When Lasith Malinga generates bounce from the height he bowls at, he can be extra difficult to negotiate. Matthew Wade learned that in the third over of the Australia innings today, when one nearly exploded straight at his throat. Wade did manage to get out of the delivery's way, but he had to be lightning quick in doing so and almost lost his footing.
The slower ball
This one went wrong. Malinga can sometimes overuse the slower ball. When he did so three times in a row in the fifth over, Wade picked the third one early, a length ball, and smote it well over wide long-on, no questions asked.
The finale was spectacular but it could be argued that it was set up by his own misjudgement. Wade had hit Nuwan Kulasekara well towards long-on, where Rangana Herath had time to set himself up for a comfortable catch. However, perhaps unsure of the position of the rope, Herath stayed a bit in, and was nearly duped. Except for his successful last-second lunge behind his body, to pluck the ball one-handed. He could scarcely believe what he had pulled off himself.
Chanaka Welegedara has spent the whole tournament bowling in the nets and warming the bench. Today, when Michael Hussey arrived to bat he tested how alert Welegedara was. Hussey got under a length ball, and shovelled it over long-off, into the players' viewing area. Welegedara got into position early, but dropped a sitter. His hands stung too.
The ninth ball Hussey faced today was pitched on a length, and he got on one knee and swept it many a row behind midwicket. That was all very fine, except that the bowler was the quick man Dhammika Prasad, who operates at close to 140kph. This wasn't even a slower ball. Five years ago, dentists in the locality would have been tempted to not go home until the game was over. Nowadays, this is the done thing.
After the first ball of the 22nd over of the chase, Kumar Sangakkara was seen arguing with umpire Asad Rauf. Moments later Rauf raised his right arm to signal a no-ball. The facts of the matter: it was a Powerplay over, Australia had only five fielders inside the circle, Sangakkara knew it, and he brought it to the umpire's notice. It is possible Sangakkara quietly let the striker know too, and Lahiru Thirimanne had a wild swing at the delivery. That would be real clever thinking.
Edited by Nikita Bastian