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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • I on October 5, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    @Karnain Virat Kohli is everything Umar Akmal could have been if he had the discipline and wasn't messed around by the management so much. The way things panned out, Virat Kohli's career has soared through being treated as a proper batsman in a batsman's slot, which made the most of his natural talent. Akmal's talen has just been wasted while he's been treated as a pinch hitter who cannot construct an innings any more.

  • farhan on October 5, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    I agree it was a poor batting display BY Pakistan but we also need to appreciate the Pakistan team efforts, its wrong to blame them when they lost and appreciate when they win. I think Pakistan did their best after a very poor batting display against the India. I think they played well overall and credit goes to Sri Lanka for being the better team on the day. Secondly yes there is need of change. there are some good players in the form of Nasir Jamshed and Raza Hasan. Pakistan need to bring some more new blood.They need to bring some strength to batting and look for some nice Seamers as well. so lets criticize but do a constructive one. We should be proud of Pakistan team, with no home game still they played some excellent cricket. WELL DONE PAKISTAN.......

  • Uwaisul on October 5, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    Is Akmal trying to become the Pakistan version of Virat Kohli?

  • Dummy4 on October 5, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    Poor cricket show from Pakistan....Pak players always keep themselves in extreme pressure while chasing target....Pakistan played too many dot balls and added more pressure, this resulted pak batsman to throw their wickets....Pak lost because of Afridi, kamran, and shoaib these three put together just 7 runs on the board.....

  • Dummy4 on October 4, 2012, 22:26 GMT

    Well you both have missed one thing, decision of the day, Rod Tucker had given out to Nasir Jamshed an in-form Batsman and triggered the collapse.

  • Dummy4 on October 4, 2012, 19:34 GMT

    every day NO christmas , yearly only one time

  • Dummy4 on October 4, 2012, 19:25 GMT

    Windies winning against Aussies ( pay back for group match) and beating SL in the final ( pay back for super 8 match). will make the game redeem its lost glory in West Indies. But the team with least wins ( 1 in group and 2 in super 8 of which 1 is in super over) went thru to semis while team India with 4 wins was out of semis. Why the rule change of super over instead of splitting points in the round robin stages while it, logically, should apply only in the knock out stage was made and for what reason only ICC can tell. Not much of thought appears to have gone into group 4 (12 matches) and super 8 (12 matches) instead of 2 groups of 6 teams playing 30 matches and top 2 teams from each group playing semis.

    India knew the target was no more than 120 and no batsman would be allowed more than a run a ball. Had only Du Plesis's dismissal (38 ball 66, 28 runs more than run a ball) been planned and executed at least after he scoring 20 + runs, India would have been thru to the semis.

  • khurram on October 4, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    poor by pakistan, Sl read pitch well. it was not a hit pitch and pak players were trying to hit it out of park. Poor umpiring cost Jamshed, & poor shots by imran, afridi, kamran & hafeez. gul's last over was too much. Leaving razak out was a problem. After this i think afridi should retire. Malik & imran again showed that they are only now domestic and league players not international anymore.

  • Dummy4 on October 4, 2012, 19:12 GMT

    Great to see Sri Lanka advancing to another final...4th such occasion in last 5 years is itself an achievement but the country needs some silverware badly. I think advancing Jeewan to 2 down spot has paid great dividend but the instruction that should have been given need bit of a change especially like in today game. SL had a low score when he came to bat and the situation needed someone who can cleanly hit few of them out of the park plus the batsmen at the other end was not at his best. I would have preferred Angelo coming 2 down today... anyway, I still prefer Jeewan coming at 2 down as he is a great accumulator of runs with his dabs. Malinga is a real liability on the field and this is not the 1st time it has been evident... anyway go hard in the final and make us all proud!!!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on October 4, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    Pakistan never had a batsman after the retirement of javed miandad, except saeed anwar and inzamam. They lost 99 wc due to poor batting, they were knocked out in both next world cups due to poor batting, they were beaten by india in semis in 2011 wc due to poor batting and same today. They need to have saeed and inzamam kind of men back to win .

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