Plays of the day July 4, 2008

Pitch transformation

Sidharth Monga presents the Plays of the day for Pakistan v Bangladesh, Super Four, Asia Cup, Karachi, July 4, 2008

The pitch offered sideways movement to the fast bowlers © AFP

Transformer of the day
The National Stadium pitch finally answered the call. It could have something to do with the overcast conditions and the breeze today, because till now the bowlers have found that getting any assistance here is akin to milking stones. Today, though, Abdur Rauf and Rao Iftikhar Anjum got consistent sideways movement to go with the genuine bounce they got in the match against India. Even the spinners managed to surprise with the bounce they managed to extract.

Shot of the day ... followed by ball of the day
Dismissive to the core, Mohammad Ashraful stood still, and deposited a gentle length ball from Rauf to the midwicket fence with a violent slash. It was not the aesthetics, but the condescending attitude towards the ball that made the shot stand out. But the next ball was the Revenge of Rauf, a nasty lifter directed at Ashraful's body. Ashraful tried to fend it off, but all he could do was edge it to point. Remember the saying - it takes only one good ball.

Comeback of the day
After being hit for three boundaries in his first over by Alok Kapali, Anjum made the comeback of our times. His next nine overs featured six maidens, and went for just seven runs. Only Phil Simmons has bowled more maidens in a 10-over spell than Anjum's six; Simmons's figures in the legendary spell against Pakistan in Sydney were 10-8-3-4.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo