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Plays of the Day from the fourth day of the third Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Pallekele
Kanishkaa Balachandran in Pallekele
July 11, 2012
Poor shot of the day
The sun was out and the fourth day pitch resembled the one at the SSC, with barely any movement on offer. On the third day, Thilan Samaraweera and Tharanga Paranavitana survived a testing morning session without being dislodged, and today, Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali had all but emulated them. The pair had added a fairly chanceless 83, until Hafeez lost his concentration. With another ten minutes till lunch, Dilhara Fernando slipped in an innocuous full delivery outside the off stump, probably wide enough to be penalised, but Hafeez couldn't resist chasing it. The ball took the outside edge and went chest-high to Paranavitana at first slip. Nearly two hours of hard work was undone by an uncharacteristic shot by Hafeez, and the hosts finally had a breather.
Bowling change of the day
Ironically, the most experienced of the Sri Lanka seamers, Fernando, was sparingly used by Mahela Jayawardene. When Sri Lanka took the second new ball, Nuwan Kulasekara and Thisara Perera were the preferred options. Fernando was brought back in the 90th over, with the hope of breaking the stand between Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali. The partnership had just reached 100, when Fernando tempted Azhar into a slash outside off. It didn't bounce as much, and Azhar played a tired shot without moving his feet. Like with Hafeez, it was a rare lapse in concentration. Fernando struck again in his following over, trapping Mohammad Sami lbw with a Yorker.
Shot of the day
Jayawardene had attacked for most part, packing the slip cordon and keeping most of his fielders in. With the Hafeez-Azhar stand building, he went defensive on the on side, placing a deep square leg for Hafeez. Kulasekara bowled it short and but Hafeez not only controlled the pull, he placed it perfectly in the gap between deep square leg and fine leg for a boundary and made a mockery of the field set.
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Kanishkaa Balachandran
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