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Plays of the day for the semi-final between Sri Lanka and West Indies in Mirpur
Alan Gardner in Mirpur
April 3, 2014
The bullet arm I
When Tillakaratne Dilshan tried to get off strike in Samuel Badree's third over, he exposed his fellow senior Mahela Jayawardene to an inglorious way to potentially end his T20 career. Darren Sammy bullocked to his left from point, took the ball on the bounce and rifled a throw over the top of the stumps for Denesh Ramdin to complete the run-out and send Jayawardene on his way for a diamond duck. Luckily, he will have one more crack.
The bullet arm II
Not content with seeing off the team's bellwether batsman, Dilshan did for himself with another piece of risky running. Dilshan laboured for 39 off 39 but that was nothing compared to his creaking effort to regain his ground after Lahiru Thirimanne turned down a quick single to mid-off. Thirimanne's judgement was proved to be the sounder when Lendl Simmons threw down the stumps with a direct hit.
The (sort of) direct hit
West Indies could have picked up a third run-out when Angelo Mathews clipped one off his pads to short fine leg, where Marlon Samuels was lurking. Thirimanne was backing up a long way and Mathews was struggling too at the other end. Thirimanne would have been done for too but, instead, Samuels scored a direct hit on Chris Gayle's ankle. The big man, who saved an overthrow at cover, was moving even more gingerly than normal for some while afterwards.
Thirimanne is still developing his game as a limited-overs player but he showed the panache of a Lara or a Pietersen with one stunning six off Andre Russell. The ball was short and wide but Thirimanne made sure it was aware of its shortcomings by sticking one leg out behind him and scything it over point with a flamingo uppercut.
When Seekkuge Prasanna connected with a slog sweep off Sunil Narine, it looked to be sailing over the deep midwicket boundary. Dwayne Bravo had other ideas though, sprinting round the rope before leaping to take the catch and then toss the ball to Andre Russell in one motion as he leapt into the void. Bravo, indeed.
The first ball
Prasanna was playing his first match of the tournament in his maiden World T20 and he had a wicket to his name at the earliest possible opportunity. Coming on to bowl in the eight over, his opening delivery was bang on target, skidding on as Simmons tried to cut off the back foot. It might have been a non-turning legbreak, it could have been the slider but it was definitely lbw. Legspinners are just so in right now.
Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Alan Gardner
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