Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Pallekele, 4th day July 11, 2012

Hafeez's lapse and Fernando's strikes

Plays of the Day from the fourth day of the third Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Pallekele

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 ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 12, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    Asad play was wonderful was Adnan Akmal. However Akmal played the innings of his life with Asad. I agree with @AslamPK because Asad always get the tail enders to face the music as Akmal even in pain had scored half of the runs. Asad can be great addition. However he needs to play in a way that he should not expose the tail enders.

  • Lalith on July 12, 2012, 1:51 GMT

    @khurramsch SL will loose as they cannot score more tham 150 in the last day in the 4th innings. I am awaiting what sort of excuse Ford and Mahela will bring in after the loss of this test.

  • shahid on July 11, 2012, 23:24 GMT

    Even when some catches were dropped and some batsmen did apply them as should have, I will blame Umar Gul and Sami for the lead Pakistan conceded. Mohammad Sami tempts selectors due to his pace but has never been a good choice. Umar Gul has got only one wicket in two tests and for some time now he is not up to the task. I hate bowlers who use dropped catches as an excuse for their bad performances because it happens with every one.

  • aslam on July 11, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    Asad did not play well with tailender in 1st as well as 2nd innings. he takes single on 1st or 2nd innings and asks tail enders to face music. he is happy for his inngings only. Some times like sami faced mor balls then asad in partnership. Asad should try to hit on first four balls and take single on 5 or 6th ball.

  • Dummy4 on July 11, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    I am not sure whether Sri Lanka could chase this score easily, because the pitch has turned a little bit for bowlers now. It will be a tough task for Lankans. I still believe that pakistan has the chance of wrapping up this series 1-1

  • khurram on July 11, 2012, 15:28 GMT

    lot of debate during day that pak should increase scoring but they wre never in a position really. 1st they got 111 lead mainly for their butter fingers then when younas & misbah went so cheaply at 65/4 lead, there was no chance of scoring fast . with no batting come & adnan with broken fingr, azahr's & asad's strategy was fine to play as many balls & to score whatever they can & they added roughly 125 after misbah.pakistan's tail is too weak.& without adnan it is ever more weaker. he should have come ahead of ajmal,sami,gul

  • khurram on July 11, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    toufeq got a rough from umpire so cant say him much but NO contributions(excluding sami as he got poor decison) from younas,misbah,ajmal,gul made it worst for pakistan.hafez once again played very poor shot & it has been his well known problem to getout after starts.if adnan was coming to bat then he should have come before sami ajmal gul. asad need to learn how to play with 1st inings it happened & now again. now pak can look to play whatever overs possible & add any runs possible & then see what happen. problem for pak that apart from junaid ,others failed to dictate terms even ajmal. & pitch seems to be settled now.111 runs proved too much because of poor pak fielding.

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