera    4-1-10-0
Fawad Alam    17* (46b 2x4)      AD Mathews    3-1-4-0

Shivantha Peiri: "I believe it's good that Mathews is doing the right thing by keeping Malinga for the last overs. it's time to get enough overs through from the rest of the bowling attack. After all this is a 50 over match."

18.1

Mathews to Fawad Alam, 1 run, back of a length on middle, Alam was across on middle and off and works in front of midwicket. Wants the single and his captain responds. No trouble in the end as Priyanjan fails to pick the ball up

18.2

Mathews to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, well bowled there. it was a touch slower on off stump but he kept it full. Misbah could only come forward and block

18.3

Mathews to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, fullish on off stump, driven down the ground and Misbah says "run, run, run, run, run". Alam heard it loud and clear

"I am counting balls from the last boundary" Keep us updated, Bharat

18.4

Mathews to Fawad Alam, no run, fullish and pushed across him, eased into the covers off the front foot

Mir: "51 from 18 overs; Afridi smashed 50 from 18 balls! Oh, unpredictable Pakistan."

18.5

Mathews to Fawad Alam, no run, short and wide, Alam wants to smack that through point but he had to reach out for this too much. Goes right off the bottom of the bat

18.6

Mathews to Fawad Alam, no run, fullish on off stump and Alam can only push back to the bowler

End of over 19 (2 runs) Pakistan 53/3 (RR: 2.78)
Fawad Alam    18* (50b 2x4)      AD Mathews    4-1-6-0
Misbah-ul-Haq    17* (38b 1x4)      NLTC Perera    4-1-10-0

Akhan: "Run rate is not too much a issue for Pakistan ( well was never in the entire ASIA cup) , I guess here. Afridi & Akmal can score at any rate ! but they need a bulit up score b4 they start the firing ! "

19.1

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, good length ball just outside off, Misbah guides towards point with an open face

19.2

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, point's in business again as this is a good length ball outside off

19.3

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, back of a length on middle and leg, flicked to long leg for an easy single. That's the kind Misbah loves

Baigsaab: "For all the banter and bashing hurled at the DRS, it's quite observable that not having DRS increases bad decisions, this tournament has seen some abominable umpiring errors... May be umpires are a little more circumspect when DRS is there... "

19.4

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, 1 run, shortish again as Alam waits on the back foot and punches through to the sweeper. Played nice and close to the body there

19.5

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, 134kph, Misbah's lured into a false shot! It was not quite short nor was there too much room on offer, especially with him shuffling across. Cuts underneath the ball as it goes through to the keeper

19.6

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, lets this length ball strikes the bat and opens the face on impact to pick up a single to third man

End of over 20 (3 runs) Pakistan 56/3 (RR: 2.80)
Misbah-ul-Haq    19* (43b 1x4)      NLTC Perera    5-1-13-0
Fawad Alam    19* (51b 2x4)      AD Mathews    4-1-6-0

"I Feel droping Menids was a good decision the way how the wicket behave. though he might take couple of wickets, his spells could be costly on this track." LoveLanka with the power of hindsight

20.1

Mathews to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, fullish on off stump, defended down the pitch

38 off 94 balls these two have added

20.2

Mathews to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, fullish and just outside off and Misbah is forward with a push which cannot beat the bowler's left hand

20.3

Mathews to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, loud, concerted pleading appeal from Sri Lanka. Misbah smiles and looks skyward and umpire Oxenford says calm down boys. It was the cross-seamed delivery just outside off. Lured Misbah into a guide to third man. And hello, hello, there was a fine edge there as it went to the keeper. Mathews knew it, Sanga was wildly positive and Misbah was already relieved

20.4

Mathews to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, length ball with a bit of room, this time the steer to third man works

20.5

Mathews to Fawad Alam, 1 run, comes forward and nudges this fuller delivery down towards midwicket

20.6

Mathews to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, 125 kph, good length ball which straightens a touch. Misbah is solidly behind it and as it goes down to the bowler, Mathews kicks it. Can't say I blame him

End of over 21 (2 runs) Pakistan 58/3 (RR: 2.76)
Misbah-ul-Haq    20* (48b 1x4)      AD Mathews    5-1-8-0
Fawad Alam    20* (52b 2x4)      NLTC Perera    5-1-13-0

21.1

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, 1 run, good length ball on middle, whipped away to long leg

21.2

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, full and just outside off, punched towards mid-off and they scamper through for a single

21.3

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, no run, bit of room outside off as Alam shuffles across and finds short cover

21.4

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, no run, full and angled across him, Alam leans into a drive but checks it. Closed the face which means the ball goes down to mid-off

21.5

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, 1 run, room outside off again, I'm getting the feeling this is a ploy. Alam his half-forward and slices to the sweeper

21.6

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, SIX, there's the bang after the tuk tuk tuk! Length ball from Perera and he has walked into it and swung over deep midwicket. Big followthrough, big heave, big six

Amit : "Good acting skills by Misbah their..Bollywood films offer will be their for him..that smile is better than.... Uday Chopra"

End of over 22 (9 runs) Pakistan 67/3 (RR: 3.04)
Misbah-ul-Haq    27* (50b 1x4 1x6)      NLTC Perera    6-1-22-0
Fawad Alam    22* (56b 2x4)      AD Mathews    5-1-8-0

22.1

Mathews to Fawad Alam, FOUR, back to back boundaries brings up the fifty partnership. This was back of a length and just outside off, Alam punches down the ground with a closed face to make sure he beats mid-off

22.2

Mathews to Fawad Alam, no run, sorry-looking drive outside off as Mathews beats him with the change of pace. Visibly disappointed at not claiming the outside edge

22.3

Mathews to Fawad Alam, 1 run, fullish and aims at the stumps, Alam drives straight down the ground and picks up a quick single

22.4

Mathews to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, good length ball on off stump, defended calmly

22.5

Mathews to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, fullish and it straightens at the last minute. Misbah is good enough to ride it and sneak a sharp single into the covers. I get the feeling with Misbah the hiking of the run rate is more off a feeling than a plan.

