Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 2nd T20, Dubai December 13, 2013

Sharjeel's rush of blood, and Pakistan's poor fielding

Plays of the day from the second Twenty20 between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Dubai

The fruitless round trip
Kusal Perera's belligerent innings might have never materialised had Pakistan's fielding been just a tad sharper in the first over, when Perera ran almost all the way to the other crease before being sent back. He had hit the fifth ball of the over in between cover and point and had taken off immediately for the single, but Tillakaratne Dilshan remained stationary, and did not call off the run either. Perera was about three metres from the bowling crease when he realised Dilshan would not attempt the run, and by this time, the fielder had also collected the ball. Hesitating slightly, the fielder threw the ball wide of keeper Umar Akmal, and Kusal's desperate dive was enough to get him back in the crease before the bails came off.

The rush of blood
Sharjeel Khan was by far the best among Pakistan's top-order batsmen, but having reached his maiden international fifty with a pair of beautifully struck sixes off Seekkuge Prasanna, the batsman may have let the moment excite him a little too much. He had been walloping the ball around the field by staying in his crease and generating power from a stable base but, as soon as he reached the milestone, Sharjeel walked well across the stumps on to the off side, perhaps to throw the bowler off his line. The ploy worked terribly, though. Prasanna served up a harmless full toss on leg stump that, had he retained his normal stance, Sharjeel would probably have slapped through square leg. Instead, he couldn't get his bat anywhere close to the ball and was bowled around his legs.

The frustrated captain
Things began going poorly very early in the match for Mohammad Hafeez, but his mood was not helped by moments of complacency in the field, particularly off Hafeez's own bowling. Kusal Perera pushed a ball towards midwicket in the ninth over, and though Umar Amin and Sharjeel Khan closed in on it quickly, both men managed to misfield the ball, and conceded an extra run. Hafeez was understandably irate, gesticulating animatedly and yelling expletives in the fielders' direction, but when Perera played the same stroke in Hafeez's next over, the same two fielders failed to collect cleanly again, prompting a second round of even more frustrated abuse from the captain.

The agile recovery
The universe has not allowed Kumar Sangakkara to do much wrong in recent months, and though he contrived to make a mess of a high ball off Shahid Afridi's top-edge in the 14th over, he recovered spectacularly to complete the catch. Sangakkara had called for the ball early, after Afridi miscued a slog off Thisara Perera, and the wicketkeeper began running back towards short third man, as he tailed the ball. As the ball began to descend though, Sangakkara realised he had misjudged its arc and had overrun it. In the final split seconds, though, he threw himself back, arm outstretched like an Olympic diver, and managed to pouch the ball with one glove.

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

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  • Android on December 16, 2013, 3:05 GMT

    wish all da best for Sl and pak team for ODI SERIES..

  • Dummy4 on December 14, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    kusal is a reminiscent of glorious past when Jayasuriya was in the team

  • Orang on December 14, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    Most definitely, these two teams will battle it out in the final of the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in a couple of months. They have a superb blend of batters and bowlers.

  • shahid on December 14, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    Umar Amin must have such a strong sponsor behind him that he can go on to be part of the team without even once performing in three years (since England tour of 2010).

  • syed on December 14, 2013, 0:38 GMT

    Why is Umar Amin continuing to play in green is beyond me. Like Hafeez himself, PCB is doing every thing in their power to make Umar Amin be part of the team. I can only remember one innings in West Indies where Umar Amin scored the most runs in the team... Other than that, he's been a royal flop for the full year and a half. Unbelievable ... Then again. This is PCB we are talking about.

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2013, 21:17 GMT

    (Cont.) Kusal played a marvelous innings. He scored boundaries and sixes with calculated risks. This shows how good he can be in the long run of his career. The important thing is how far he can carry his form which SL team would desperately need of him at least till the mega event,T20 WC 2014. Prasanna's cameo played an important role with bat and later on he also got 2 wickets though he was a bit expensive but defending a big total, bowlers usually also expect the opponents to fire. Overall SL played better than Pak so they are well deserved. The team SL proved today that being # 1 in T20 was neither coincidence nor fluke rather they had earned that by passing through many laborious and painstaking efforts. They didn't carry the crown for granted.Honestly speaking there would have been really a hell of enthusiasm had there been another match of the T20 series. Anyways both the team showed some unforgettable show and enthused the fans with climaxes and anticlimaxes.Bravo SL & Pak!!!!

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    WOW!!! This match was no doubt one of the best T20 matches. A match that was full of blitz,mastery,eloquence,dexterity and awesomeness!!! Both the teams again did well but this was SL who stole the show. The T20 cricket needs such matches to enliven the stage which is overall very good for the cricket itself. The T20 cricket has become no more hit and miss game as it was in its beginning years 2007 and 2008 rather it has been evolved into use of consistent use of talent coupled with the utilization of skills.Hafeez, after winning the toss earlier on expected the opponents that they will struggle to defend their total if it's there around 150 again but this time the team SL had some other plans. Chandimal and Co. knew well to score to that extent which may be very challenging despite of the dew factors which they achieved well. Kusal Perera was at his best by playing some elegant strokes all around the ground justifying his selection.He is a great find and good asset for SL.(Cont.)

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2013, 21:12 GMT

    Well done SL, congratulations...... sorry for Hafiz for his own mistakes. He should come down from professor level to realize that he needs to learn basic of opening an inning or playing against fast bowlers, and the very basic of captainship skills.

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    Seriously Pakistan's young team need a mentor in Batting and Bowling. Presence of Younis Khan (since other than him and Misbah we don't have any experience batsmen in Batting lot in domestic circle as well) and Umar Gul in Bowling will be quite handy to train this lot. They have talent but can not win matches!

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