Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st T20, Dubai December 11, 2013

Thirimanne's flying catch

Plays of the Day from the first T20 international between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Dubai

The grumpy catcher
Kumar Sangakkara's dismissal is often cause for unhinged celebration, but Shahid Afridi was anything but joyous when he caught a mistimed Sangakkara shot at cover. The catch was simple enough, as Afridi snaffled the chance in front of his face, but his apparent irritation suggested that he had lost the ball momentarily in the background, perhaps in the stadium lights. The rest of his team did not share his displeasure though, particularly as it was Saeed Ajmal's 400th international scalp.

The catch
Ahmed Shehzad had held on to a flying cut shot at point to secure Pakistan's first breakthrough, but he was the victim of an awe-inspiring take from Lahiru Thirimanne, who set a standard that will be difficult to match. Spotting a wide half-volley from Sachithra Senanayake, Shehzad struck the ball powerfully, but aerially, wide of cover. In split seconds, Thirimanne was airborne and horizontal, both arms outstretched above his head like he was reaching for a trapeze. The ball had passed him by about a metre when he intercepted it with his fingertips, and it stuck firm to Thirimanne's palms, at the zenith of his arc.

The almost-freebie
Ajantha Mendis' first ball of the ninth over was perhaps among the worst he has bowled in international cricket - a loopy full toss about half-a-metre outside the leg stump to Sharjeel Khan. Nevertheless, he was inches from gleaning a wicket from it. Sharjeel swept at the ball, and connected with his top edge, sending it over Angelo Mathews at short fine-leg. Mathews ran backwards quickly from his post, and got a few fingers to the ball as it descended, but couldn't hold on.

The misfield
Sri Lanka were average in the field, despite Thirimanne's catch, but in the 12th over, a failed attempt at fielding the ball brought them an important wicket. The new batsman Sohaib Maqsood drove a full Ajantha Mendis delivery back to the bowler, who stooped to field the ball, but let it slip through his fingers. Unintentionally, he had redirected it at the non-strikers' stumps though, and while Umar Akmal can feel his run out was unlucky, he contributed to his demise by not sliding his bat.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Waqas on December 12, 2013, 15:57 GMT

    @spas Spot on mate :D LOL

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    SL is one of the bter fielding side pakistan have to field well to win against SL.....

  • iman on December 12, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    Pak were fortunate to come out on TOP here....Afridi is a hit n just happens this time was a hit. Because after Shezad/Hafeez/ of Pak team are just patchups, which dont look like international preofessional caliber.

    As far as SL is concerend. More than anyone, they missed the boat with Thisara P. He came to bat very late, this is T20, and he is deadly with the stick. Had he come in 4/5, SL would have put on at least 20 more runs...and that would have put an end to Pak chase.

    Having said all this, Afridi save the day, and played sensibly for once in his life. They should give Tanvir the boot...guy has a chip on his shoulders. Amin, does not look comfortable playing in the T20, I would let him play in the Test to get him comfortable palying in the itnernational circuit...Why is Usman khan not given a chance in at least one ODI...I know why...he does not hail from our greates province of Punjab...

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2013, 14:48 GMT

    Howcome you didn't fidel the late looping cut by afridi to Malinga? or how funny it was that it took 2 minutes for Sri Lanka to set the field, and 2 seconds for afridi to end the game

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    SL dont let their best T20 player bat. Tisara Perera should bat before Channdimal, Thirimmana and Mathew

  • Yohan on December 12, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    Mr. Syed Ahmad Abbas Rizvi? are Afridi, Umar Akmal, Sharjeel in Sri Lanka team?

  • Manesh on December 12, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    Who is missing here? oh yeah SL fans.....!

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    Afridi does performs , people expect him to perform in every Mach that's why he becomes bad player. There are 11 players in the team, in every match team wins because of one or 2 players. So if he performs after every 5 or 6 match he is still worth. Some of them don't performs at all. I am watching Umar Amin, what he has done so far.

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    Excellent catch by Thirimanne Pakistan playing well consistently due to good ream composition Good game

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    Agree to Syed Ahmad Abbas Rizvi !!! :D

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