"Hope any similarities between Afridi and Becker don't involve broom cupboards!" James likens cupboards to places where serve-and-volleyers get served and volleyed. Meanwhile Lasith Malinga is ready with the ball in hand

We are minutes away from the start. Here is a good spot from At: "Was just checking the Pakistan batsmen for who could fill in with some overs - Ali, Shafiq, Younis and Misbah all bowl leggies as well as Afridi. Surely 5 leggies in a team is a record?" I suppose Warne, MacGill and Law might have played in the same team

2.20pm Now that Shahid Afridi is cleared fit, here's something that has had me curious for a long time. His celebrations are called various things, but they are near-identical to Boris Becker's. You can check it at 1.23 to 1.23 in this video. And also, somebody has gone ahead and nicknamed Shahid Afridi "Boom Boom", which of course was the nickname of the legendary Becker. Some day I will find the link between Afridi and Becker. We'll begin in 10 minutes

2.12pm Covers are coming off already

2.10pm There's slight rain around, and the covers are on at Premadasa, but this is not expected to delay the start. Don't shoot me if it does. I am going by Kanishkaa's inputs

2pm It's very hot and humid in Colombo, says Kanishkaa Balachandran, who is there. He doesn't expect any rain.

Chris Broad is officiating in his 300th international. Misbah-ul-Haq has finally won a toss and they will be batting first. They have strengthened their batting too, bringing Asad Shafiq in for Rahat Ali. Premadasa was a notoriously bat-frst venue until Sri Lanka made a mockery of that reputation by winning the World Cup's quarter-final and semi-final chasing. For Sri Lanka, Weerakoon makes his debut right away, replacing Herath

1.45pm Welcome to the third ODI of the series. The four international matches on this tour so far have been polar opposites of each other, featuring comprehensive wins alternatively for Sri Lanka and Pakistan. As we reach Colombo, we start with a notional clean slate.

Sri Lanka have rested Rangana Herath, saving him for Tests I presume, and have replaced him with a 34-year-old spinner Sajeeva Weerakoon who has taken 693 first-class wickets already. That has to be a record for most first-class wickets before international debut. If he does make the debut, that is. More about that here. Toss in 15 minutes

0.1

Malinga to Mohammad Hafeez, no run, on target, length ball, middle and leg, swinging towards off, defended

3.40pm Inspection done. Play resumes at 3.45pm, five minutes from now

3.30pm As we reach close to an hour lost to rain, the umpires are out to inspect the pitch and outfield. All the covers are off too. We can't be too far from a resumption

3.20pm Jake and Rawal Afzal write in, correctly pointing out that Nehra exchanged greetings with Dhoni and Dravid in the previous game of the series, where Inzi calmly blocked two balls in the last over before creaming the last one for four. As if it was some net session, and not the last over of a successful chase of 316

A few covers still remain. The ground staff is working hard at the Premadasa

3.10pm It's quite sunny in Colombo now. On another note, it's always sunny in Philadelphia.

Super soppers are working hard, and we will keep you updated. Meanwhile a lot of feedback saying it was Ravi Shastri who named Afridi Boom Boom, during this match. I also remember that during the same game Ashish Nehra named Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni unrpintable names. Mind you, they were his current and future captains.

I'll have to check with both Ravi and Bumble now

3pm The sun is out at Premadasa

"That 'someone' who nicknamed Afridi as "boom boom" was David Lloyd (Bumble)" Fayez Qamar, then some day I'll have to ask Bumble if he ad Becker in mind or - like the similarity in the celebrations - this is also a coincidence

And courtesy Rashid, a song about Boris. Boom Boom

MA Saeed makes the pertinent observation: no Pakistanis on the list of oldest debutants. He knows you make Pakistan debuts between 16 and 18

2.52pm Bright news from Kanishkaa: rain has stopped, and the covers are slowly coming off

2.50pm They have covered the entire ground now, so once it stops raining it shouldn't take long. And the rain has slowed down a little. Meanwhile people are asking for a bounty on Kanishkaa's head because of his abysmal forecasting. "Kanishkaa needs to go to Specsavers" - this from Jon is the best insult hurled so far

Back to some trivia. Weerakoon is the second-oldest ODI debutant for Sri Lanka, behind Michael Tissera who later went on to serve as Sri Lanka's manager too. On the overall list, though, Weerakoon is nowhere in the picture

2.40pm Nearly 80% of the ground is covered, and it is pelting down at R Premadasa

