Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI, Abu Dhabi December 27, 2013

Misbah gives up the reverse-sweep

Plays of the day from the fifth ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi

The brain-fade
You've been denied pace from one end on a slow pitch. You see a quicker bowler at the other, and try to take some runs off him. You hit him for four over extra cover. Next ball, you cart him high over the wide long-on boundary. If you are an opener, you think that it's enough for one over, there are plenty more to come. But Ahmed Shehzad went for glory off the third ball too, against Suranga Lakmal, and his wild mis-hit only found mid-on in the sixth over.

The blinder
Sohaib Maqsood was looking in fine touch, having got off the mark with an elegant extra-cover drive for four. First ball of the 17th over, he got a short and wide offering from Lasith Malinga, and slapped it in the air behind backward point. He hadn't timed it too well, but it was still travelling. Tillakaratne Dilshan, all of 37 years, threw himself to his left, got both hands to the ball and came down on the ground with it safely lodged in his palms.

The return to convention
Misbah-ul-Haq was finding it difficult to score at the start of his innings. He turned to the reverse-sweep to release the pressure, but missed a couple of times against Sachithra Senanayake. Undaunted, he tried the stroke once more, against Dilshan this time, and almost got himself out, the ball hitting the glove and falling just short of the wicketkeeper. Realising innovation wasn't working, Misbah turned to the regular sweep next ball, and grinned as it scurried away fine for the first boundary in 56 deliveries.

The change
Having dismissed Kumar Sangakkara in his previous over, Junaid Khan pulled up after the first ball of the 31st. He had a chat with Misbah, who handed the ball to Umar Gul to complete the over as Junaid walked off the field. A fast bowler coming back after a long injury layoff and replacing a sore fast bowler. Should have been cause for concern. It was, for Sri Lanka. Gul bounded in, got the first ball to kick from back of a length and produced an edge from Ashan Priyanjan to the keeper.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on December 28, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    should have mentioned A Mendis and his 4 of Ajmal's last ball and 6 of Gul in 49th over.

  • Sinhabahu on December 28, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    I agree with bouncer709. Though these strokes bring more innovation to the limited-overs game, it's really frustrating to see batsmen getting out to these shots, especially when they're well set.

  • Tweety20 on December 28, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    It was a thriller! Kept the spectators at the edges of their seats whether they were watching at home or the stadium.

  • android_user on December 27, 2013, 23:43 GMT

    C'on Pakistan try ur best 2 become the best magic cricket team as u used 2 be!!!!!!!

  • bouncer709 on December 27, 2013, 22:50 GMT

    you mentioned Misbah but missed to mention reverse sweep by Parera...Selectors should drop the batsman in next game if he gets out on reverse sweep or trying to play dilsho scoop, or padle the ball over fine leg... these shots are suicide shots, and more often get you out than giving you few runs, specially when a settle batsman play this shot, (if i am selector i will kick the batsman out from the team). Today Parera was playing so beautifully, but then he did the stupidity and threw his wckt. I think its a shame for any proper batsman to trying such non cricketing shots.

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