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
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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

  • wrenx 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.

  • farhan786 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.......

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

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

  • 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.....

  • 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.

  • on October 4, 2012, 19:34 GMT

    every day NO christmas , yearly only one time

  • 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.

  • khurramsch 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.

  • 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!!!!!!!

  • 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 .

  • wrenx 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.

  • farhan786 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.......

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

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

  • 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.....

  • 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.

  • on October 4, 2012, 19:34 GMT

    every day NO christmas , yearly only one time

  • 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.

  • khurramsch 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.

  • 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!!!!!!!

  • 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 .

  • on October 4, 2012, 19:02 GMT

    When you dont learn from mistakes -

    1. playing your best player up the batting order, i.e. Umar Akmal, Kamral Akmal, Shoiab Malik, Nasir Jamshed.

    2. Sending Imran Nazir over all of those above players and playing afridi as a later order hitter are one of those mistakes. Afridi clearly does not contemplate on his batting anymore and is basically worse than Even Saaed Ajmal now-a-days, can easily be suited as a No.11 batsman in anyteam, whose blind shuffle with the bat comes off every 15-20 matches.

    3.Sending Gul below Sohail Tanvir, not just the batting.. but also in the bowling order. Tanvir and Sami have been the weakest links in pakistani seam attack for years, but donno how they still hang around with the team despite of having bowlers like Junaid and Tanveer Ahmed as options.

    4. Ignoring the experience of Abdul Razzak who can bat anywhere the team wants, is a BIG MISTAKE.

    5. Hafeez held himself back as a bowler , bowled only 2 overs inspite of having one of the best records

  • Alive2cu on October 4, 2012, 19:01 GMT

    A big clean up is required as far as pakistan team is concerned... Except ajmal, umar akaml, jamshed and Hafeez, all other players dont deserve a place in team.. Pakistan desperately need, almost in every department, new blood.. And who said pakistan are good against spin?? Kindly see the record because it never lie.. They are poor against spinners since many many years now.

  • on October 4, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    great deals..........common SL

  • ReverseSweepIndia on October 4, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    one thing which we learned is team selection should be based on performance rather than on promise alone. We had too many on promise but little to deliver. Nohit Sharma, Sehwag, Zaheer. Pak made the same mistake. They had Shoaib, Shahid & Nazeer. Nazeer atleast was just ok. But Shahid Afridi do not deserve to bat anywhere other than number 10 or 11. And he is pale shadow of himself. He should not have been in team in first place. Other one was Shoib Malik. Asad Shafiq is way better than Shoaib. When you are playing with 8 or 9 men against 11 chances of success are far & few. This is T-20 and things do happen but here looks like Pak shot themselves in foot.

  • Sports4Youth on October 4, 2012, 18:41 GMT

    Yes Andrew & David you are right about kamran dropping Dilshan when he was on 8 from 15 balls. Dilshan went on to make 35. Those 28 runs were very crucial in the context of the game. But this is not the first time Kamran has done it. But somehow they think it is OK. Kamran never bats in important games. He may thrash a century or two during practice games thereby raisig false hopes but that does not count during the real matches. Also Hafeez was atleast a batsman short for the chase on this tricky wicket. Add to that the non performing Malik. That made him two batsmen short. Add to that the tactical mistake of sending Umar Akmal at no.6. That made batting for Umar Akmal very difficult because the tail enders were not helping helping him by not rotating the strike. In the end Umar Akmal was stranded with 29 off 22 ballls. Very bad planning and execution by Hafeez. In contrast though the Sri Lankans did the right things.

  • stormy16 on October 4, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    Afridi played an awful shot and I cannot get how this guy could play such a pathetic shot when a WC final was on the line. Having said that Herath gave him a beauty of a wrong un'. Another horror was Malinga's fielding who wildly geticulating for back up fielders when throws came in but amazingly maintained an unplayable length towards the end. Nothing can get away from Mahela's captaincy. His punt on Mathews was a stroke of genuis and he even tried Perera who hasnt bowled all series and didnt bowl Jeevan who has bowled in every game - just shows the man is totally switched on. Dilshan played a strange but appropriate innings and I can tell you from now its now Dilshan's thinking - yep its that man Mahela - what a geniun of a captain. His batting was on another wicket compared to everyone else. He was definitely the man of the match by a country mile.

  • nix_moviefreak on October 4, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    Hearty congratulations to Sri Lanka.. Now it's your job to bring the world cup to the sub-continent. Hard luck PAK.. Yours is the team which is performing consistently in T20 WC.

  • on October 4, 2012, 18:34 GMT

    dont blame Lala..what the heck were the others doing?

  • on October 4, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    Afridi has to be dropped Permanently... until he performs in domestic

  • PakCricSpin on October 4, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    I think Pakistan played as best as they could. In the end the brittle Pakistani batting was once again exposed on a very difficult pitch which caused even the Sri Lankan batsmen to work hard for their runs.

    In the end the better team won. Congratulations Sri Lanka. :) From Pakistani Fan.

  • SalamNameste on October 4, 2012, 18:20 GMT

    Please Pakistan selectors don't pick these players AFRIDI IMRAN NAZIR SOHAIL TANVIR KAMRAN AKMAL

  • on October 4, 2012, 18:20 GMT

    go srilanka goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  • Rajiv007 on October 4, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    Now...we will see some Sri Lankan fans commenting Pakistan played well and they are such a great side, sad for their exit.........making fun of them actually..hahaha....love this....what a great method to make opponent lose.

