Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st semi-final, World Twenty20, Colombo October 4, 2012

Afridi provides more false hope

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the first World T20 semi-final in Colombo

False omen of the day
Sixteen years ago to the day, Shahid Afridi had walloped Sri Lanka for 102 off 37 balls, which is still the fastest century in ODI cricket. His stay at the crease this time around wasn't all that much shorter, but it was far less effective. During that hundred, which was his first ODI innings, Afridi had had his most productive over against left-arm spinner Sanath Jayasuriya, hitting 28. On this occasion, Rangana Herath exacted revenge for Sri Lankan left-arm spinners by bowling Afridi first ball.

Slip of the day
Sohail Tanvir replaced Abdul Razzaq for Pakistan and bowled an insistent opening spell that deserved to take a wicket. At the end of his third over, he found the edge of Tillakaratne Dilshan's bat but Dilshan, who had 8 from 15 balls at the time, survived as Kamran Akmal only got a finger on it. Mohammad Hafeez must have rued the fact he had removed the slip prematurely.

No-ball of the day
When Jeevan Mendis walked across his stumps to be lbw to Umar Gul with 15 balls remaining, it seemed to have ended an increasingly tortured innings. But Gul had overstepped and Mendis, perhaps a little reluctantly, returned from the boundary edge to resume an innings that had brought him only 14 from 17 balls.

Adrenaline-boost of the day
The Premadasa crowd had been subdued into nervous silence after Pakistan had built a solid platform from which to attack Sri Lanka's modest total. By the ninth over, the thousands of Sri Lanka flags that had been on show during Thisara Perera's last-over blitz were stashed out of sight. An Angelo Mathews double strike in the tenth over, though, breathed life into the crowd, and had them believing once again.

Drop of the day
Hafeez seemed to have set himself for a long, responsible innings, but erred in the 12th over when he miscued a lofted drive which appeared to be heading towards Lasith Malinga at long off. The ball hung in the air for an age, and Malinga advanced, almost to the 30-yard circle, set himself, and promptly turfed a sitter. Hafeez made Sri Lanka pay immediately, hitting two fours and a six in the next six balls he faced.

Equipment removal of the day
With a boundary needed of each of the last five balls of the innings, Umar Akmal was willing to try anything to take Pakistan home, even if it meant risking injury. He called the 12th man onto the field and relieved himself of his helmet, despite having to face a seamer. The ploy didn't work though, and with nothing to gain from the last two balls from which 21 were needed, Akmal called for his helmet again.

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri Lanka

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