2.32pm Sharp showers have arrived. Covers are on, and players are running for cover themselves. As we wait, Danial Kherani writes in with further similarities between Afridi and Becker: Becker won Wimbledon at 17, Afridi scored the fastest ODI century at 16

3.44pm We are back. No overs reduced. However, the mid-innings break has been cut short by 15 minutes. For the record we have lost close to 75 minutes' play to rain. Ready for the second ball of the match

0.2

Malinga to Mohammad Hafeez, no run, short of a length, just outside off, pushed to cover

0.3

Malinga to Mohammad Hafeez, no run, fuller, similar line just outside off, left alone to swing away

0.4

Malinga to Mohammad Hafeez, OUT, that's a ripper. Kicking off from nowhere, and swinging away too. Sanga nearly blown away by it. Short of a length, on off, jags away, and bounces too. Hafeez is squared up, and edges it, for Sangakarra to catch it in front of his throat. His face shows he is stunned by the carry

Mohammad Hafeez c †Sangakkara b Malinga 0 (2m 4b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

"how often has this happened? not that I'm not complaining, but since when are no overs taken off for over an hours plays lost?" SthAussie, they did the same for the first few interruptions in the first ODI too. I suppose in day-night matches they make a bigger allowance for time lost because there is no risk of light's deteriorating. Asad Shafiq is in

0.5

Malinga to Asad Shafiq, 1 run, steers the first ball he faces to third man for a single

0.6

Malinga to Azhar Ali, no run, left on bounce. Short of a length, over off, and he makes way for it to pass through to Sanga

End of over 1 (1 run) Pakistan 1/1 (RR: 1.00)
Azhar Ali    0* (1b)      SL Malinga    1-0-1-1
Asad Shafiq    1* (1b)     

Nuwan Kulasekara takes the other new ball

1.1

Kulasekara to Asad Shafiq, no run, really really close lbw call. Kula starts with an inswinger bang on target. Just short of a length, jagging back in for the top of off, and he is saved by a little inside edge

1.2

Kulasekara to Asad Shafiq, no run, floats the straighter one outside off, Shafiq drives, but straight to cover

1.3

Kulasekara to Asad Shafiq, no run, short of a length, outside off, left alone

1.4

Kulasekara to Asad Shafiq, no run, wide ball, short of a length, moving away after pitching, well past the while line, but not called a wide

1.5

Kulasekara to Asad Shafiq, no run, nearly edged. Straighter one from Kula again, Shafiq plays for the inswinger, and is beaten wide outside off

1.6

Kulasekara to Asad Shafiq, no run, and now he he has left alone an inswinger, which passes by at the fifth-stump line

End of over 2 (maiden) Pakistan 1/1 (RR: 0.50)
Asad Shafiq    1* (7b)      KMDN Kulasekara    1-1-0-0
Azhar Ali    0* (1b)      SL Malinga    1-0-1-1

A little strange, though, that Shafiq is batting ahead of the experienced Younis Khan

2.1

Malinga to Azhar Ali, no run, short of a length, outside off, allowed to go through to Sanga

2.2

Malinga to Azhar Ali, no run, slightly fuller, straighter, defended in front of off

2.3

Malinga to Azhar Ali, no run, digs this one in short, 144.3ks, raring towards chest, not quite coming on too. Shafiq stands tall, and keeps this down

2.4

Malinga to Azhar Ali, no run, left alone just outside off, moving away towards the slips

2.5

Malinga to Azhar Ali, no run, another short delivery, a proper bouncer that goes higher than the shoulder, and he sways out of the line

2.6

Malinga to Azhar Ali, 2 runs, length ball, swinging away, presents a slightly open face, and it races off it to fetch him a couple between cover and extra cover

End of over 3 (2 runs) Pakistan 3/1 (RR: 1.00)
Azhar Ali    2* (7b)      SL Malinga    2-0-3-1
Asad Shafiq    1* (7b)      KMDN Kulasekara    1-1-0-0

3.1

Kulasekara to Asad Shafiq, no run, inswinger,a touch too short, comfortably pushed back

3.2

Kulasekara to Asad Shafiq, no run, another inswinger, slightly fuller, and he stays back and defends

3.3

Kulasekara to Asad Shafiq, no run, slightly short of a length, moving in, defended again

3.4

Kulasekara to Asad Shafiq, no run, full inswigner, push-drives off the front foot, towards mid-off

3.5

Kulasekara to Asad Shafiq, no run, the straighter one this time, left alone outside off

3.6

Kulasekara to Asad Shafiq, 2 runs, lovely cover-drive. Pitched up wide outside off, and he leans into it, with an open face, between cover and cover-point. The heavy outfield keeps them down to two