22.6

Mathews to Fawad Alam, no run, fullish and just outside off, blocked back to the bowler

End of over 23 (6 runs) Pakistan 73/3 (RR: 3.17)
Fawad Alam    27* (60b 3x4)      AD Mathews    6-1-14-0
Misbah-ul-Haq    28* (52b 1x4 1x6)      NLTC Perera    6-1-22-0

And the spin barrage resumes, or rather begins, I suppose. Sena's back and starts around the wicket

Umair: "@Bharat Buddy its time for you to stop counting the balls and Start counting the boundaries..."

23.1

Senanayake to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, flighted on off stump, picked away to midwicket

23.2

Senanayake to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, good length ball on the pads, works it fine for a quick single into the leg side

23.3

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, no run, shortish and just outside off, Alam goes back and pushes into the covers

23.4

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, 2 runs, top-edge balloons over the keeper. This was nicely flighted outside off but Alam wanted to go for the lap sweep. Survives and sneaks a couple

23.5

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, 1 run, on a length as he goes back and cuts behind point. Misbah agrees to the single

23.6

Senanayake to Misbah-ul-Haq, 2 runs, worked away to the right of midwicket and the placement is so good that he picks up two. Right in between the men inside and outside the circle

Swaroop Mami: "I've always wanted to ask Steven - when is the last time cricinfo commentary for a match did not feature comments (and counter-comments) on the DRS?"

End of over 24 (6 runs) Pakistan 79/3 (RR: 3.29)
Misbah-ul-Haq    31* (55b 1x4 1x6)      SMSM Senanayake    3-0-19-0
Fawad Alam    30* (63b 3x4)      AD Mathews    6-1-14-0

As I suspected spin from both ends, here's Chaturanga de Silva

24.1

de Silva to Fawad Alam, no run, tossed up on middle and off, nudged back to the bowler

24.2

de Silva to Fawad Alam, 1 run, more flight just outside off as Alam strides forward to work straight of midwicket

24.3

de Silva to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, flighted on off stump, Misbah sets up for the reverse sweep but doesn't connect properly

24.4

de Silva to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run

24.5

de Silva to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, flighted on off, pushed towards mid-off but the bowler prefers to do his own fielding

24.6

de Silva to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, this time there's more oomph into the drive and he finds long-off

Kashif Rashid: "I think Fawad Alam is just the sort of guy Pakistan needs in the middle order. Compact, dependable (judging from his first class performance). This will take pressure off our openers and they should express themselves more. With him, Pakistan will chase better also"

End of over 25 (2 runs) Pakistan 81/3 (RR: 3.24)
Misbah-ul-Haq    32* (59b 1x4 1x6)      PC de Silva    1-0-2-0
Fawad Alam    31* (65b 3x4)      SMSM Senanayake    3-0-19-0

25.1

Senanayake to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, flighted around the off stump, lunges forward to defend to midwicket

25.2

Senanayake to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, little nudge to the right of midwicket results in a single. He's playing this line very well. Time for the one that doesn't turn, Sena

25.3

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, 1 run, flighted on middle and leg, Alam works into the leg side for a single. Late response from Misbah, but it's safe enough

25.4

Senanayake to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, whipped away to deep square leg as this is tossed up on middle and leg

25.5

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, no run, flighted on and around off stump, blocked to midwicket

25.6

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, no run, holds his length back just a touch as Alam finds midwicket with a soft nudge

End of over 26 (3 runs) Pakistan 84/3 (RR: 3.23)
Fawad Alam    32* (68b 3x4)      SMSM Senanayake    4-0-22-0
Misbah-ul-Haq    34* (62b 1x4 1x6)      PC de Silva    1-0-2-0

26.1

de Silva to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, speared in on middle and off with more of a round-armed action, Misbah keeps it out

26.2

de Silva to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, worked to long-on as this is full and pushed through on middle and leg

26.3

de Silva to Fawad Alam, 1 run, flighted outside off, drives off the open face to the sweeper on the off side

26.4

de Silva to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, flighted outside off, Misbah drives uppishly but it goes wide of the the bowler who was diving to his left.

26.5

de Silva to Fawad Alam, no run, slower and flighted on middle and leg, Alam pushes back to the bowler

26.6

de Silva to Fawad Alam, 1 run, pushed through outside off and Alam uses that pace to steer behind point. Rapid single nicely done

End of over 27 (4 runs) Pakistan 88/3 (RR: 3.25)
Fawad Alam    34* (71b 3x4)      PC de Silva    2-0-6-0
Misbah-ul-Haq    36* (65b 1x4 1x6)      SMSM Senanayake    4-0-22-0

27.1

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, 1 run, flighted on middle and leg, Alam strides forward and works towards the vacant square leg region. Steady supply of singles now

27.2

Senanayake to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, this is a lot slower and it doesn't turn either. Misbah is wary of it though as he shuffles across and blocks

27.3

Senanayake to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, nudged to midwicket as he moves across to off stump to negotiate this flighted delivery on middle

27.4

Senanayake to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, another one that's slowed down, but this one is down leg. Misbah ticks it away to short fine

27.5

Senanayake to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, good length ball on middle, Misbah lets it come to him and works it towards square leg which is vacant for the right-hander too

27.6

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, no run, flighted on middle and leg, pushed back

Farhad: "Misbah knows that acceleration here means bringing back Malinga, so why to commit a suicide?" if only it was as simple

