Plays of the day June 25, 2008

Aiming for the roof


Practice pays off: Mahendra Singh Dhoni managed to find the roof of Karachi's National Stadium against Hong Kong's bowlers © AFP
 

Shortest-lived record ... just
India and Sri Lanka were neck-to-neck in their run-scoring spree - against Hong Kong and Bangladesh respectively - today. However, Bangladesh bowled their overs at a slower pace than Hong Kong. By the time India finished their innings at 374 for 4 - the highest in an Asia Cup match - Sri Lanka, at 318 for 5, still had five overs left, and the record in grasp. But a few late-order wickets, and they could manage only 357 for 9, despite a 17-run final over. India's record stayed intact - for all it's worth.

Champions of the left-arm spinners' cause
With Mohammad Rafique having retired, and Shakib Al Hasan not playing in the Asia Cup, it's Hong Kong who have been espousing the left-arm spinners' cause in the tournament. For the second day in a row, they rode on their left-armers' efforts. It was Nadeem Ahmed who gave Pakistan a shock on Tuesday, and today Najeeb Amar slowed India down with the wickets of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. The left-armers gave away 147 runs in 28 overs, as opposed to 220 scored in the remaining 22.

Roof-top view
While he was practising at the National Stadium, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, batting on a practice pitch in the cover region, hit one onto the roof of the midwicket stands. He implemented that in his first match here, launching three sixes onto the roof - one so far back that Wasim Akram reckoned it was perhaps the biggest he's seen at the ground. Practice does make perfect.

Gony's first ... almost
Manpreet Gony, one of the bowlers unearthed during the Indian Premier League, got his international debut for this game, and came close to getting his first wicket in only his second over. He had got one to cut into Tabarak Dar and take his glove on the way through to Dhoni. But umpire Brian Jerling didn't agree with Gony, and denied him his maiden wicket. As it turned out, Gony wouldn't get a wicket in the next three overs; his maiden ODI wicket will have to wait for another day.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo