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Sad day for Sanath and scintillating Silva

S Rajesh in Johannesburg

September 17, 2007

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Sanath Jayasuriya didn't seem to get it right with either bat or ball © AFP

Nice and slow
Imran Nazir had just pulled a fabulous six off Dilhara Fernando - swivelling on one leg and sending the ball over the square-leg boundary with what seemed like an effortless flick of the wrists - but the canny Chaminda Vaas had his number in the next over. A superbly disguised slower ball forced Nazir to play too early, and he stood transfixed as the ball hit the splice of the bat and ballooned to cover. Strike one for Sri Lanka.

Fernando gets a wicket-maiden
The sixth over is the last one with the fielding restrictions in place, but instead of Pakistan's batsmen capitalising, Dilhara Fernando made it a special one for Sri Lanka. A couple of slower ones defeated Mohammad Hafeez's attempted pull shots; a desperate Hafeez tried a cheeky paddle-sweep next but failed; the fourth ball was driven crisply but only straight to mid-on. After four dot balls, it was time for a wicket: a quick yorker on leg stump was too much for Hafeez, who played all around it and lost his leg stump. When Shoaib Malik guided the next ball to point, Fernando finished with a rare wicket-maiden.

Sad sad Sanath
Sanath Jayasuriya has hammered many a bowler far and wide during his illustrious career, but on this evening he was forced to cop what he has dished out to others. Pakistan's batsmen - particularly Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik - relished his offerings, and the agony didn't stop till the end: his final ball was smashed over long-off, ensuring he joined James Anderson as the most expensive bowler in an innings in Twenty20 cricket. And when Sohail Tanvir yorked him off the fifth ball he faced, it completed an entirely forgettable match for Sri Lanka's most experienced cricketer.

Silva scintillates
Mohammad Asif hasn't been fazed by this hit-or-miss game, but he finally met his match in the Wanderers pitch, and the Sri Lankan batsmen. In his fourth over, Chamara Silva took a special liking for his pace: a superbly executed short-arm pull was followed by an even better cut as he gave himself room on the off side. A top-edged pull for six added to the misery, as Asif ended with 47 runs from his four overs.

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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