Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2nd Test, SSC, Colombo, 1st day June 30, 2012

Mohammad Hafeez gets lucky

Plays of the Day from the first day of the SSC Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan

Shot of the day
Taufeeq Umar got Pakistan rolling with meaty drives against the seamers, but the most elegant shot came off Mohammad Hafeez's bat. In need of runs, Hafeez extinguished all self-doubt with a punch through mid-off off Nuwan Pradeep, using the pace of the ball to send it to the boundary. His placement couldn't have been better. The fielder at mid-off merely turned and watched the ball race away without budging.

Let-off of the day
On a flat pitch, the best hope of getting a wicket was the batsman throwing it away. Opportunities were hard to come by all morning, and post lunch, Hafeez had a reprieve. He was positive against the spinners from the beginning, but when he tried to clear the boundary off Suraj Randiv, his heart must have been in his mouth after seeing Nuwan Kulasekara sprinting to his left from deep mid-on. It was a clever field placement. Kulasekara did the hard work of getting there, but failed to catch it on the dive and prevent the boundary.

Second let-off of the day
After the umpiring howlers in Galle, Pakistan needed some luck. Hafeez had lots of it. He nearly undid all his hard work in the last over before tea. Angelo Mathews pitched short down the leg side and Hafeez tried to pull it down to fine leg but gloved it. Prasanna Jayawardene took a sharp catch to his left. The umpire Ian Gould wasn't sure if it was a legal delivery and asked the TV umpire. His doubts were confirmed. Mathews had overstepped and Sri Lanka had to cut short their celebrations.

No DRS fault of the day
Hafeez was the survivor again. Shortly before stumps, Rangana Herath had a close shout for caught behind turned down. The ball had spun, bounced and seemed to take the edge off Hafeez's bat. Prasanna Jayawardene began celebrating but Simon Taufel was not so sure. The magnifying glass seemed to detect an edge, but with no DRS in place, Sri Lanka had to live with the umpire's decision. Summed up a hard day.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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