Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Hambantota August 23, 2014

Errant elbows, and Priyanjan's shuffle

Plays of the day from the first ODI between Sri Lanka and Pakistan

Saved by the elbow
Kumar Sangakkara had just arrived at the crease when he drove hard at a wide one from Junaid Khan. He connected well, but hit it uppishly, to the right of Fawad Alam at cover. Alam flew horizontally and grabbed the ball with his right hand, but his - and Pakistan's - joy only lasted the few fractions of a second that elapsed till he landed, the impact of his elbow against the outfield causing the ball to pop out of his grasp.

The short-ball barrage
Dinesh Chandimal came into this match with some form behind him, including two centuries during Sri Lanka A's tour of England. But none of that must have prepared him to deal with the lift and awkward angle of a 7'1" left-arm seamer on a bouncy, slightly two-paced pitch. Mohammad Irfan kept banging it in short, and kept getting it to rear at Chandimal's throat. He tried to fend the ball away initially, squirting it down with an uncomfortable roll of his wrists and only occasionally succeeding, before deciding to take Irfan on. Deep backward square leg took a simple catch, and he must have known the top-edged pull was around the corner.

Priyanjan's fancy footwork
When Ashan Priyanjan walked in, with just over three overs remaining, Sri Lanka might have been looking to accelerate to 250. They ended up with considerably more, and a lot of it had to do with Priyanjan unsettling the Pakistan bowlers with his movement in the crease.

In the penultimate over of the innings, Priyanjan gave himself room and smacked Wahab Riaz down the ground. Then he moved the other way and lap-swept him to the fine leg boundary. In the last over, he treated Junaid to the same one-two treatment. First he backed away towards the leg side to cream him over cover, and next ball he walked across his stumps and clipped him off his hips for a one-bounce four over the leg side.

The boundary-line balancing act

Among the more fascinating aspects of Misbah-ul-Haq's batting are his sudden forays into expansiveness. It's almost as if he decides in the middle of a long stretch of blocks and leg-side nurdles to surprise everyone and launch the ball into the crowd. In this way, he's picked up 71 ODI sixes at a rate better than one every second innings. In the 19th over of Pakistan's innings, Misbah decided he would hit six number 72, and lofted Rangana Herath down the ground. But Chandimal foiled his plans, running back to the boundary, catching the ball just short of the rope, and throwing it behind him just as he was about to totter over the edge.

Sanga's lightning reactions

In the 23rd over of Pakistan's chase, Misbah sank down onto his knees to try and sweep Herath. The bowler read his intentions and bowled it a tad shorter than the batsman might have expected. The ball bounced more than Misbah expected, and popped off his glove to the left of Kumar Sangakkara behind the stumps. It was travelling quickly, but Sangakkara moved quicker to ghost sideways and trap the ball between his gloves and his midriff.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Hristiyan on August 25, 2014, 8:57 GMT

    @ Prem2248 - come on now. Sangakkara is a run scoring machine. Mahela scores fast and big at crucial times. Dilshan is still a very good opener and one of THE BEST fielders in the game. Herath can perform everywhere. The world cup is in six months and you want these highly experienced and worthy cricketers to miss their last big test? The current team is well balanced with both young blood and experience. You can't just throw XI young cricketers to the harsh reality of the World cup and expect results. Not Down Under at least. How about building a young team for 2019 AFTER 2015. Cheers!

  • Nimmie on August 24, 2014, 9:55 GMT

    stages of their innings. If the selectors of those days could tolerate failures of Mahela & Sangakkara in the WC 2003,ODI series to ZIM in Nov 2008, Tri-series in B'desh Jan2009 & many matches against INDIA, present selectors should be intelligent enough to help Chandimal&others (Thirimmane,RoshenS,AngeloP,Bhauka,GManishan,KusalJanith,NDickwella,KusalMendis,SadeeraSamarawickrema) to get establish in the Team. Chandimal's school &c1st class career both home and away is 2nd only to Mathews; therefore it is difficult to tolerate this kind of media culture. The ideal Openers for the WC should be Kusal Janith & KausalS or Dickwella. There shouldn't be places for Sangkkara, Mahela, Dilshan & Herath(Despite being a weakest fielders in the world Cricket,his ODI Ave was above 40 till last June 2013 he needs spinning Wkts to perform) they aren't fit enough to play in AUS & NZ fast tracks with their aging inflexible bodies. In playing deserving youngsters we can build a Team for the 2019WC.

  • Nimmie on August 24, 2014, 9:55 GMT

    Local media always try to write off players what officials want, the Cricket correspondents of 30 ys ago were very much different,they had playing experience performing at the highest level and we have educated ourselves in reading their articles, who knew the Game from A-Z. It was times that the highly talented schoolboys walked straight from schools into the National Teams & could bat at their accustomed positions. Today's schoolboys aren't second to any in the past, that is why they excel well in almost every youth WCs, without any prior training given, though ignorant officials have always ignored quality performances of these deserving youngsters. Incidentally what happened to Chandimal in this innings can be subjected to any batsman, even Sir Bradman wasn't immune to this kind of attack, Micheal Clarke recently by SA bowlers & the whole of English top order (last Ashes tour). Fielding sides if they have weapons they have always done this to the best batters at the early2bCNTD

  • Dummy4 on August 24, 2014, 6:13 GMT

    Well it was a superb match.. Pakistan should quit yunas khan and junaid khan for zulfiqar babar and muhammad talha to balance the bowling attack as afridi was not impressive at all and junaid khan was shacky as well.. Pakistan should prepare some special plan for angelo mathews as he is always good against them..

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