Ind v Pak, Super Eights, World Twenty20, Colombo September 30, 2012

An Akmal drops a catch

Plays of the Day for the Super Eights game between India and Pakistan in Colombo
46

The drop
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.

The statement
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.

The shot
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.

The walk
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 Lanka

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • arjun.333 on October 1, 2012, 19:31 GMT

    @arpra if you read the article properly, you will see that Kohli was playing a shot to the long off boundary where in the bat faces the offside. If the ball was a googly, it would be turning into the batsman but away from the bat.

  • Arpra on October 1, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    "Given the ball was a googly turning away from Kohli's bat"; sorry to pile on but technically, the only googly that can turn away from a right hander is a left arm Chinaman bowler's...

  • babowls on October 1, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    Afridi Boom, Boom become Afridi toon, toon he'll never change if he plays sensible cricket he might've the highest run scorer for Pakistan but he comes and goes doesn't think about his team need his attenuation when their in trouble?

  • dummy4fb on October 1, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    As if Akmal is a Johnty Rhodes or Colin Blend! Hahaha.

  • Mahesh4811 on October 1, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    Virat kohli looks like the main pillar of the Indian batting these days. If he gets going, all get going. if he fails, all fail.

  • CriticallyCricket on October 1, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    India had more to loose, it was a must win match for them. They applied themselves with descipline and focus......Pakistan got a little carried away and played abysmally!

  • Electric_L0ser_Wacko on October 1, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    Afridi was trembling in his boots at the sight of Virat/Sehwag smashing him all around the park ... A keen observation from an indian fan - sitting just above the sightscreen!!! ..... LOL..... I know its as stupid as Afridi's claim of seeing Sachin tremble at the sight at Shoaib Akhtar from square leg !!! Please Shahid Bhai ...we've been waiting for you to celebrate your 17th B'Day since 1998 ... Still wondering when it'll come though :) :) :)

  • dummy4fb on October 1, 2012, 5:42 GMT

    he said it ws turning away for Kohli's BAT not Kohli. so it sounds okay to me :)

  • dummy4fb on October 1, 2012, 5:25 GMT

    @sanum: It clicked to me as well. How a googly turns away from a right hander? Googly is a delivery that spins in to a right handed batsman!

  • jonesy2 on October 1, 2012, 4:55 GMT

    an akmal drops a catch on average, about once every over

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