End of over 28 (2 runs) Pakistan 90/3 (RR: 3.21)
Fawad Alam    35* (73b 3x4)      SMSM Senanayake    5-0-24-0
Misbah-ul-Haq    37* (69b 1x4 1x6)      PC de Silva    2-0-6-0

Akhilesh: "@Swaroop Mami Steven is not Commentator. Ask 'Alagappan Muthu'!" And my answer would be a casual, I really dont know

28.1

de Silva to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, flighted on middle and off, kept out

28.2

de Silva to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, fired in on middle and leg, flicked away with ease

28.3

de Silva to Fawad Alam, no run, flighted on off stump as he moves across it to sweep. Big appeal from Sanga. In fact his scream was deafening, but the ump's unmoved, spotted the inside edge

28.4

de Silva to Fawad Alam, no run, shortish and outside off, slapped to the sweeper

28.5

de Silva to Fawad Alam, 1 run, flighted and pushed across him, driven to deep point again

moved well outside leg stump as the bowler was bowling so de Silva pulls out

28.6

de Silva to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, employs the same technique, but this time de Silva slides a quicker length ball on middle which Misbah flicks down the ground

End of over 29 (3 runs) Pakistan 93/3 (RR: 3.20)
Misbah-ul-Haq    39* (72b 1x4 1x6)      PC de Silva    3-0-9-0
Fawad Alam    36* (76b 3x4)      SMSM Senanayake    5-0-24-0

Saqi: "A long slog on off spinner is required here, 1 or 2."

29.1

Senanayake to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, goes on the sweep a little too early, which allows Sena to shorten his length. But Misbah waits just that little bit more and goes through with the shot.

29.2

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, no run, rocks back to this length ball and punches to mid-on. Wanted to whip it a little squarer to find the gap

29.3

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, no run, targets the channel outside off and Alam was making a little room for himself to cut. Finds point though

29.4

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, no run, flighted on off stump, he strides forward to block

29.5

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, 1 run, slower ball, tossed up on middle and leg. Alam flicks uppishly past a short midwicket.

29.6

Senanayake to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, turned away towards square leg and this is going to be a very sharp single but Misbah makes it in the end. If it had been a direct hit though...

End of over 30 (3 runs) Pakistan 96/3 (RR: 3.20)
Misbah-ul-Haq    41* (74b 1x4 1x6)      SMSM Senanayake    6-0-27-0
Fawad Alam    37* (80b 3x4)      PC de Silva    3-0-9-0

rk: "Is this match similar to 1992 world cup which imran khan & miandad took the total up in 1st batting? or similar to 1996 world cup which aravinda & gurusinha made SL win in 2nd inning?" Since it's two spinners whisking through the overs, I'll go with a cliched time will tell

30.1

de Silva to Misbah-ul-Haq, FOUR, swept and he finds the boundary to bring up Pakistan's hundred. Terrible line from the bowler as this was full and flat and well down leg. Misbah plants his front leg outside off and beats the short fine leg fielder

30.2

de Silva to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, another sweep, but this was a length ball and it was a little quicker too. Cramps Misbah while he was on his knees. Dabbed towards midwicket and had taken a couple of steps forward. Alam answered and he has to rush back to save himself as the captain changes his mind

30.3

de Silva to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, flighted outside off and he jams his bat down and slides it towards point

30.4

de Silva to Fawad Alam, 1 run, tossed up on leg stump, worked away in front of square leg

30.5

de Silva to Misbah-ul-Haq, FOUR, and there it is, another fifty for Misbah off a strong sweep, this time to the left of short fine leg. Those darts on the pads are not working, Chaturanga

30.6

de Silva to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, flighted and just outside off, Misbah lunges forward and pushes into the covers. Alam had set off again, but has to rush back. A little bit of excess energy in the busy left-hander. Hope he's spent it all now

End of over 31 (10 runs) Pakistan 106/3 (RR: 3.41)
Misbah-ul-Haq    50* (79b 3x4 1x6)      PC de Silva    4-0-19-0
Fawad Alam    38* (81b 3x4)      SMSM Senanayake    6-0-27-0

31.1

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, 1 run, top-edge but it lands short of the long leg fielder! Why did he pull out of it so soon? This was in the air long enough and he could have made the effort to cover the extra ground and go for the catch. This partnership is blossoming too easily

31.2

Senanayake to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, flighted on the pads, worked off it

31.3

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, no run, flighted on the pads, strides forward and blocks down the pitch

31.4

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, 1 run, another lap sweep, looks like he will not put it away. Top edge to long leg, but this fell well short. Sena's did well there as he speared it full and outside off

31.5

Senanayake to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, slows it down and pulls the length back too, Misbah who is not looking to play innovative shots, just calmly works it through square leg

31.6

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, 1 run, just a touch short and he rocks back to cut to deep point

End of over 32 (5 runs) Pakistan 111/3 (RR: 3.46)
Fawad Alam    41* (85b 3x4)      SMSM Senanayake    7-0-32-0
Misbah-ul-Haq    52* (81b 3x4 1x6)      PC de Silva    4-0-19-0

Kapil: "That should have been held. That's actually a drop. And I don't think this left arm bowler is troubling any of the batsmen. Can't Matthews see it?" Seems he has, Suranga Lakmal's been brought back

32.1

Lakmal to Fawad Alam, no run, 132kph, starts off with a wide one but it's just good enough to escape. Alam was looking to smear it through point, but can't connect

32.2

Lakmal to Fawad Alam, no run, little waft outside off and this beats the outside edge as well. Played under this fuller delivery outside off

32.3

Lakmal to Fawad Alam, 1 run, dropped by Sanga! It was another almighty heave from Alam as he chased down the track. Thick outside edge flies to the left of the keeper who leaps up and sticks out a glove. Very tough chance!