End of over 4 (2 runs) Pakistan 5/1 (RR: 1.25)
Asad Shafiq    3* (13b)      KMDN Kulasekara    2-1-2-0
Azhar Ali    2* (7b)      SL Malinga    2-0-3-1

4.1

Malinga to Azhar Ali, 1 run, short of a length, outside off, moving away, placed with an open face, gets a single to third man

Two slips and a gully in place

4.2

Malinga to Asad Shafiq, no run, stays short of a length, gets it to rise towards the chest, Shafiq is on his toes to defend

4.3

Malinga to Asad Shafiq, no run, bouncer, 143ks, over the stumps, ducks under it

4.4

Malinga to Asad Shafiq, 1 run, short, down the leg, flicked off the hip for one

4.5

Malinga to Azhar Ali, no run, fuller, outswinger, just outside off, his feet are caught in the crease, but he defends well

A short cover-point comes in

4.6

Malinga to Azhar Ali, FOUR, yorker, but sliding down leg, and while saving his toe, he gets enough bat to glance it down for the first boundary of the innings

End of over 5 (6 runs) Pakistan 11/1 (RR: 2.20)
Azhar Ali    7* (10b 1x4)      SL Malinga    3-0-9-1
Asad Shafiq    4* (16b)      KMDN Kulasekara    2-1-2-0

5.1

Kulasekara to Asad Shafiq, no run, inswinger, shaping in towards top of off, defended to mid-on

5.2

Kulasekara to Asad Shafiq, 1 run, swinging into middle and a leg, clipped away to long leg for one

5.3

Kulasekara to Azhar Ali, no run, bowls the straighter one but starts too wide outside off to make him play

5.4

Kulasekara to Azhar Ali, no run, inswinger now, on a length, shaping in towards off stump, defended to cover

5.5

Kulasekara to Azhar Ali, no run, loose shot. Short of a length, wide of off, the one that doesn't swing in, and he drives at it without getting close to it. Lucky to not edge it

5.6

Kulasekara to Azhar Ali, OUT, Did he get outside the line? Asoka doesn't think so. welcome back, Asoka. Another big inswinger, surely headed for off and middle. Beats the inside edge, but Azhar has got forward and is hit outside the line of off

Azhar Ali lbw b Kulasekara 7 (25m 14b 1x4 0x6) SR: 50.00

End of over 6 (1 run) Pakistan 12/2 (RR: 2.00)
     KMDN Kulasekara    3-1-3-1
Asad Shafiq    5* (18b)      SL Malinga    3-0-9-1

Misbah-ul-Haq is in ahead of Younis Khan. Another surprise. Dark clouds approaching again. Let's hope they miss us. Meanwhile Angelo Mathews is on

6.1

Mathews to Asad Shafiq, no run, length ball, middle and leg, pushed to midwicket

6.2

Mathews to Asad Shafiq, no run, length ball on off, defended solidly

So that it that. It was good while it lasted. Thanks for joining us. Hopefully Saturday will be better. Cheers

8.37pm The match has been called off. So it's Pakistan 1, Sri Lanka 1 and Rain 1

8.30pm Umpires are out on the field again. We can expect a call soon. They have called the captains down for a conference. Coaches too

The reserve umpire and the curator have spent the last 15 minutes chatting by the pitch

8.15pm Nothing official about this, but people at the ground are expecting a resumption at 8.30pm. Tony Greig reckons a decision either way will be made in 15 minutes or so

Meanwhile somebody is back in maroon. Welcome back, badman. That bat is swinging well

7.55pm Umpires are out on the field for an inspection. Dav Whatmore can be seen having a chat with them. Kanishkaa says they are too far for him to be lip-reading

7.40pm Not for the first time since play stopped at 4.13, the covers are slowly coming off. Another shower, I am afraid, could put an end to this. Always feel for the ground staff when that happens.

