Would you believe it? Malinga had one delivery at Asif. Just one delivery. It was to be the end of his spell. And what does he do? He fires it on a length, it lands on the middle and it moves towards off and middle line. Asif didn't have the skill to cope with it. His back leg was moving towards leg stump even as he stabbed in thin air. Leather on wood. Clatter! Game over! Spare a thought for Shahid Afridi. What a great innings it was but he had to finish up on the losing side.
The crowd roar and roar. Shoaib Akthar impressed on his comeback. Shahid Afridi dazzled with an special out-of-character knock. But it was Lasith Malinga who killed the contest with an outstanding effort with the ball. Stats say that it was his career-best spell. And remember, he chipped in with a vital contribution with the bat as well.
Also don't forget Angelo Mathews' responsible innings and Kumar Sangakkara's special catch to dismiss Shahid Afridi. That set the cat among the pigeons.
Hang on for the quotes from the ceremony
Sri: "Malinga scored 16, the margin of victory"
Dan Pettitt: "Lasith Malinga achieved his best ODI score with the bat (surpassing 15) and his best ODI bowling (formely 4/28). Good game."
Salman Butt (Afrdi is injured and hasn't come out) : "It was fantatic to see the courage and heart he [Afridi] showed in the middle. I wish we could have won the match. Even if this last ball had gone to Razzaq, we would have won it. It was a very chase-able target. Shahid bhai and Umar brought us back. It was a double-paced wicket. Sometimes it would come to you and sometimes it would stop on you. Afridi is getting better; he was cramping all over."
Salman Butt also collects the man of the match trophy on behalf Shahid Afridi.
Sangakkara: "We were driver's seat twice in the game - when we and Mahela were batting and then we had bowled 18 overs. Afridi .. it was the best I have seen him bat. It was a great knock. Kulasekara, Angelo bowled very well and then Lasith Malinga came in and looked as if he would get wicket every over. Maharoof did well. Afridi played really well. then Malinga came and did a brilliant job. It was a catch-22 for me whether to give Murali a over to Afridi. He is the best spinner in the world. It's very rare that he gives so many runs. All credit to Afridi for playing a special knock. Angelo Mathews batted really well and Malinga too contributed in the end. We probably did the basics well in patches but we have to pretty ruthless .. when we have down like this we should finish it off."
That's it from us. I will leave you with a comment from a reader - Radical Zee: "Talk about being the perfect marketing tool to support the case for the survival of the 50-over game. What a contest! Hats off to both the teams. Such a Pakistan recovery would have never been possible in a T20 game. Such a magnificent death over spell would never been possible in a T20 4-over spell. 50-over game is the right time for an absorbing contest. Believe it or not."
Subir: "How easy it is commenting. You say Razzaq should have taken initiative. If Razzaq HAD taken initiative when Afridi was wobbling you'd say - "Why did he need to do it. Afridi was hitting. He only needed to get support""
Asif is almost run out Sanga misses ! Oh what drama. It was the lifting delivery, the ball rolls to leg slip.. they run. Sanga gets across and flicks the throw but misses the striker's end.. Malinga winces, Sanga yelps, and the fielders in the circle shout out in agony.
short in length and it kicks up and Razzaq chips it to the on side of the pitch. He is concentrating on playing out this over. Sensible. Only one man can win this for Sri Lanka and that's Malinga.
Sharp fielding from Dilshan. Razzaq had smashed a full pitched delivery to right of covers where Dilshan makes a good diving stop
short in length again, tucked to midwicket this time
short in length, on the middle and leg, rolls away to leg slip region. Asif comes running but Razzaq sends him back. Wise decision. Imagine Malinga to Asif!
A high bouncer and Razzaq lets it fly over him. Wide.
Malinga has one over left. Razzaq is the man for Pakistan.
goes on the back foot and pushes it wide of cover point for a single
goes back to turn to the on side
Four! Razzaq stirs into action. Finally. A short of length delivery outside off and Razzaq cuts to the backward point boundary
goes right back to defend
leans forward to push to covers
backs away to cut to backward point
Razzaq has been batting like as if he has been in a trance. He has just taken care that he doesn't lose his wicket. He has not taken control. Even when Afridi was limping, Razzaq didn't show any initiative. He should have taken control after Afridi fell but he didn't. He has to take control now. Wil he?
oooh in the corridor outside off and Asif is beaten. Malinga lets out a cry of agony; it was that close to the outside edge
What an awesome slower one delivery from Malinga! For sure, Shoaib wasn't expecting. He was probably thinking of a yorker. Even a bouncer. And there comes a lovely loopy dipping slower one. Shoaib is stunned, gets forward and just pushes out at it. Checks his shot. And the ball lobs towards mid-off. Malinga roars. And they then they were one. What a game this has been. What will happen now? Oh what drama. What a roller-coaster ride. What tension
drama! A superb bouncer and Razzaq top edges his weak pull. It flies towards backward square-leg and Sanga hares down after it but can't reach it. Malinga holds his head. Agony for him.
full delivery, not quite a yorker, pushed out to the on side
What a fabulicious delivery! too good for Aamer! It was full in length, landed on the off and middle and Aamer actually tried his best to defend it and get some bat on it. But the ball shaped away late to hit the off stump. Waqar Younis stares on from the dressing room. Nervous tension in that camp.
Lovely delivery, in the corridor outside off and Aamer is beaten on the drive. No wood on leather and no leather on wood.
goes back to work it to the on side for a single