Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st Test, Galle, 2nd day

Pakistan's fielding gets a thumbs-up

Plays of the Day from the second day of the Galle Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan

Kanishkaa Balachandran in Galle

June 23, 2012

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Adnan Akmal stumped Thilan Samaraweera, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st Test, Galle, 2nd day, June 23, 2012
Thilan Samaraweera was stumped following a drinks break © AFP
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How was that, coach?
Pakistan's abysmal fielding in the one-dayers caused them a great deal of embarrassment. The Tests were a chance to rectify those errors. With the field spread out, Samgakkara decided to farm the strike as he approached a possible double-century. After punching Mohammad Hafeez wide of long-on, he rushed his partner Rangana Herath for the second. Umar Gul's throw was sharp and quick and Herath failed to make his ground in time. It was a sound fielding effort all-round and Hafeez's relief was obvious when he gestured to the fielding coach Julien Fountain, who gave him a thumbs-up.

Mahela v Ajmal
Nothing was going to stop Mahela Jayawardene from continuing to be cheeky against Saeed Ajmal. He employed the scoop and reverse sweep on the first day to hurt Ajmal's ego, and his intended approach today wasn't any different. Not that it lasted very long. Facing Ajmal's second over of the day, Jayawardene swiftly dispatched the second ball over point off the reverse sweep. When the fielder threw the ball from the boundary, Ajmal promptly asked him to stay there. With that gap plugged, Jayawardene had to look elsewhere to find boundaries. He adopted the more conventional slog sweep off the third ball and lost his off stump. Ajmal's celebration was more out of anger, than relief.

Blame it on the break, I
Saeed Ajmal toiled hard on a pitch where wickets were at a premium - at least, when Sri Lanka was batting. While Jayawardene contributed to his own dismissal, Thilan Samaraweera was foxed by Ajmal's brilliance. He tossed up the doosra and drew Samaraweera forward to drive. He ended up pushing well inside the line of the ball and was beaten. However, he failed to drag his back foot back in time and was stumped by Adnan Akmal. The next ball, Angelo Mathews played a loose drive off another flighted delivery and spooned it back to Ajmal. Pakistan had two wickets in two balls, straight after the drinks break. On day one, it took them all of 90 overs to remove the same number.

Blame it on the break, II
Shortly after the drinks break midway through the second session, the heavens opened up for a short while, giving the players a much-needed extended break. Prasanna Jayawardene and Sangakkara had staged a recovery after a middle-order wobble and had to maintain that concentration when they returned. They were eager to get on - the umpires and the batsmen took their positions - but the Pakistan players took their time. The short break worked in Pakistan's favour too, as Mohammad Hafeez struck in the first over, getting Prasanna to edge to the keeper.

The double-century that wasn't
A scoring glitch caused much confusion as Kumar Sangakkara celebrated what he thought was a double-hundred. After turning down several opportunities for singles with the tailenders at the other end, Sangakkara decided to go for broke. On 193, he slogged Saeed Ajmal cleanly over deep midwicket and immediately raised his bat and arms, celebrating yet another double against Pakistan. Though the giant screen flashed his score of 200, to his shock, he was alerted by his team-mates from the dressing room that he was in fact one run short. He tried to pinch a single off the next ball - the last of the over - but failed to reach the landmark. The No.11 Nuwan Pradeep under enormous pressure the following over and Sangakkara's worst fears were confirmed when Pradeep was out bowled, leaving him stranded on 199.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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