Wednesday 8 January 2014

Mini-session Analysis, 2nd test, Pakistan vs Sri Lanka, Dubai 2013/14

Here is the final mini-session analysis for the second test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

A mini-session is (normally) half a session, either between the start of the session and the drinks break or the drinks break and the end of the session. Occasionally a long session will have 3 mini-sessions where it will be broken up with 2 drinks breaks.

1-1aPakistan 33/1 off 14Sri Lanka
1-1bPakistan 24/0 off 11draw
1-2aPakistan 50/2 off 13.1Sri Lanka
1-2bPakistan 21/3 off 13.5Sri Lanka
1-3aPakistan 37/4 off 11.5Sri Lanka
1-3bSri Lanka 57/1 off 16Sri Lanka
2-1aSri Lanka 40/2 off 13Pakistan
2-1bSri Lanka 35/0 off 14Sri Lanka
2-2aSri Lanka 39/0 off 16Sri Lanka
2-2bSri Lanka 44/0 off 14Sri Lanka
2-3aSri Lanka 49/1 off 14draw
2-3bSri Lanka 54/0 off 19Sri Lanka
3-1aSri Lanka 43/3 off 16Pakistan
3-1bSri Lanka 27/3 off 12draw
Pakistan 11/1 off 2.5
3-2aPakistan 30/2 off 12.1Sri Lanka
3-2bPakistan 44/0 off 13Pakistan
3-3aPakistan 23/0 off 11Pakistan
3-3bPakistan 24/0 off 10Pakistan
4-1aPakistan 16/1 off 12Sri Lanka
4-1bPakistan 41/0 off 13Pakistan
4-2aPakistan 33/1 off 13.1Sri Lanka
4-2bPakistan 34/1 off 14.5Sri Lanka
4-3aPakistan 59/1 off 17Pakistan
4-3bPakistan 15/0 off 4.3-
5-1aPakistan 29/3 off 14.2Sri Lanka
5-1bSri Lanka 35/0 off 16Sri Lanka
5-2aSri Lanka 60/0 off 15Sri Lanka
5-2bSri Lanka 42/1 off 15.2Sri Lanka

Final update, click here

Sri Lanka won the mini-session count 18.5 - 8.5

First drinks, Day 1: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 1-0

Sri Lanka started well, but it could have been a lot better. All three bowlers have managed to beat the bat at times, with Lakmal having a catch dropped, and another one fall in front of gully. It's a brave decision to field first in Asia, but this pitch may justify it after all. - Mykuhl

Lunch, Day 1: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 1.5-0.5

Pakistan have seen off the new ball for only one loss, but they have not got much on the board. Sri Lanka will probably be the happiest with the current state of the match. - Mykuhl

Middle drinks, Day 1: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 2.5-0.5

Pakistan scored 5 boundaries off the first 2 overs after lunch – 4 of which came from balls that were pitched well short of length. Sri Lanka were quick to understand the small margin of error on this slow pitch as they bowled just one short ball in the entire hour since then – one that was well directed and well timed.

They kept bowling full, hardly strayed down the leg side, and created regular chances. Lakmal found consistent swing in the air, and Pradeep had both swing in the air, and movement off the pitch whenever he pitched it up. To Pakistan’s credit, they picked up singles at every opportunity, found the gap on the over pitched deliveries, and made some progress after having made just 57 in the first session. But they didn’t have answers to Sri Lanka’s persistence with that full length and consistent lines outside off. Hafeez perished to a full ball that came in after pitching and went through the gate, while Younis chased one well outside off and nicked out.
Sri Lanka's hour without doubt. - Kannan S.J.

Tea, Day 1: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 3.5-0.5

Sri Lanka continued the good work they did in the first hour after lunch. They stuck to the same testing areas outside off and did not do anything silly such as bowling short, or changing the lines. And they found the rewards as well. While Misbah couldn’t resist Eranga’s teaser outside off, both Manzoor and Shafiq got out to loose strokes.

Mathews won’t regret sending Pakistan in anymore. - Kannan S.J.

Change of Innings, Day 1: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 4.5-0.5

Once Ahmed fell to another full delivery from Pradeep, it was upto Herath to clean up the tail, and he didn’t take too long. He was right on the money and ensured they didn’t leak too many runs late in the innings.

Got to say Mathews didn’t waste any time bringing in his spinner for the tail.

All four bowlers should be happy with their efforts. - Kannan S.J.

