Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 3rd ODI, Asia Cup, Dambulla

Dilshan fires, Ashraful mis-fires

Plays of the day from game three of the Asia Cup, between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Dambulla

Siddarth Ravindran in Dambulla

June 18, 2010

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Kandyan dancers add a touch of local flavour to the proceedings, Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 3rd ODI, Asia Cup, Dambulla
Kandyan dancers - cheerleaders of a different kind © AFP
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Quick off the blocks
Sri Lanka signalled their intentions early in the match: Upul Tharanga caressed the first ball through extra cover for three, and Tillakaratne Dilshan followed that up with a crash to the extra cover boundary. Bangladesh's openers did one better as they set about chasing down the biggest total made in Dambulla - Tamim Iqbal sent the first three deliveries to the boundary. Sri Lanka's men at the top carried on for far longer, Bangladesh's were separated in the third over.

Some more cheer power
As if the enthusiastic and tireless trumpet-and-drum combos scattered across the stands weren't providing enough support, the organisers hired two sets of cheerleaders as well. These weren't the imported pom-pom waving, go-go boots wearing American stereotype of a cheerleader so common at the IPL, but traditionally-attired Kandyan dancers, who added a touch of local flavour to the proceedings. By the end of the match, Sri Lanka's most famous cheerleader, the 68-year-old Percy Abeysekera, joined them for a jig as well.

Beware the part-time offspinner
In their first game of the tournament, Bangladesh were cleaned up by the gentle offbreaks of Virender Sehwag, who finished with career-best figures. Today, it was the turn of another dashing opener who moonlights as an offspinner to cause havoc. It wasn't even the tail that folded up against Dilshan, three top-order batsmen being undone by him.

Different strokes
When you are in one of the deepest troughs of your international career, with your place in the side in jeopardy, you would be well-advised to give up high-risk shots that have previously got you in trouble. Tell that to Mohammad Ashraful, who after a painfully slow innings in which he showed few signs of attacking intent, decided to bring out the reverse-sweep, only to miss and be struck dead in front.

Malinga's special delivery
Lasith Malinga is one of the most popular cricketers around. Every time he runs in he is accompanied by an ominous howl from the crowd, increasing in volume as he approaches the stumps. His fans were disappointed after the Bangladesh top-order managed to deny him a wicket but Lasith's legion had their moment when he delivered one of his special, pinpoint yorkers that homed in on Naeem Islam's boot. Naeem tried to get his toes out of the way but the ball swung in so viciously that he fell over after being hit in front.

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at Cricinfo

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