Sri Lanka v India, Only T20I, Pallekele August 7, 2012

The slog and the deft touch

Plays of the day from the only T20I between Sri Lanka and India in Pallekele

The field change

Ashok Dinda was almost about to start in his run up to bowl the second delivery of the 18th over when he asked MS Dhoni to move fine leg into the circle. Consequently, Virat Kohli jogged back from mid-off to long-off. Dinda hurled it in full to Dinesh Chandimal who mistimed a heave for Kohli to move a few paces to his right and take the catch. Dinda punched the air, delighted his move had paid off.

The slog(s)

Twenty20 reduces even an opener, and a pretty good one, into a slogger. Gautam Gambhir swung at his third delivery, but escaped as he was dropped at deep square leg. He swung at another one, but mistimed it to mid-on. The third time, he did not connect. The fourth time, he missed again and was bowled.

The stroke(s)

You could make out what kind of form Virat Kohli is in the way he dealt with the first ball Lasith Malinga bowled to him. It was a typical Malinga ball, low trajectory, full and swinging away just outside off stump. Kohli crouched low, bent his knees, stayed in the crease, and guided it with the swing to the deep backward point rope.

Mahela Jayawardene is a master at deft touches. The first ball of Umesh Yadav's second over was similar to the delivery Malinga bowled to Kohli. Jayawardene tackled it just like Kohli had; in fact, he ran it even finer, past the slip to the third-man rope.

The celebration

Dhoni is not given to being expressive at the fall of a wicket. But when Thisara Perera was given run-out by the third umpire off a Manoj Tiwary direct hit, Dhoni celebrated in peculiar fashion. He smiled broadly, and trotted over extravagantly towards Tiwary, taking small steps and swinging his arms all the time. The act was played a couple of times on the giant screen at the ground, and the crowd loved it.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

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