Stumps, Day 1: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 5.5-0.5

Pakistan had 16 overs at Sri Lanka before bad light stopped play. Out of the 16, only 2 overs (both from Junaid) were full in length and asked questions of the Sri Lankan batsmen. Otherwise, all 3 batsmen were comfortable staying back at the crease and scoring runs off anything slightly wide of the off stump. Junaid managed to get Karunaratne LBW with one that jagged back in. Silva played safe and close to the body, like he did in the first test. Sangakkara looked reasonably comfortable in his short stay.

Bhatti was the only bowler who bowled consistently full at Abu Dhabi. He might have caused more trouble today but had the chance to bowl just one over before close.

Another solid hour for Sri Lanka. - Kannan S.J.

First drinks, Day 2: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 5.5-1.5

It was an interesting morning. Pakistan dismissed Sangakkara fairly quickly, but then Chandimal looked outstanding. He was playing with soft hands and looking very solid defensively, before hooking a ball to long leg with no real warning. He has clearly got some issue against the short ball, and will need to spend some time working on that if he wants to maintain his ridiculously high average. - Mykuhl

Lunch, Day 2: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 6.5-1.5

Having lost 2 wickets in the first hour, Sri Lanka needed to ensure they didn’t lose any further wickets before lunch. Both Silva and Jayawardene played the ball to its merits, and helped them achieve that.

Silva looked to step up a gear but couldn’t do it easily as Pakistan bowled good areas throughout the hour. Mahela seemed to be struggling with his injured top hand against the seam bowlers, but managed to get through the session.

A significant difference from day one so far has been the lack of movement in the air. Ali and Bhatti had some movement off the pitch but they couldn’t find any movement in the air, which Sri Lanka’s seamers found throughout day one. To their credit, they stuck to the right areas and haven’t let Sri Lanka run away. Ajmal holds the key after lunch. - Kannan S.J.

Middle drinks, Day 2: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 7.5-1.5

These two batsmen have taken Sri Lanka past Pakistan's total, and have done it by good test match batting. There haven't been any ramp shots or reverse paddles. Instead Silva and Jayawardene have waited for the ball to be in their zones and then put them away.

The average score that teams get to from 171/3 historically is 380. I would suggest that if Sri Lanka get there, then they are very likely to go on and win this test. - Mykuhl

Tea, Day 2: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 8.5-1.5

Sri Lanka have made steady progress without taking any too many risks. With hardly any help for the seamers, there was a lot resting on Ajmal to make the breakthroughs. But both batsmen played him really well. They picked up singles quite regularly and never let him get on top. Knowing the slow nature of the pitch, Ajmal bowled a lot quicker through the air and did manage to create a couple of chances but couldn’t break the partnership.

Will be interesting to see how the seamers go with the second new ball. It’s due 7 overs after tea. - Kannan S.J.

Final drinks, Day 2: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 9-2

Some skills play well on TV. The ability to swing the ball a long way or to turn a delivery sharply both are easy skills to appreciate. the ability to make a batsman misjudge the length of a ball is probably a more useful skill, but is difficult to appreciate on TV. It's why Mohammend Hafeez is both effective and unappreciated as a bowler. Kaushal Silva was astounded to have not hit the innocuous delivery that he got lbw to for 4. It was a pure Hafeez wicket, subtle trickery.

Unfortunately for Pakistan, that's about where the clever bowling ended for the hour, as not long after that wicket was taken, the quicks were given the new ball, and proceeded to bang it in about 2-3m too short. Sri Lanka will now be eying up a very big score indeed. - Mykuhl

Stumps, Day 2: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 10-2

Pakistan were trailing by 66 when they took the second new ball. Clearly they had to make the most of the opportunity, but they failed to do so. Both Junaid and Rahat were consistently short of good length. There was the odd short ball but that plan wasn’t persisted with either. Rahat created 2 opportunities out of the 4 balls or so that he bowled full but neither went to hand.

If I had to pick the most likely bowler to pick wickets on this pitch, it would be Bhatti. Misbah didn’t bring him on until after 17 overs with the new ball. Neither did he attempt for anything slightly unconventional to pick up wickets.

Ajmal remained ineffective. He stuck to a middle-leg line where both batsmen were comfortable and never tested them from outside off. Full credit to Sri Lanka for continuing to play risk-free cricket, and yet scoring at a reasonably good rate. - Kannan S.J.

Lunch, Day 3: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 10.5-3.5

Pakistan would have been happy with the start to the day. They took the last 6 wickets for only 70 runs, and looked to be back in the game. But the morning was ruined somewhat by Herath picking up Shezad with what became the final delivery of the morning.

