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Plays of the Day for the Super Eights game between India and Pakistan in Colombo
Andrew Fernando at the R Premadasa Stadium
September 30, 2012
The match was already slipping away from Pakistan in the 10th over, but had Umar Akmal held a thick edge from Virat Kohli on 42, there might have been a chance for a fightback. Akmal threw himself to his left, and caught it with both feet off the ground, but could not hold the catch when his elbows hit the turf. The bowler Yasir Arafat did not initially see the ball pop out, and had to stop himself mid celebration when Akmal got up and the ball was still on the ground.
Shahid Afridi has been in poor form with the bat, and maybe as a result, even more manic at the crease than usual. Against South Africa he slogged his first ball and was caught at long-off, so it was surprising that he was sent out at first drop in the next match.If anyone had hoped the promotion would inspire a more measured approach from Afridi, they would have been disappointed from the very first ball. Pathan overpitched, and Afridi swung wildly again, but this time managed to hit it harder and flatter, past mid-on for four.
The statement II
Virender Sehwag has also had much made of his form, but allayed those fears in the fourth over when he blasted his first four past point in the fourth over. It wasn't all that bad a delivery, if a little wide, but after that one signature stroke, it was hard to believe he was still struggling.
Pakistan would have had an inkling it was going to be Virat Kohli's night when he advanced to hoist Afridi into the stands over long-off in the seventh over. What was remarkable about the stroke was not Kohli's power or timing, but that Afridi actually beat him in the flight and Kohli still hit him for six. Given the ball was a googly turning away from Kohli's bat, it had all the makings of a stumping chance. But although he couldn't get to the pitch of the ball, Kohli was good enough to have read the direction and degree of turn and adjusted his shot to send the ball over the ropes.
Kamran Akmal's edge to the keeper off Yuvraj Singh was thin enough that the umpire might not have noticed it, but though he wore the expression of a man who wanted to stand his ground to try his luck, his balance stepped in for his conscience and he stumbled backwards towards the dressing room. When he steadied himself, he again hesitated to depart - but the India players were all well into their celebration, and the moment to make a stand was gone.
Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri LankaFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
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