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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    Really poor performance so far by SL.This shows how weak SL bowling attack is. And I am absolutely mystified with SL management decision to bowl first! Paranavithana, Randiv and Nuwan Pradeep have to perform better if they are to keep their places in the side and Hearth needs to improve his strike rate (68 now) if he is to win matches for SL. Chandimal, Dilhara and Jeevan and may be Thirimanna should be given a chance in the 3rd test.

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2012, 2:17 GMT

    All great players need some or alot of luck. Example: SRT.

  • vigi on June 30, 2012, 21:26 GMT

    keep your words with u cyborg and don't jinx pakistan. Weather reports say that heavy rain is predicted for the next three days. But if false pak shud do this easily. Poor from mahela and coach ford for opting to bowl first. With such a blunt attack a really poor decisions.

  • hyrbie on June 30, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    Pakistan are going to run away with this match , a cruling tremors of test cricket , a facinating sight to see hafeez get runs , I like the way the match is going

  • Nikhil on June 30, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    @Syed_imran_abbas totally agree with you... he was lucky only once, not thrice. SL let themselves down once, and the last one couldn't be given. The writer must have missed the game lol

  • Masudur on June 30, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    Yes, pakistan has done a good score.

  • Imran on June 30, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    Well how could you call him lucky when it was a no ball and second edge was not conclusive even with magnifying glasses? its so baised to see nothing written here when pakistan recieved 10 wrong decesions in a single match but in this match where so far they hardly gave a chance to umpires you guys are trying to scratch sumthing out of it.

  • Imran on June 30, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    He is lucky or may be umpire was able to see this time.

  • Prashan on June 30, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    Hafeez getting a reprieve just before closure was fair justice after woeful umpiring in the first test. Even with UDRS still Sri Lanka were the clear winners in Galle. This is a definite draw for sure and no point watching the next few days. I will instead watch the 2nd ODI between Australia and England tomorrow.

  • Dummy4 on June 30, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    Thanks Mahela to let us bat first, I guess Nasir Hussain won't feel lonely anymore.

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