This test has a slow run rate and a slow over rate, and yet it is advancing quite quickly. - Mykuhl

Middle drinks, Day 3: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 11.5-3.5

If there was any doubt about who was on top the man with the second most luxurious hair in cricket, Nuwan Pradeep picked up a couple of wickets to set Pakistan back further. - Mykuhl

Tea, Day 3: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 11.5-4.5

A solid hour for Pakistan. The two veterans have put together a good partnership. Eranga had caused some troubles, particularly for Misbah, but no real chances. There is a lot of weight on these two sets of shoulders. - Mykuhl

Final drinks, Day 3: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 11.5-5.5

It's been the Misbah and Younis Khan show. The pair have knuckled down and with their tenacity, they'll have their fans believing that "all three results are still possible". Time in the game is not the issue, Pakistan's reliability is. If you're the sort of person who is interested in playing the cricket betting odds, this is a perfect example of why Pakistan is a dangerous side to bet on. Their players are just so unpredictable. - Antoinette

Stumps, Day 3: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 11.5-6.5

These two have now put on a very steady 113 runs and are looking completely untroubled. Pakistan are just 71 runs behind and if they can erase the deficeit, or at least get close to doing so, there might be a glimmer of hope in Pakistan's future. - Antoinette

First drinks, Day 4: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 12.5-6.5

Half Sri Lanka's job of winning this test was going to be to seperate the two overnight batsmen fairly early. It took almost 11 overs, but eventually it was Suranga Lakmal that did the trick, edging a cut shot through to Prasana Jayawardene who took his 8th dismissal of the match. - Mykuhl

Lunch, Day 4: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 12.5-7.5

A respectable hour there from Pakistan. Misbah decided to put down his foot a bit, and took 21 off 33 from that hour. He's still more like a tuk-tuk than a Triumph Daytona, but it was almost double the pace he had been scoring at before. - Mykuhl

Middle drinks, Day 4: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 13.5-7.5

Sri Lanka get the new ball, and it brings a break through. Eranga took the wicket with a shorter ball than he normally gets his wickets with, but it was his exemplary seam position that did it again. He angles the ball in and then seams it away, moving it more consistently than anyone except possibly Philander. The more I watch Eranga, the more I think he's going to have a really special career. - Mykuhl

Tea, Day 4: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 14.5-7.5

Is that the decisive blow? Herath managed to bowl a stunning ball that made Misbah play inside to cover the drift. Instead the ball gripped and turned sharply to take off stump. Misbah was looking very good too, and it was going to need something special to remove him. - Mykuhl

Final drinks, Day 4: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 14.5-8.5

Bhatti departed, but Pakistan built their lead. There is now a glimmer of hope for Pakistan. Surely they couldn't pluck this out of the fire, could they? - Mykuhl

Stumps, Day 4: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 14.5-8.5

It's raining in the desert. There wasn't enough time for a win in that hour to be meaningful. - Mykuhl

Change of Innings, Day 5: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 15.5-8.5

Sri Lanka will be happy to have not left themselves with too big a target, but 137 is the sort of total that can be defended with one really good spell of bowling. Can Pakistan find that spell? - Mykuhl

Lunch, Day 5: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 16.5-8.5

Sri Lanka started off very carefully. After 6 overs they had only scored 8 runs, 4 of which were from edges that avoided the fielders. There is some talk of rain approaching, Sri Lanka will be hoping that it says away for a couple of hours more. - Mykuhl

Middle drinks, Day 5: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 17.5-8.5

That was an hour decisively won by Sri Lanka. The play was reasonably even, with Pakistan generating a few chances, but none of them went their way, and so Sri Lanka ended up dominating the scoreboard for the hour. - Mykuhl

End of Match, Day 5: Sri Lanka win the match by 9 wickets and the mini-session count 18.5-8.5

Sri Lanka win, and take an unassailable 1-0 lead into the final match. The tricky thing here is to know who the key performer was, as this was an outstanding team effort. Jayawardene was an of the match, but each of the bowlers did their part, as did Kaushal Silva. It was altogether a great team performance from Sri Lanka. Pakistan will have to ask some questions about their bowling plans, but also the techniques of some of their batsmen. Playing against a seaming ball is never easy, but perhaps if more batsmen had used softer hands, and held their line, rather than chasing the ball that moved away they may have been able to post bigger scores. - Mykuhl

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