Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 5th ODI, Colombo June 18, 2012

Tanvir thrills and spills

Plays of the Day from the fifth ODI between Sri Lanka and Pakistan

Akmal v Malinga
Lasith Malinga's bouncer barrage at Umar Akmal in the fourth ODI had set up the batsman's dismissal and triggered Pakistan's collapse. So, much was anticipated when Akmal took guard for the rematch, but Malinga's first over to him was uneventful. The second one was more action packed. After three dot balls, a short one on the ribs was fended to fine leg. A repeat delivery two balls later was sent to fine leg again, this time with more conviction. In Malinga's next over, a top edge from Akmal cleared the wicketkeeper. Realising the bouncer wasn't the right ploy, Malinga hit back in his next spell with a series of fast yorkers outside off stump that Akmal failed to put away. Still, 21 runs off 23 balls for Akmal was an improvement from the horror of the previous game.

Tanvir thrills
Shortly after knocking down Tillakaratne Dilshan's leg stump with a sharp incoming delivery, Sohail Tanvir produced arguably the delivery of the match. Bowling from over the wicket, he landed the ball on a good length, got it to hold its line, beat Upul Tharanga's drive and sent the off stump cartwheeling almost halfway to the wicketkeeper.

Tanvir spills
In the field, though, it was a different story for Tanvir. A drive from Kumar Sangakkara should have been stopped at mid-on, but Tanvir was a bit too late with the dive. His worst was yet to come. Fielding at deep cover, Tanvir sprinted to his right to stop the ball at the boundary's edge, but decided to take the easy way out and stuck his boot out instead. The ball bounced off his right boot and deflected off his leg to the boundary. A peeved Misbah-ul-Haq, already at his wits' end thanks to Pakistan's fielding lapses, banished Tanvir to third man, in front of the noisiest section of the crowd.

Redemption for Sarfraz
Tanvir wasn't the only culprit. Sarfraz Ahmed also wanted to look for the nearest place to hide when he dropped Sangakkara on 25. Sangakkara drove at a length ball and got an outside edge that ought to have been taken by Sarfraz. He fluffed the catch, though, and covered his face for a few agonising seconds, fearing the drop would cost Pakistan the game. Sarfraz, however, had a second chance. Sangakkara, on 40, dropped the ball close on the off side and set off for a run. To his horror, he saw the ball spinning back towards the keeper. Sarfraz collected the ball and in one motion broke the stumps before Sangakkara could get back. The batsman cut a desolate figure on one knee.

Lahiru's luck
Lahiru Thirimanne had two close shaves during his innings. When trying to cut Mohammad Hafeez, Thirimanne ended up getting a bottom edge into the pitch and the ball top spun towards the stumps. He tried desperately to block it with his bat but the ball struck the stumps. The bails, however, did not fall. There was a similar incident in the following over as well. Like Sangakkara, Thirimanne dropped the ball on the pitch and tried to steal a single. Sarfraz collected it and flicked the ball back on to the stumps. Once again the bails did not fall, but Thirimanne had made his ground.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Amjad on June 20, 2012, 3:42 GMT

    KarachiKid: I would like to know that too!

  • Waqas on June 19, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    @Fast Track Bully: Yup Pakistan still has the best attack and this can be easily proven by statistics. Just count how many matches Pakistan won by defending the total and compare it with the same statistic for other teams. Although bowlers have failed recently but it does not take away the miracles they have produced for their team. It is just like if tendulkar fails to score in one or two or even 10 games then that does not mean that he is not a great player. dont forget that bowlers are humans too and they can make mistakes.

  • Owais on June 19, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    What is the fielding coach doing in PAkistan set up ? is he there to enjoy holiday in Sri Lanka ?

  • sachit on June 19, 2012, 6:04 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs - amen to that mate... so much drama in the 50 over game. The 4th ODI had an amazing turnaround, and you will not get to see gritty inning's like Matthew's in a T20.

  • Manesh on June 19, 2012, 4:59 GMT

    still the Pak fans will argue that they have the best bowling and batting unit...only god knows why they r not able to bring victory for the team!

  • Rakesh on June 19, 2012, 4:14 GMT

    Main reason are: 1. poor batting in last five overs by U. Akmal 2. Playing so slowly by A.Ali and M. Haq. 3. Droping Saeed Ajmal in place of S. Afridi. 4. Poor Fealding. 5. Not playing with A. Cheema in place of U. Gul.

  • Shadab on June 19, 2012, 4:02 GMT

    Sri Lanka was more hungry for win rather Pakistan. causes of defeat are many. Take a breath Pakistani fans. Calm down. Say bye to few players. Younis, Sami, Misbah.

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2012, 23:37 GMT

    Reasons fo defeat are because1) we score only 20 runs in last five overs 2)our bowlers did not use variation like slow balls, yorkers,bouncers outside the off stumps as Malinga did in last overs 3)our fielding as usual is not upto mark.

  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2012, 22:26 GMT

    Sri Lankan youngf brigade is the most talented

  • Earl on June 18, 2012, 19:52 GMT

    How do players become "STARS and BIG NAMES? I think they have produced and proven themselves to be good players. Now,young players that start playing have to do the same.If they have not proven that they are better then why are people complaining. Just need to have something negative to say I guess. You pick a bunch of no name players and no one will be watching.

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