Adeel Ahmad: "I'm sure it'll be a hell lot of task for Fawad to charge down the pitch with his shuffling in the crease."

32.4

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, good length ball on the stumps, kept out

32.5

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, low full toss, tailing in on middle and leg. Misbah pushes down to long-on

32.6

Lakmal to Fawad Alam, 1 run, backs away to punch this shortish ball just outside off to deep point

Shan Fastian: "Why don't they gamble Batting powerplay now? 230-240 is par score. They need 260-270 to trouble Slanka later in the dewy conditions."

End of over 33 (3 runs) Pakistan 114/3 (RR: 3.45)
Fawad Alam    43* (89b 3x4)      RAS Lakmal    6-2-13-0
Misbah-ul-Haq    53* (83b 3x4 1x6)      SMSM Senanayake    7-0-32-0

Right, spin is off. Didn't look too threatening. Thisara Perera is back

Aqeel: "Fawad has had a very positive affect on Misbah..especially in that Misbah isn't getting any hate for his otherwise slow strike rate."

33.1

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, SIX, clears that front leg and slammed it over wide long-on! Presents one in the slot for the left-hander's arc and Alam takes full advantage with a solid heave for 70m

33.2

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, 1 run, second consecutive fifty for Alam as he nods to the dug out and raises his bat to the crowd after a smattering of applause. This was a length ball outside off, carved through point

Abhinav: "@Adeel Ahmad It doesn't matter until the runs comes consistently with wickets being intact. He did same against BD with slower start and then rapid flow in final overs that also allowed Shahid to play his natural game."

33.3

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, length ball on off stump, but Misbah's moved around in his crease and ensured he was outside the line of it before flicking behind square leg

33.4

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, 1 run, short and wide outside off, Alam goes for the cut and doesn't hold back. Gets a thick edge to deep third man. I get the feeling he's tiring here, already faced 92 balls and a lot of that was singles

33.5

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, fullish on off stump, Misbah shuffles across again but is kept to a push down the pitch

33.6

NLTC Perera to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, back of a length and just outside off, waits for it and guides it in front of point with an open face. This time Pakistan might be a little more comfortable gong into drinks

Khan: "Which team is the crowd supporting?" Even split last time I checked

End of over 34 (10 runs) Pakistan 124/3 (RR: 3.64)
Misbah-ul-Haq    55* (86b 3x4 1x6)      NLTC Perera    7-1-32-0
Fawad Alam    51* (92b 3x4 1x6)      RAS Lakmal    6-2-13-0

Kapil: "What a changed bowler Lakmal has become. I reckon if he bowls the way he is doing, SL have found a long term solution of partnering Malinga"

Saim Polani: "In the last 10 matches, whenever Misbah scores 50+ Pakistan has lost the match, so this time he needs to score a 100."

34.1

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, very full and it hits Misbah on his toes without pitching! Loads of swing into him as well. Bit appeal from the bowler, but it would have gone down leg. Good call from umpire Oxenford even as Lakmal returns to the top of his mark, a little dejected

34.2

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, another inswinging yorker, at 137 kph, Misbah digs this out though. Kept his front foot out of the way

Long leg and long-on are back

34.3

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, good length ball on and around off stump, defended to midwicket

34.4

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, 138kph, another that tails in as the yorker ends up a low full toss. Misbah flicks but can't beat midwicket

Aqeel: "Hint of reverse" perhaps, yes

34.5

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, he's strung four excellent deliveries in a row. Yorker that tails in on off stump and keeps Misbah to his stoic defence

34.6

Lakmal to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, bunted down the ground as he finishes with another full, inswinging delivery. Single as Lakmal keeps his economy below two today

End of over 35 (1 run) Pakistan 125/3 (RR: 3.57)
Misbah-ul-Haq    56* (92b 3x4 1x6)      RAS Lakmal    7-2-14-0
Fawad Alam    51* (92b 3x4 1x6)      NLTC Perera    7-1-32-0

Here's Sena, from around the wicket, for the powerplay. Malinga's been spotted warming up

35.1

Senanayake to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, good length ball on middle and leg, Misbah works it away to deep midwicket

WALEED MIR: "@ Saim Polani. But both of these 50's are scored in 2nd inning of the match when pak was is in totally troubling. "

35.2

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, no run, flighted on leg stump, Alam makes loads of room outside leg and cuts to cover. Misbah wants the single but is sent back

35.3

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, FOUR, mid-on was up in the circle and Alam has played a calculated shot over his head. Though this was against the turn, if there is any on offer, he plays with the angle and it was also a length ball. Top strike

35.4

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, 1 run, quicker and flatter down the pads, Alam sweeps to short fine leg

three men on the leg side boundary

35.5

Senanayake to Misbah-ul-Haq, SIX, and he's cleared them all! Towering six over deep midwicket earns applause from the crowd and Zaheer Abbas. Went down on one knee and muscled it away. Only the ball boy had a chance of taking it and so he does

35.6

Senanayake to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, shortens his length and works it away to deep square leg

End of over 36 (13 runs) Pakistan 138/3 (RR: 3.83)
Misbah-ul-Haq    64* (95b 3x4 2x6)      SMSM Senanayake    8-0-45-0
Fawad Alam    56* (95b 4x4 1x6)      RAS Lakmal    7-2-14-0

Malinga's back. Slower ball and yorker medley coming up

36.1

Malinga to Misbah-ul-Haq, no run, low full toss, whipped towards midwicket. Excitable Alam was again down the pitch searching for a quick run. Not there

36.2

Malinga to Misbah-ul-Haq, 1 run, full on off stump, Misbah's thumped it down to long-on with very little feet. It was all in his arms and the whip to power it

Mathews and Malinga take their time to set the field. Long-on goes back. Point comes in and third man goes back. Deep midwicket is also on the boundary

36.3

Malinga to Fawad Alam, 1 run, shortish and bowled on the body, Alam nudges it off his hips

36.4

Malinga to Misbah-ul-Haq, OUT, he's holed out at long-on and Malinga is at it again! It wasn't the prettiest ball, just full and outside off. Misbah heaves it straight over the top but has dragged this. That foils his timing and results in a simple catch to Kusal who extends his arms in delight. Somewhere in front of him, Misbah is immensely disappointed.

