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Plays of the Day from the first day of the Galle Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan
Kanishkaa Balachandran in Galle
June 22, 2012
Poor shot of the day
Tharanga Paranavitana looked a walking wicket at the start of Sri Lanka's innings. He had a life against Umar Gul, when an inside edge on to the pads lobbed to the wicketkeeper but the catch was not given. He wasn't prepared to show much respect to Pakistan's best bowler, Saeed Ajmal, either. Paranavitana tried paddling Ajmal in his first over, but got a thick edge on to the pad that was dropped by Azhar Ali at silly point. Those two let-offs, however, didn't deter Paranavitana from attempting the audacious. He uncharacteristically chipped down the pitch to a flighted delivery, presumably played for the doosra, but was comprehensively beaten and stumped. Not the wisest choice of shot and Ajmal was smiling again after a disappointing one-day series.
Audacious shot of the day
It was unusual to see Mahela Jayawardene take a while to get off the mark. He was scoreless for 15 deliveries either side of the tea break until he played one of his audacious shots. The threat of Ajmal, Pakistan's only wicket-taker, mattered little as Jayawardene played the paddle scoop for four. He got more daring the following ball, reverse-sweeping through the off-side field. The fun didn't stop there. In Ajmal's following over, Jayawardene had just enough on the scoop to clear short fine leg, who was placed precisely for that shot. It summed up a tough day on the field for Pakistan.
Painful moment of the day
Fielding in such sultry weather places heavy demands on the mind and body that fielders tend to switch off between overs. The wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal did that and paid a price. Shortly after Jayawardene cut to the deep backward point boundary off the last ball of an Umar Gul over, Akmal failed to notice the throw heading his way. The ball struck his ankle and he collapsed, writhing in pain for several minutes and forcing play to stop.
Escape of the day
There were plenty of appeals, but the one that hurt Pakistan most, in the absence of DRS, was the close shout for lbw against Jayawardene. Gul got the ball to nip back in from a length and hit the batsman on the pads. At first glance it looked adjacent. Jayawardene would have expected the finger to go up any minute, but it did not. Gul, arms flailing and wearing a look of desperation, had to accept that he couldn't challenge the decision.
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Kanishkaa Balachandran
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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