SL v Pakistan, 4th ODI, Colombo July 22, 2015

Ahmed Shehzad - the good, the bad, and the lucky

Plays of the day from the fourth ODI between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Colombo

Mohammad Irfan provided some comic gold at the end of Sri Lanka's innings © AFP

The elbow

Ahmed Shehzad dived forward at deep square leg to take a catch off Lahiru Thirimanne in the 40th over, but perhaps confusing the green of the outfield with the green of his outfit, felt that he had his body under the ball the whole time. Those with a firmer grip on the physical boundaries of Shehzad's body did not buy it.

Having watched the ball slip out of Shehzad's grasp and roll along the field and even bobble up to strike Shehzad's chin, Thirimanne calmly completed the single and acted like it was any other run. The umpires, too, gave a soft "not out" call to the third umpire, who confirmed the catch had been dropped. Shehzad immediately complained about this decision, however, gesturing that the ball had gone straight from his hands into the crook of his right arm. Given the ball had rolled a considerable distance along the ground, perhaps in his own head, Shehzad's elbow covers about a square metre of area.

The redemption

There was cricketing atonement for Shehzad two overs later, when the same batsman again lined up Yasir Shah for a slog sweep. This time running around the boundary from deep square leg, Shehzad dove full-length to clasp the descending ball in his palms, while he was airborne. He also clutched his hands to his chest as he hit the turf, making sure to not let the ball slip out.

The faulty stable gate

When potential catches fly through the vacant slips and captains immediately deploy a fielder there, it is often said that there is s no point installing a stable gate "after the horse has bolted". This time, Angelo Mathews found that even though he put a slip in place after Shehzad edged one through there off Lasith Malinga in the 14th over, his stable gate was of little use. The very next ball, Shehzad nicked a similar delivery, and the newly-installed Thirimanne let the ball whizz past him without getting a hand on it, almost as if he was not there at all.

The overthrow

Mohammad Irfan, Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep are three of the more ungainly athletes in international cricket, and true to type, combined to provide comedy at the end of the Sri Lanka innings. Lakmal shuffled over to off stump to attempt a lap scoop - a shot he probably does not even play successfully in his fantasies - and predictably, was instead nutmegged by an Irfan yorker outside off stump. As this was the last ball of the innings, he saw his batting partner Nuwan Pradeep running towards him, so he took off himself to try and complete a bye to the keeper. Sarfraz Ahmed lobbed the ball underhand, but missed the striker's stumps. Though Irfan collected on his follow through and had plenty of time to run Lakmal out, he turned with the nimbleness of a double decker bus, and missed the stumps by a good half-a-metre, from only about two metres out. This sent the ball down to long off - far enough away for the batsmen to scramble a second run.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

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