Misbah-ul-Haq c MDKJ Perera b Malinga 65 (138m 98b 3x4 2x6) SR: 66.32

The batsmen crossed over so the new batsman Umar Akmal will not be on strike

36.5

Malinga to Fawad Alam, 1 run, slower ball on leg stump, Alam works it away behind square leg

36.6

Malinga to Umar Akmal, no run, lovely yorker on off stump, just about the perfect ball to a new batsman. Aside from a searing inswinging yorker. Possibly why Akmal kept it out

Faras: "Just wondering how Kohli does so well against Malinga in IPL? Guess that's a factor too"

End of over 37 (3 runs) Pakistan 141/4 (RR: 3.81)
Umar Akmal    0* (1b)      SL Malinga    5-0-16-4
Fawad Alam    58* (97b 4x4 1x6)      SMSM Senanayake    8-0-45-0

37.1

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, FOUR, shortish on middle and Alam's half-pulled it just wide of mid-on! It was that short-armed jab and the power in it was astonishing.

37.2

Senanayake to Fawad Alam, 1 run, flighted on the pads, he works it wide of mid-on again.

37.3

Senanayake to Umar Akmal, 2 runs, flighted on middle, Akmal has dabbed it in front of square leg and with everyone on the boundary there this was easy two

Nitin: "Malinga is now the leading wicket-taker of this Asia cup."

37.4

Senanayake to Umar Akmal, 2 runs, whipped away to deep midwicket and fresh legs allow for another couple. Great hustling

37.5

Senanayake to Umar Akmal, no run, flighted on off stump, strides forward and blocks

37.6

Senanayake to Umar Akmal, no run, stays beside the flighted ball on off stump and drives towards extra cover

End of over 38 (9 runs) Pakistan 150/4 (RR: 3.94)
Umar Akmal    4* (5b)      SMSM Senanayake    9-0-54-0
Fawad Alam    63* (99b 5x4 1x6)      SL Malinga    5-0-16-4

Vasim: "kohli uses more of his wrist against Malinga that is the one factor i think" And he doesn't commit on the front foot to try and get under the yorkers. And it's T20 cricket. No need for much technique

38.1

Malinga to Fawad Alam, no run, low full toss on middle, clipped to midwicket

38.2

Malinga to Fawad Alam, no run, slower ball on off stump. Alam dabs to point and had set off for one of his impulsive singles. Akmal is more level minded

38.3

Malinga to Fawad Alam, 1 run, full delivery, swinging a touch away outside off. Alam gets a thick outside edge to deep third man

Mudassir Hashmi: "Where is Mathews? he should have a go now. Spin is of no use against Pak batsmen."

38.4

Malinga to Umar Akmal, 1 run, fullish and sliding down leg, Akmal is forward and flicks to long leg

38.5

Malinga to Fawad Alam, 1 run, 119kph, slower ball, tucks him up for room on middle and leg. Alam is still good enough to dab it into the off side and race down to the other end

38.6

Malinga to Umar Akmal, 1 run, fullish and on middle and leg, Akmal picks it away to long leg

End of over 39 (4 runs) Pakistan 154/4 (RR: 3.94)
Umar Akmal    6* (7b)      SL Malinga    6-0-20-4
Fawad Alam    65* (103b 5x4 1x6)      SMSM Senanayake    9-0-54-0

ash: "I hope Sena doesnt get the next over" He doesn't. It's Lakmal

39.1

Lakmal to Umar Akmal, 2 runs, back of a length and outside off, steered to deep third man and Akmal's urgency between the wickets is remarkable

39.2

Lakmal to Umar Akmal, no run, thumped, but only as far as mid-off. Length ball from Lakmal. Dangerous ploy, especially considering all those lovely yorkers he bowled in his last over

39.3

Lakmal to Umar Akmal, 1 run, there it is. In the blockhole on middle and Akmal whips straight of midwicket

mid-on is up. Deep square leg is back.

39.4

Lakmal to Fawad Alam, 1 run, yorker on off stump, Alam makes room and squirts this towards point with one hand off the bat

39.5

Lakmal to Umar Akmal, no run, leg-stump yorker keeps Akmal tied to the crease. This is excellent bowling.

39.6

Lakmal to Umar Akmal, 1 run, shortish on off stump, Akmal works it off his hips for a single

Piyush: "I am backing Pak to get around 260 here..!!"

End of over 40 (5 runs) Pakistan 159/4 (RR: 3.97)
Umar Akmal    10* (12b)      RAS Lakmal    8-2-19-0
Fawad Alam    66* (104b 5x4 1x6)      SL Malinga    6-0-20-4

Is no one else impressed with Lakmal? There were questions raised over including him over Mendis. I think he's done quite well so far, what do you guys have to say?

While I wait for you to respond, here Mazher Arshad again, "A Pakistan left-hand batsman has never scored an ODI 100 outside opening position. Can Fawad Alam be first today?"

40.1

NLTC Perera to Umar Akmal, no run, short and wide, Akmal flays this into the covers but Thirimanne dives to his right and parries it towards the bowler. Wrings his hand, that was hammered

40.2

NLTC Perera to Umar Akmal, FOUR, terrific strike! He had raced down the track and though it was the slower ball intended to deceive him, Akmal goes through with a loft over mid-off. Made enough room to enable the stroke, which had little risk with all the deep fielders on the leg side

40.3

NLTC Perera to Umar Akmal, FOUR, another leg cutter and this time he cuts and beats point! Akmal was moving outside leg and the bowler panicked. Offers perhaps the worst ball in that situation, short and outside off. Cut away to great effect

40.4

NLTC Perera to Umar Akmal, 1 wide, goes fuller but this slips too far outside off.

