length ball on off, defended solidly
So that it that. It was good while it lasted. Thanks for joining us. Hopefully Saturday will be better. Cheers
8.37pm The match has been called off. So it's Pakistan 1, Sri Lanka 1 and Rain 1
8.30pm Umpires are out on the field again. We can expect a call soon. They have called the captains down for a conference. Coaches too
The reserve umpire and the curator have spent the last 15 minutes chatting by the pitch
8.15pm Nothing official about this, but people at the ground are expecting a resumption at 8.30pm. Tony Greig reckons a decision either way will be made in 15 minutes or so
Meanwhile somebody is back in maroon. Welcome back, badman. That bat is swinging well
7.55pm Umpires are out on the field for an inspection. Dav Whatmore can be seen having a chat with them. Kanishkaa says they are too far for him to be lip-reading
7.40pm Not for the first time since play stopped at 4.13, the covers are slowly coming off. Another shower, I am afraid, could put an end to this. Always feel for the ground staff when that happens.
Did you know at quite a few grounds in Sri Lanka the ground staffs are prison inmates? Read this
7.25pm The drizzle seems to have stopped, but there isn't much activity among the ground staff. "I'm sick of cricket getting rained out. It's so much harder to procrastinate when there's no cricket on" Cob considers existential crisis
7.10pm Still drizzling
6.55pm The drizzle is back. "Hey! Just to let you guys know I put my bet on with BETFAIR and it looks like they think Azhar Ali will finish as the top batsman!!! So it looks like im the only happy cricket fan today!" Josh, my bookmaker better expect a call today. That is, if you don't end up bitterly disappointed
6.45pm The covers are slowly coming off
6.35pm Rain has stopped at Premadasa. I am being told that 8.45pm could be the cut-off time. So we need to resume by then to have a game
6.21pm The rain has picked up again. So it's no longer a mild drizzle
6.20pm A mild drizzle still on at Premadasa
"I am sitting just south of the (Colombo) city centre, and I can see a fine misty rain blowing in from the sea, with the sun behind. If it wasn't interrupting the cricket, it would be quite beautiful. Appears to be getting heavier too :(" Stogy reflects on issues larger
"Could this match be cancelled? I bet on Pietersen to get the most runs in the last England match, he was out for 78 runs, bell was on 76 not out, the game got drawn because of rain! So I won! This time I have bet on Azhar Ali, so need the game cancelled ASAP please!" Josh, my bookie cancels all bets on cancelled matches, but even in that scenario, you cancel your losses. If the match resumes, Azhar is sure to be overtaken
6.03pm More damp news. It's pelting down again. Covers are back on
"Some debut for Weerakoon" Gav, ominous, isn't it?
5.45pm "It's almost quarter past 10pm in Australia, and I don't know whether I should go to sleep or not. You guys at Cricinfo need to work on an alarm that goes off when play starts/resumes for international games, just for me :)" Yes, Lucus, I am going to pitch that idea, and who knows might get a promotion or something? Anyway, not sure you need alarms for covers coming off, which they are as we speak. Slowly, inch by inch
5.35pm The covers are slowly coming off
5.25pm The drizzle has stopped. Now we'll have the ground staff work first on the covers and then on the outfield
5.20pm Still drizzling, although it looks brighter. Pitter patter
5.10pm It's still drizzling at Premadasa. Sorry I don't have better news
4.40pm A mid drizzle still on at Premadasa. This is a brief story of Kafeel Bhai Ghotki Walay
4.30pm The rain has slowed down, says Kanishkaa. More on legspin and Pakistan. This from Almanar: "On leg spin from Pakistan don't forget Kafeel bhai from Ghotki. Those who have driven on the streets of Sindh province and especially Hyderabad and north will know what I am talking about. There was this guy who was considered a great leg spinner but he never got chance to break into the bigger circuit. He became the famous truck painting artist and he used to leave his signatures on every creation he did on any truck or bus art. Kafeel Bhai Leg Spinner Ghotki walay. Where walay means from.
Then some people started imitating his signatures and we saw all sorts of cricketing trades written. Legspin, offspin, batsmen, fastbowler etc."
4.20pm It's pelting down in Colombo at the moment. Meanwhile read this from Amir Jafri, on the abundance of legspin for fun in Pakistan: "
The fast bowler conveyor belt (as you folks call it) in Pakistan is a post-Imran, Wasim, Waqar phenomenon. Before that, we produced legs-spinners by spades. Leg-spin is fun, so even specialist batsmen used to try those out in the nets.
During the 70s, Pakistan Test side, sometimes had as many as--none as wily as Qadir, but--five legspinners. The most plebeian, Intikhab, ironically, led the pack. Then, there were Mushtaq, Wasim Raja, Javed Miandad, all test standard. Sadiq Mohammad, too, bowled legspin. Then, there was the great Sabir from Rawalpindi who was never given a chance at the big gate, but by all evidence the wiliest leggie of that generation. Of course, there was Ahad Khan (Aahdi Khan) or Railways who bowled in the Kumbli mold. So, leg spin is really quite organic to Pakistan cricket. Qadir and, then, later Little Mushie really upped the standards on the wily craft."
4.13pm The covers are being called on even before it starts raining. They are sure it is going to rain, and they don't want it to cause too much damage. Let me repeat: it is not raining yet.
Mahela Jayawardene is not thrilled with the move. And why will he be? His side is on a roll, and fancies another quick wicket
length ball, middle and leg, pushed to midwicket
Misbah-ul-Haq is in ahead of Younis Khan. Another surprise. Dark clouds approaching again. Let's hope they miss us. Meanwhile Angelo Mathews is on
Did he get outside the line? Asoka doesn't think so. welcome back, Asoka. Another big inswinger, surely headed for off and middle. Beats the inside edge, but Azhar has got forward and is hit outside the line of off
loose shot. Short of a length, wide of off, the one that doesn't swing in, and he drives at it without getting close to it. Lucky to not edge it
inswinger now, on a length, shaping in towards off stump, defended to cover
bowls the straighter one but starts too wide outside off to make him play
swinging into middle and a leg, clipped away to long leg for one
inswinger, shaping in towards top of off, defended to mid-on
yorker, but sliding down leg, and while saving his toe, he gets enough bat to glance it down for the first boundary of the innings
A short cover-point comes in
fuller, outswinger, just outside off, his feet are caught in the crease, but he defends well
short, down the leg, flicked off the hip for one
bouncer, 143ks, over the stumps, ducks under it
stays short of a length, gets it to rise towards the chest, Shafiq is on his toes to defend
Two slips and a gully in place
short of a length, outside off, moving away, placed with an open face, gets a single to third man
lovely cover-drive. Pitched up wide outside off, and he leans into it, with an open face, between cover and cover-point. The heavy outfield keeps them down to two
the straighter one this time, left alone outside off
full inswigner, push-drives off the front foot, towards mid-off
slightly short of a length, moving in, defended again
another inswinger, slightly fuller, and he stays back and defends
inswinger,a touch too short, comfortably pushed back