Another fabulous day of test cricket. Pakistan and SL are really living up to the billing of the TEST SERIES OF THE SUMMER.

Sri Lanka

Like we said, were only ever a wicket away from being in the game. And that wicket seemed elusive when Missbaa and Yousuf were pitching tents at the middle.  But Sangakkara kept at it, the bowlers stuck to a game plan and didn’t allow Pakistan to get away. That was important. Had Yousuf and Misbah amped up the scoring rate in their partnership, which they were trying to do late in the post lunch session, SL might have been looking at a lead of over 100.

Props to the SL quicks, and especially Nuwan. I didn’t think his selection over Prasad was the right move. It still probably isn’t on the long run up the dude just keeps doing the work and getting wickets. You cant ignore that.

Herath was a bit unlucky but didn’t have any real zip about him. And Mendis had no real support at the other end. He looked blunt all day. Which is worry given than Pakistan bat last.

SL need 275 plus to make a match of it. And they would need that largely from the top order. If Pakistan get early wickets it is going to be very tough to get any where near that total.

Pakistan

A solid day. Yousuf hasn’t lost his touch. Misbah continues to impress and Shoaib Malik is as annoying as ever. All good things, mind.

The 50 run lead is invaluable and if Aamer can do his first over tricks SL could be in a mess before too long.

But Akmals little innings of 31 could prove to be decisive.  When he came to the middle the lead was 2. So his innings contributed to more than half the lead.  And of the 48 runs that were scored for the last 4 wickets he added 31. He attacked, like he usually does, and for Pakistan, his runs could prove monumentaly important.

Both teams are in this game. And there is no wiff of a draw. Good times.

Play of the day

Angelo Matthews. He is the complete package. After his lovely 40 odd in the first innings. He picked up Younis Khan in his first over. And then cut short Akmals bludgeons with a bulls-eye from Fine leg.

Is there nothing this man can not do ?

Balls of the day

Yousuf. The only man who looked like scoring a hundred, did. Retirement to ICL and back to International cricket. That’s a lot of changes, But Moyo is all class and he hadn’t lost any of it through his roller coaster couple of years.

That takes some special balls. And we applaud them.

ajantha mendis angelo mathews dammika prasad flyslip misbah Mohammad Aamer nuwan kulesekara pakistan v sri lanka sangakkara shoaib malik splendid mendis thilan thushara umar gul younis khan yousuf

A Distraught Pakistani and dear friend of the flyslip, Zaid, sent this one in.

Captain Malik or Captain Mistake?

I feel that twenty twenty cricket is the easiest form of the game to captain in. Shoaib Malik, Pakistan’s young skipper, failed badly vs Sri Lanka in both matches. The first match he got away with, but if it was test or 50 over cricket the result would most probably be very different.

Malik’s Mistakes vs Sri Lanka

1. (first match) captain Malik wins the toss and choses to bowl first on a pitch that is getting harder to bat on

2. (first match) Captain Malik brings Umar Gul on in the 15th over so he can only bowl 3 overs max (note gul took four wickets in those 3 overs)

3. (first match) Captain Malik comes into the match and plays one hell of a slow innings forcing other batsman to take risks and get out

4. (1st match) Captain Malik sends in Sohail Tanvir ahead of recognized batsman Fawad Alam and makes Pakistan’s task more difficult

5. (2nd match) Captain Malik brings on Umar Gul too early and well…just watch this to see the result

<a href=”http://www.youtube.com/v/-jh0QUJQuJ4&rel=0″ target=”_blank”>http://www.youtube.com/v/-jh0QUJQuJ4&rel=0</a>

6. (2nd match) Captain Malik brings on Akhtar in the 15th over…now this is where Gul would have been brilliant as shown in the next over Gul bowled who took a wicket and should have had another

Now after that Akhtar over the match was over. Now you say “why bring on Gul? he got hammered by a rookie!”

Well a few days before captain Malik said Gul is the best bowler with the old ball, so why bring him on in the 5th over and then why not bowl him when the opposition is under pressure rather than giving it to the out of form Shoaib Akhtar.

All this one a short T20 match. Malik’s time as skipper is running out. I would take anyone as captain now- Afridi, Misbah, Younis, or even Yousuf

fan-atism fawad alam misbah shoaib akthar shoaib malik tanvir umar gul younis khan yousuf