40.4

NLTC Perera to Umar Akmal, no run, full and outside off, Akmal goes forward and drills it into the covers. Why is he bowling it wide and outside off when he has three men deep on the leg side?

Daniel Alexander: "Chaminda Vaas deserves a lot of credit for making Lakmal a complete bowler" oh don't take everything away from him...

40.5

NLTC Perera to Umar Akmal, 1 run, wide yorker and he guides it behind point for a quick single. Direct hit at the other end, but Akmal was well home

40.6

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, 1 run, slower short ball on middle, Alam was surprised and has to halt his pull midway through the shot. Gets a thick inside edge to long leg

End of over 41 (11 runs) Pakistan 170/4 (RR: 4.14)
Fawad Alam    67* (105b 5x4 1x6)      NLTC Perera    8-1-43-0
Umar Akmal    19* (17b 2x4)      RAS Lakmal    8-2-19-0

Ashikul bd : "@piyush, have you forgotten there is a guy named malinga have 4 overs left who is already have 4 wickets under his arm in this match ? "

41.1

Lakmal to Fawad Alam, no run, fullish and angled across him, Alam was looking to smash it straight down the ground but all for nought

41.2

Lakmal to Fawad Alam, SIX, heaved away and it just about eclipses a leaping long-on! Alam set up deep in his crease and turned this fuller delivery into a length ball. Then strode forward and slammed it straight

41.3

Lakmal to Fawad Alam, no run, another length ball slid across the left-hander. That's what Alam is looking for, to free his arms. But again, doesn't connect

Looks like I jinxed him

41.4

Lakmal to Fawad Alam, FOUR, slower ball, dragged down short and offers room outside off to boot. Alam pulls to the deep square leg boundary. This is such a handy innings from the new middle-order bat

41.5

Lakmal to Fawad Alam, 1 run, very full with a bit of width, Alam opens the face and carves to deep third man

41.6

Lakmal to Umar Akmal, 2 wides, fuller delivery which slips down the leg side as Akmal looks to flick. Was the slower ball again. Sanga dives across but cannot collect cleanly

41.6

Lakmal to Fawad Alam, 1 run, 140kph, full with a bit of width and he stays deep in his crease and steers it to deep third man.

rssampat: "@ Ashikul bd; And have you forgottten that there is certain Shahid Afridi who is in red hot form with the bat??" All in all, it's going to be one heck of a contest

End of over 42 (14 runs) Pakistan 184/4 (RR: 4.38)
Fawad Alam    79* (111b 6x4 2x6)      RAS Lakmal    9-2-33-0
Umar Akmal    19* (17b 2x4)      NLTC Perera    8-1-43-0

Malinga's had to be brought back

42.1

Malinga to Fawad Alam, 1 run, fullish on off stump, Alam stays back and taps it to deep cover

All except long-off are in the circle

42.2

Malinga to Umar Akmal, 1 run, keeps it nice and full on off stump, Akmal stays low and nudges it into the extra cover region

42.3

Malinga to Fawad Alam, 1 run, big effort from backward point. This was a full toss outside off and Alam looked like he'd timed it well enough to sneak a boundary there. Dives to his left, full length, and keeps it to one

42.4

Malinga to Umar Akmal, 1 run, low full toss on the pads, waits for it and clips to long leg. Fourth single off the over

42.5

Malinga to Fawad Alam, 1 run, shortish and on middle and off, makes room outside leg and guides well behind point

rajasahadevan: "Cant u commentators shut your mouth?? Lakmal was bowling well untill you jinxed him!!" Yeah, his conceding 14 runs is all my fault, eh?

42.6

Malinga to Umar Akmal, 1 run, low full toss on middle, picked away to deep midwicket to bring up a very rapid, very useful fifty partnership

End of over 43 (6 runs) Pakistan 190/4 (RR: 4.41)
Umar Akmal    22* (20b 2x4)      SL Malinga    7-0-26-4
Fawad Alam    82* (114b 6x4 2x6)      RAS Lakmal    9-2-33-0

Faras: "@ rssampat, yeah Afridi has been in good form, in fact he is hitting sixes at will. But dont forget he has done almost all the damage against spinners, he wont get to see any spinners today." Here's Thisara

43.1

NLTC Perera to Umar Akmal, 1 run, fullish on middle and leg, now he's bowling to his field. Akmal digs it out to long-on

43.2

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, 1 run, length ball outside off, Alam can only smear it as far as mid-off. Mahela takes a shy at the stumps and Thisara was shying away from the ball instead of backing up. Single off the overthrow

43.3

NLTC Perera to Umar Akmal, 1 run, slower ball, dragged shot and this is slapped straight to cover. There's no one in the deep and he was looking to take advantage. Should had done better there.

43.4

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, 1 run, yorker on middle and leg, jams down a straight bat to mid-on

AZ: "And i m warning u all. Dont u dare jinx Afridi" Now that just tempts me even more

43.5

NLTC Perera to Umar Akmal, 1 run, excellent delivery, yorker on off stump as Akmal tries to whip it away and gets the inside edge onto pad

43.6

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, 1 run, yorker just outside off, squeezed out to deep point

Amal: "Of course its the commentator's fault. After all, the results of all these matches are controlled by the magic conjured up by the commentators. If only, it were that simple. lol......" Yep, we have the ultimate power!

