Bangladesh v Pakistan, 5th ODI, Asia Cup, Dambulla June 21, 2010

Afridi blitzes, Kayes plods

Plays of the day from game five of the Asia Cup, between Bangladesh and Pakistan

Watching the watchers
With the home side not in action and the finalists already decided, hardly any spectators turned up at the stadium. Still, every 20 yards along the boundary, there was a policeman intently watching stands in which there wasn't a single person during the afternoon. By the time the floodlights came on though, some policemen took up a few seats in the stand, giving their colleagues someone to keep an eye on.

What's to celebrate?
Pakistan had plundered 47 runs in the previous three overs, and moved to 312 for 4 after 44 overs with the batting Powerplay still in hand. In the next over, Umar Akmal was bowled by a yorker but Bangladesh's chances were so slim that only the in-fielders came up to congratulate the bowler. After some more mayhem, Shahid Afridi was dismissed. By then, Pakistan had moved to 347. None of the Bangladeshis bothered to celebrate the wicket.

Keeping the spirit
Shafiul Islam had a horror day with the ball. By the 48th over, he had leaked 72 in nine overs and Pakistan had racked up a total Bangladesh had no hope of chasing. But when Abdul Razzaq carved one towards deep extra cover, Shafiul hared after it and made a diving stop to keep Pakistan to three.

Afridi makes Mashrafe pay
Afridi gave a simple chance to Mashrafe Mortaza at mid-on when on 32. Mortaza shelled it. Afridi made him realise just how expensive it was through a spell of hitting that was breathtaking even by Afridi's explosive standards. In the next 20 deliveries, he slammed 12 fours and a six to ransack 62 runs and set Pakistan on the way to their highest ODI total.

Getting out of neutral
Perhaps to restore the balance between bat and ball after Pakistan's rampage towards the end of their innings, Imrul Kayes started off in Test match mode. Chasing the small matter of 386, he took 24 deliveries before finally getting off the mark, that too off an outside edge to third man. Old-timers reminisced about Sunil Gavaskar's infamous 36* in 60 overs during the 1975 World Cup in the face of a similarly monumental target, but Kayes eventually perked up to lift his strike-rate to 60.

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at Cricinfo