  • JustIPL on October 4, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    Afridi has to retire now. Such an uncertain commodity with the bat. Let's also not forget his 141 against India only in his second test when Tendulkar also made exactly 141. But he has not lived to his potential of hiting big hundreds. His bowling has done some constant damage to the various oppositions.

  • gizel on October 4, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    Very Very disappointing Pakistan. . . .but not the performance of-course but the fact that we couldn't make it to the finals. It is very disappointing. sad to see the Pak players leave. God bless Hafeez and his Team.

  • on October 4, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    I think i'd be the last person anyone would expect to defend players who perform badly but receive no criticism just because they're loved by the people, if anything i would be the first one to criticize them, regardless of what player it is i'd prefer to look at the facts and facts are Afridi's won more matches for Pakistan than he failed to perform in especially in the last couple of years... therefore to criticize him now when he's obviously out of form would be unfair and an insult to his services to his team... though if this bad form continues then... well... we'll just have to wait and see...

  • JamesTHEwalldravid on October 4, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    Let us be honest. I find it erroneous that you left out the most important play of the day; when the umpire gave Nasir out to a ball pitching outside leg stump! That changed the game as it led to the fall of Kamran and the others quickly causing the collapse. Instead you just chose to mention the "Adrenaline-boost of the day" and glossed over the most important bit of information.

  • kdatta on October 4, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    I am an Indian but I like Pakistan's cricket team. I must say "Boom Boom" Afridi is the king of mishits.. really he specializes in them.. it's so easy to get him out...I have seen in so many matches.. in crunch situations.. he just goes for a big shot and gets out :).

  • on October 4, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    afridi should be used in power play... even if gets out in third or fourth over ... he can spoil the party of any team ... hafeez should have played him up the order as it was low scoring match and a little cameo could have eased the pressure... mere waste of wicket..

  • on October 4, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    And i thought for a second that Umar Akmal was gonna remove his shirt too...

  • Surajdon9 on October 4, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    Congratulation Everybody, Lankan Lions Into the Grand Final....anyway well played Pakistan..Better luck next time.....Well played Mahela,sanga,Dille,Herath,Mendis,Mathews,Kula and Mali...All the best for Final..we need to wave flag of Srilanka as a Champions.....

  • on October 4, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    Afridi is just an ordinary all-rounder if not a bowling all-rounder who can bat a bit like 1 per 10 innings or so in all forms. If your're looking at real all-rounders today then you're looking at people like Watson, Kallis, Matthews, Shakib etc even Hafeez has improved greatly as an all-rounder.

  • on October 4, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    greetings to Sri Lanka from Pakistani fan... although hafeez was the main culprit.. after gettin 3 chances he still lost the match when paksitan required 49 of 36ball with 6 wickets in hand. despite Pakistani mistakes,, salute to Malinga, Mendis, Jayawardene and especially thinking mandis...

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  • on October 4, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    greetings to Sri Lanka from Pakistani fan... although hafeez was the main culprit.. after gettin 3 chances he still lost the match when paksitan required 49 of 36ball with 6 wickets in hand. despite Pakistani mistakes,, salute to Malinga, Mendis, Jayawardene and especially thinking mandis...

  • on October 4, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    Afridi is just an ordinary all-rounder if not a bowling all-rounder who can bat a bit like 1 per 10 innings or so in all forms. If your're looking at real all-rounders today then you're looking at people like Watson, Kallis, Matthews, Shakib etc even Hafeez has improved greatly as an all-rounder.

  • Surajdon9 on October 4, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    Congratulation Everybody, Lankan Lions Into the Grand Final....anyway well played Pakistan..Better luck next time.....Well played Mahela,sanga,Dille,Herath,Mendis,Mathews,Kula and Mali...All the best for Final..we need to wave flag of Srilanka as a Champions.....

  • on October 4, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    And i thought for a second that Umar Akmal was gonna remove his shirt too...

  • on October 4, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    afridi should be used in power play... even if gets out in third or fourth over ... he can spoil the party of any team ... hafeez should have played him up the order as it was low scoring match and a little cameo could have eased the pressure... mere waste of wicket..

  • kdatta on October 4, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    I am an Indian but I like Pakistan's cricket team. I must say "Boom Boom" Afridi is the king of mishits.. really he specializes in them.. it's so easy to get him out...I have seen in so many matches.. in crunch situations.. he just goes for a big shot and gets out :).

  • JamesTHEwalldravid on October 4, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    Let us be honest. I find it erroneous that you left out the most important play of the day; when the umpire gave Nasir out to a ball pitching outside leg stump! That changed the game as it led to the fall of Kamran and the others quickly causing the collapse. Instead you just chose to mention the "Adrenaline-boost of the day" and glossed over the most important bit of information.

  • on October 4, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    I think i'd be the last person anyone would expect to defend players who perform badly but receive no criticism just because they're loved by the people, if anything i would be the first one to criticize them, regardless of what player it is i'd prefer to look at the facts and facts are Afridi's won more matches for Pakistan than he failed to perform in especially in the last couple of years... therefore to criticize him now when he's obviously out of form would be unfair and an insult to his services to his team... though if this bad form continues then... well... we'll just have to wait and see...

  • gizel on October 4, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    Very Very disappointing Pakistan. . . .but not the performance of-course but the fact that we couldn't make it to the finals. It is very disappointing. sad to see the Pak players leave. God bless Hafeez and his Team.

  • JustIPL on October 4, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    Afridi has to retire now. Such an uncertain commodity with the bat. Let's also not forget his 141 against India only in his second test when Tendulkar also made exactly 141. But he has not lived to his potential of hiting big hundreds. His bowling has done some constant damage to the various oppositions.