End of over 44 (6 runs) Pakistan 196/4 (RR: 4.45)
Fawad Alam    85* (117b 6x4 2x6)      NLTC Perera    9-1-49-0
Umar Akmal    25* (23b 2x4)      SL Malinga    7-0-26-4

44.1

Malinga to Fawad Alam, 1 run, slower ball on leg stump, Alam works it to deep square leg knowing Akmal is in better hitting form

malik: "Akmal must start slogging now and leave the singles and doubles to Alam"

44.2

Malinga to Umar Akmal, 1 run, walks at him as this ends up an off-stump yorker. Akmal digs it out square and takes a single

44.3

Malinga to Fawad Alam, 1 run, another slower ball on the pads, Alam should have tickled that around the corner with fine leg in the circle but he doesn't time it well enough. Mahela was the man who dives to his left and fields with the injured hand

44.4

Malinga to Umar Akmal, 1 run, low full toss just below the hips, Akmal flicks it away to deep midwicket to bring up Pakistan's 200

44.5

Malinga to Fawad Alam, 1 run, low full toss on off stump and he opens the face to steer it down to deep third man

haney: "Anybody note that this is fawad alams careers best figure!" It has been for a while, I think

Ali Mushaf: "Intelligent handling of serpentine Malinga by these two."

44.6

Malinga to Umar Akmal, 1 run, fullish and outside off, punched towards point to complete six singles off the over

End of over 45 (6 runs) Pakistan 202/4 (RR: 4.48)
Umar Akmal    28* (26b 2x4)      SL Malinga    8-0-32-4
Fawad Alam    88* (120b 6x4 2x6)      NLTC Perera    9-1-49-0

Angelo Mathews is trying to sneak an over of medium pace. Think 19 balls of singles is going to be broken

45.1

Mathews to Umar Akmal, 2 runs, good length ball as he hurries down the track and swings to deep midwicket. That's a couple

45.2

Mathews to Umar Akmal, 1 run, fullish and sliding into leg stump, whipped away to deep square leg. Followed the batsman who was trying to make room to carve over extra

45.3

Mathews to Fawad Alam, 1 wide, short and wide, far too much so. Alam doesn't bother with it

45.3

Mathews to Fawad Alam, 2 runs, full and just outside off, Alam puts his front foot down leg stump and shovels it through to deep cover. He takes a bit of time to rest up before taking strike again

45.4

Mathews to Fawad Alam, 1 run, low full toss outside off, he taps it towards deep point and then bends over his bat at the other end, heaving for breath. He's rather struggling out there

45.5

Mathews to Umar Akmal, 1 run, flicked through to deep midwicket as this is fullish on middle. Hurries to the top of his mark to get his over done

45.6

Mathews to Fawad Alam, 1 run, full and wide outside off, Alam slaps it as far as extra cover to retain strike.

Khalid Waheed: "Someone please jinx Fawad Alam.... afridi is needed to be on strike" He's in the nineties

End of over 46 (9 runs) Pakistan 211/4 (RR: 4.58)
Fawad Alam    92* (123b 6x4 2x6)      AD Mathews    7-1-23-0
Umar Akmal    32* (29b 2x4)      SL Malinga    8-0-32-4

manoj: "@alagappan pakistan fans will be praying to loose a wicket i guess" They're actually asking me to jinx one of them. Anyway, here's Malinga, into his ninth over.

46.1

Malinga to Fawad Alam, 1 run, low full toss and he has mis-hit it into the covers! Was a little late on the jump and Chaturanga de Silva has parried it over his head. That's a bad drop

46.2

Malinga to Umar Akmal, FOUR, it was always on the cards. Another full toss and Akmal has enlisted the use of those strong wrists and whips it one-bounce to the midwicket boundary

46.3

Malinga to Umar Akmal, 1 run, full and just outside off, pushed towards the covers

46.4

Malinga to Fawad Alam, 1 run, full and wide outside off, Alam has smeared it straight to point and set off. Thirimanne took aim and Alam had almost given up. Bad throw though allows a single

46.5

Malinga to Umar Akmal, FOUR, another terrific flick through to the midwicket boundary. It was another low full toss and Akmal ventured forward and whirled the bat. Right off the middle

46.6

Malinga to Umar Akmal, FOUR, slower short ball and almost as if he knew that was the ball Malinga would bowl, Akmal waits on the back foot and taps it fine of short third man. What a shot. What an over, 15 off it

Salman1508: "Hey alagappan, what do you reckon par score on this track? " Hard to tell with dew expected later on. Pakistan would want something over 250 and hope the pressure of the final gets to Sri Lanka

End of over 47 (15 runs) Pakistan 226/4 (RR: 4.80)
Umar Akmal    45* (33b 5x4)      SL Malinga    9-0-47-4
Fawad Alam    94* (125b 6x4 2x6)      AD Mathews    7-1-23-0

47.1

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, SIX, Hundred for Alam and he reaches it with a thrilling flick over midwicket! He's the first Pakistan left-hander outside the opener's position to reach three figures! Another low full toss and he strides forward and dismisses it from his presence. Knew it straight away and took off his helmet and raised his bat

47.2

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, 1 run, clears his front leg and slaps a fuller delivery outside off to mid-off

Paras: "How long since the last dot ball??" Over six overs

47.3

NLTC Perera to Umar Akmal, 1 run, full on leg stump, chipped to long-on

47.4

NLTC Perera to Fawad Alam, 1 run, yorker on off stump, Alam digs it out and Akmal calls him through for a single. Dangerous ploy and the bowler does well taking aim at Akmal's end. Direct hit was needed

47.5

NLTC Perera to Umar Akmal, FOUR, there's Akmal's fifty, off only 35 balls and what a shot to get it from. It was a low full toss outside off, Akmal stayed beside it and carved it behind point. Found the gap with pin-point precision

47.6

NLTC Perera to Umar Akmal, FOUR, races down the track and smashes the length ball over extra cover to signal the century partnership! This is becoming a glut now

hadi: "103 runs partnership ... in blink of an eye! Thanks Angelo Mathews"

End of over 48 (17 runs) Pakistan 243/4 (RR: 5.06)
Umar Akmal    54* (36b 7x4)      NLTC Perera    10-1-66-0
Fawad Alam    102* (128b 6x4 3x6)      SL Malinga    9-0-47-4

48.1

Lakmal to Fawad Alam, 1 run, skips down the track and nudges it down to long-on. "Two, two two," someone says but Alam is too tired

Priyantha: "Can they reach 275?"

