Chasing Sri Lanka’s average score of 132, Pakistan must have been quietly confident despite having an inexperienced batting line-up consisting of experienced playing coming off some indifferent form; coupled with a couple of players making recalls. Losing two wickets, captain Hafeez and then debutant Shakeel Ansar, in the first two balls to the combination of Kulasekara and Dilshan was not in the script. Both Hafeez and Ansar both played identical cut shots towards the point region.
Khalid Latif, not only did he look a person looking nervous as a result of a comeback but also looked a player that looked out of place in International cricket. His 3 runs from 12 balls was a painful watch; throughout the innings you got the feeling that him getting out was just a matter of time. If Latif’s stay at the crease was bad, Shoaib Malik came out with no purpose whatsoever. He hardly looked to rotate the strike and keep the scorecard ticking. His lack of show of intent was atrocious for a person that has played International cricket for over a decade.
With the team in trouble and severely needing a inspiration; Umar Akmal tried to provide that with his typical no hold barred aggression. The ‘Akmal Swagger’ didn’t last for too long as he got out trying to take the game towards the opposition. In came Shahid Afridi and on his second ball played a ridiculous heave that truly belongs to tape ball cricket in the local park. In amongst all these batsman coming and going in, what can only be described as a, bad rash; one man was standing tall and trying his upmost to rescue the game for Pakistan.