Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 5th ODI, Hambantota July 26, 2015

Ian Gould auditions for FC Barcelona

Plays of the day from the fifth ODI between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Hambantota

Kusal Perera was floored by the Pakistani bowlers soon after his hundred © AFP

The first touch
Umpire Ian Gould has worn his share of balls this tour, but he has rarely done so with as much skill as he managed in the 14th over of Sri Lanka's innings. Kusal Perera's cut off Imad Wasim was headed for the space between Gould's legs, but instead of being nutmegged, Gould moved his right leg and stopped the ball in its tracks, just like a Barcelona Football Club forward would control a fast pass from the midfield. Unlike a footballer, though, Gould resisted flopping about on the ground after being hit on the shin. 

The shy
Anwar Ali was aggressive and demonstrative in his first spell, but he might have had slightly better figures if he had not been so hostile in the 10th over of Sri Lanka's innings. Fielding a gentle push in his follow-through, Anwar aimed the ball at the batsman, who was well back in his crease, and let fly, missing the stumps by a distance and the wicketkeeper by almost as much. The ball went fine of long leg as well, and wound up costing the bowler and his team four unnecessary runs.

The throw
It's rare enough for Sri Lanka's infielders to run a batsman out, but when a fast bowler removes a batsman with a throw from the boundary, you know the stars have aligned. Running around from third man, the normally ungainly Suranga Lakmal bent down, picked up and threw in one fluid motion. He found off stump with no interference from the wicketkeeper, to have Sarfraz Ahmed well short.

The blows
Having found no reply to Kusal's controlled aggression on Sunday, Pakistan's bowlers managed to at least rough him up a little, maybe contributing to his eventual dismissal. In the 26th over, Rahat Ali dug in a short ball that followed an arching Kusal and struck him in the helmet grille. A little shaken up by that, Kusal progressed to a hundred, but wore a yorker flush on the boot a few overs later. He got medical attention in both instances, and the injury to his foot may have prevented him from making his ground when he was run out later in that same over.

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

Comments