ICC World Cup 2015: Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan - Quick flicks of the match
Crowd catches continue
While teams like Pakistan and Sri Lanka have struggled with their fielding, often dropping sitters, the crowd clad in orange shirts continue plucking one-handed blinders in New Zealand. In this game too, a man from the crowd camping in the mid-wicket area took a one-handed stunner when Afghanistan’s Asghar Stanikzai hit an Angelo Mathews length ball up and over the cow corner. Pakistan, are you looking for a better fielder?
Mahela’s bat breaks into two halves
If there is anything in the world that would make a fast bowler happier than seeing stumps cartwheeling, then it is seeing the batsman’s weapon crack into two. Shapoor Zadran had the privilege of enjoying such a happening, when an innocuous forward defense from Mahela Jayawardene broke his bat into two. It wasn't really a pacy delivery nor was it a full blooded thwack from Mahela, but time seemed to be up for the bat as it bid adieu to its master in a hysterical fashion. RIP, bat!
Hamid Hassan succeeds in cartwheeling Sanga’s bails but fails in his own cartwheeling
Should there be a list of most prized wickets in world cricket, then Kumar Sangakkara’s wicket would be up there at the top. What would you do if you ever manage to hit the jackpot of earning Sanga’s wicket? Forget that you are a human, consider yourself a superman and perform a stunt that puts the cheerleaders to shame. That is exactly what Hamid Hassan did as he moved the ball back in to run through Sanga’s defence.
Seeing the stumps shattered, Hassan roared at first, then raised his arms in jubilance and attempted a cartwheel. However, his stunt failed midway as it came a cropper when landing.
Malinga’s first wicket since comeback
Lasith Malinga bowled better than he did against New Zealand, but an early wicket still eluded him. Malinga was forced to wait till the sixth over as he clean bowled the opposition captain Mohammad Nabi with a full-length ball. The LED stumps are always at risk when Malinga is in operation, but the sight of the zing bails glinting had been a will-o'-the-wisp for Malinga until then. Malinga unleashed his singular roar, but it was more out of relief than jubilance.
Shapoor Zadran - the ailing devil
The tall Afghan southpaw, whose looks resemble wrestler Great Khali, bowls with a very long run-up. Just like any fast bowler in the modern era, he too battles with an ailing knee and that started haunting him when he was batting. Though there were qualms about whether he would be able to bowl, Shapoor Zadran produced a peach of a delivery that took off alarmingly, pecking Dilshan’s edge to the keeper.
But throughout his spell, he struggled, limping to his bowling mark and hurtling like a man possessed. Knee injury, pain, stiffness or fatigue can do no harm to Zadran’s love for bowling fast.
Thisara Perera’s brace of runs
How often does a brace of runs attract attention? But in Perera’s case they are little nuggets. Sri Lanka were desperately needing Thisara to strike form for well over a month and he waited until their second World Cup game to prove his worth.
Perera can always whack the cricket ball a mile, but what he fails to do when out of form is rotating the strike and working the ball into gaps. In this innings too, he started off with heavy blows, but on the fourth ball of the 48th over, he pushed one to mid-on to collect two, announcing his return to form.