48.2

Lakmal to Umar Akmal, no run, lovely delivery. That's the first dot ball since 41.3. The inswinging yorker just about dug out. Sri Lanka need so much more of those

48.3

Lakmal to Umar Akmal, 1 run, wide full toss to stymie the batsman moving outside leg. Akmal reaches out and gets it off the bottom of the bat and it looked set to beat short third man, but Mahels dives to his left and sticks out that injured hand again

48.4

Lakmal to Fawad Alam, 1 run, fullish on middle and leg, Alam turns it away to midwicket on the circle

48.5

Lakmal to Umar Akmal, 1 run, fullish and tailing in, Akmal was setting up for an extra cover drive again as he made himself some room but hits straight to Angelo Mathews, who seems to be disgruntled about something. Possibly over no one backing up as he got ready to throw

48.6

Lakmal to Fawad Alam, FOUR, moves outside off to slog it over the leg side and is benefited by Lakmal offering a low full toss. Gets a top edge that sails towards the long leg boundary. Guess Pakistan don't need Afridi

End of over 49 (8 runs) Pakistan 251/4 (RR: 5.12)
Fawad Alam    108* (131b 7x4 3x6)      RAS Lakmal    10-2-41-0
Umar Akmal    56* (39b 7x4)      NLTC Perera    10-1-66-0

49.1

Malinga to Umar Akmal, 2 runs, low full toss outside leg, Akmal whips it to deep midwicket and rushes through for a couple

Paul: "This is turning out to be a huge anti-climax, Afridi was expected to play a starring role." It's still been good cricket though. So why not take heart in that?

49.2

Malinga to Umar Akmal, 1 run, yorker on middle stump. Excellent delivery that keeps Akmal to a single

Vix: "Disappointment by SL Bowlers.... except Malinga"

49.3

Malinga to Fawad Alam, 1 run, low full toss outside off, how many of those have been bowled in the last 10? Alam clears his front leg and drills to long-off

49.4

Malinga to Umar Akmal, OUT, slower ball outside leg, Akmal slogs to present a leading edge which is held by backward point. That's Malinga's fifth wicket. Excellent change up, he knew Akmal was looking for those leg side heaves and outsmarted him

Umar Akmal c Priyanjan b Malinga 59 (65m 42b 7x4 0x6) SR: 140.47

MIrpur roars for Shahid Afridi, but he's at the non-stikers'

49.5

Malinga to Fawad Alam, FOUR, this is full on leg stump, Alam ensures his feet don't get in the way and whips it behind square leg. Picked it up and put it away. What a shot. Remember folks, he's very tired out there. He had to stand up by his bat at the non-strkers' but he's doing the job

49.6

Malinga to Fawad Alam, 1 run, full and outside off, stays leg side and thumps it to long-on to end the innings. Afridi walks up to an exhausted Alam and pats him on the back for his effort. He's held the innings together and has given Pakistan a very competitive score

5.50 pm It was all Sri Lanka in the early goings as Malinga picked up three wickets in his first four overs. He added two more in the death to finish with his second consecutive five-wicket haul against Pakistan, but in between all that Fawad Alam and Umar Akmal have resurrected Pakistan. Alam kept nudging around, ensuring the scoreboard ticked over with Misbah and then opened up in the final push. Wonderful innings. 109 runs came off the last 10 overs, with Afridi not facing a single ball in the innings. It's a pretty good total in a final and Pakistan's bowlers will fancy their chances. But lets not forget, Sri Lanka have been quite efficient in this series. It should be a great chase, so do join us in half an hour

"Yeah we were in realy trouble and Misbah told me to stay on the wicket, if we score 220-230 it will be a good score. I tried my level best to stay the 50 overs," says Fawad Alam, "We had a plan to go in the power play and go for 230-240. We knew we had good hitting power in Akmal and Afridi. We will try our best to defend it. From 20-3 it is a very good recovery and it is now up to the bowlers and fielders"

Uwaisul Karnain: "This seems to be a below par score considering the nature of this pitch. Even the only wicket taker Malinga also went for 56 runs. SL needs to play sensible cricket here. A good start will be a key. "

neil: "Fawad Alam, is after many years seems very promising and determined middle order batsmen for Pakistan"

tonyp: "It's a good thing Misbah was around to tell him not to get out - it's the sort of detail that can elude less experience players"

Shan Fastian: "With this Cameo Umar Akmal is now Leading Run Scorer of the Asia Cup with 253 Runs . Other Contenders are Sanga, Mathews and Thirimanne. "

End of over 50 (9 runs) Pakistan 260/5
Fawad Alam    114* (134b 8x4 3x6)      SL Malinga    10-0-56-5
Shahid Afridi    0* (0b)      RAS Lakmal    10-2-41-0
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Photos

Mar 8, 2014

Lahiru Thirimanne celebrates his third ODI hundred, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup final, Mirpur, March 8, 2014

Lahiru Thirimanne celebrates his third ODI hundred

© AFP

Mar 8, 2014

The Sri Lankans celebrate their victory, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup, final, Mirpur, March 8, 2014

The Sri Lankans celebrate their victory

© AFP

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