Did you know at quite a few grounds in Sri Lanka the ground staffs are prison inmates? Read this

7.25pm The drizzle seems to have stopped, but there isn't much activity among the ground staff. "I'm sick of cricket getting rained out. It's so much harder to procrastinate when there's no cricket on" Cob considers existential crisis

7.10pm Still drizzling

6.55pm The drizzle is back. "Hey! Just to let you guys know I put my bet on with BETFAIR and it looks like they think Azhar Ali will finish as the top batsman!!! So it looks like im the only happy cricket fan today!" Josh, my bookmaker better expect a call today. That is, if you don't end up bitterly disappointed

6.45pm The covers are slowly coming off

6.35pm Rain has stopped at Premadasa. I am being told that 8.45pm could be the cut-off time. So we need to resume by then to have a game

6.21pm The rain has picked up again. So it's no longer a mild drizzle

6.20pm A mild drizzle still on at Premadasa

"I am sitting just south of the (Colombo) city centre, and I can see a fine misty rain blowing in from the sea, with the sun behind. If it wasn't interrupting the cricket, it would be quite beautiful. Appears to be getting heavier too :(" Stogy reflects on issues larger

"Could this match be cancelled? I bet on Pietersen to get the most runs in the last England match, he was out for 78 runs, bell was on 76 not out, the game got drawn because of rain! So I won! This time I have bet on Azhar Ali, so need the game cancelled ASAP please!" Josh, my bookie cancels all bets on cancelled matches, but even in that scenario, you cancel your losses. If the match resumes, Azhar is sure to be overtaken

6.03pm More damp news. It's pelting down again. Covers are back on

"Some debut for Weerakoon" Gav, ominous, isn't it?

5.45pm "It's almost quarter past 10pm in Australia, and I don't know whether I should go to sleep or not. You guys at Cricinfo need to work on an alarm that goes off when play starts/resumes for international games, just for me :)" Yes, Lucus, I am going to pitch that idea, and who knows might get a promotion or something? Anyway, not sure you need alarms for covers coming off, which they are as we speak. Slowly, inch by inch

5.35pm The covers are slowly coming off

5.25pm The drizzle has stopped. Now we'll have the ground staff work first on the covers and then on the outfield

5.20pm Still drizzling, although it looks brighter. Pitter patter

5.10pm It's still drizzling at Premadasa. Sorry I don't have better news

4.40pm A mid drizzle still on at Premadasa. This is a brief story of Kafeel Bhai Ghotki Walay

4.30pm The rain has slowed down, says Kanishkaa. More on legspin and Pakistan. This from Almanar: "On leg spin from Pakistan don't forget Kafeel bhai from Ghotki. Those who have driven on the streets of Sindh province and especially Hyderabad and north will know what I am talking about. There was this guy who was considered a great leg spinner but he never got chance to break into the bigger circuit. He became the famous truck painting artist and he used to leave his signatures on every creation he did on any truck or bus art. Kafeel Bhai Leg Spinner Ghotki walay. Where walay means from. Then some people started imitating his signatures and we saw all sorts of cricketing trades written. Legspin, offspin, batsmen, fastbowler etc."

4.20pm It's pelting down in Colombo at the moment. Meanwhile read this from Amir Jafri, on the abundance of legspin for fun in Pakistan: " The fast bowler conveyor belt (as you folks call it) in Pakistan is a post-Imran, Wasim, Waqar phenomenon. Before that, we produced legs-spinners by spades. Leg-spin is fun, so even specialist batsmen used to try those out in the nets. During the 70s, Pakistan Test side, sometimes had as many as--none as wily as Qadir, but--five legspinners. The most plebeian, Intikhab, ironically, led the pack. Then, there were Mushtaq, Wasim Raja, Javed Miandad, all test standard. Sadiq Mohammad, too, bowled legspin. Then, there was the great Sabir from Rawalpindi who was never given a chance at the big gate, but by all evidence the wiliest leggie of that generation. Of course, there was Ahad Khan (Aahdi Khan) or Railways who bowled in the Kumbli mold. So, leg spin is really quite organic to Pakistan cricket. Qadir and, then, later Little Mushie really upped the standards on the wily craft."

4.13pm The covers are being called on even before it starts raining. They are sure it is going to rain, and they don't want it to cause too much damage. Let me repeat: it is not raining yet.

Mahela Jayawardene is not thrilled with the move. And why will he be? His side is on a roll, and fancies another quick wicket

Series Results
Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Jun 18, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 2 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)
Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Jun 16, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 44 runs
Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Jun 13, 2012
No result
Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Pallekele - Jun 9, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 76 runs
Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Pallekele - Jun 7, 2012
Pakistan won by 6 wickets (with 47 balls remaining) (D/L method)
More results »

Photos

Jun 13, 2012

The covers come on at the R Premadasa Stadium, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 3rd ODI, Colombo, June 13, 2012

The covers come on at the R Premadasa Stadium

© AFP

Jun 13, 2012

Azhar Ali was given lbw off Nuwan Kulasekara, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 3rd ODI, Colombo, June 13, 2012

Azhar Ali was given lbw off Nuwan Kulasekara

© AFP

All photos for this match