New Zealand v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Christchurch December 28, 2015

McCullum, the flying wrecking ball

Plays of the day from the second ODI between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, in Christchurch

Matt Henry did not give away too many runs, whether he was bowling or fielding © Getty Images

The double-diving stop

When Tillakaratne Dilshan sent a ball to fine leg in the third over of Sri Lanka's innings, Matt Henry moved quickly and dove to his right to deflect the ball from the ropes. But, he hadn't quite deflected it well enough. As his body was barrel-rolling across the boundary, the ball moved again towards the rope, several metres in front of him. Henry rose again, stumbled forward, and put in another dive. This time, he managed to slap the ball well away from the boundary. All of this to save a run.

The low-flying wrecking ball

A lot of people were left nervous when Brendon McCullum sped towards the rope and dived head-first to prevent boundaries, during the World Cup. The worry was that he would crash so hard into the hoardings, he could do himself an injury. Having tweaked his back before today's match, the impact from a diving save by the ropes at square leg did force him to leave and stay off the field on Monday. He hunted down the ball to save the run, but then rolled with some force into an electronic advertisement board. He got up gingerly and left the field soon after.

The golf-swing omen

Martin Guptill's game is at its peak when he hits powerfully and cleanly through the line of the ball. His shot to Nuwan Kulasekara's first ball should have set off alarms in the Sri Lanka camp. Spotting a slightly overpitched delivery on middle stump, Guptill swung straight through the line, keeping his head over the ball and his eyes on the point of impact even long after the ball had traveled towards the embankment beyond long on. He would power onto hit eight supremely-timed sixes in his unbeaten 30-ball 93.

The catch

When New Zealand struck the ball cleanly, it often ended up in the crowd, but Sri Lanka's clean strikes tended to find the hands of the fielders. Danushka Gunathilaka met that fate in the eighth over, when he flayed an overpitched Henry delivery towards cover. The ball flew high to the left of Mitchell Santner. But, the fielder tracked it in an instant, and leapt into the air, kicking heels up and all, to pluck the catch with both hands, fully outstretched.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • alex on December 28, 2015, 15:31 GMT

    @SLC_OBSERVER on December 28, 2015, 4:09 GMT you cannot rely on Jayawardena & Sangakkara forever! they have moved on... are you saying that Sri Lanka cannot find two cricketers talented enough to step into the positions vacated by these two stalwarts? that is simply ridiculous! surely there are talented cricketers in Sri Lanka to take their places! Mahela and Sangakkara will be the first to acknowledge that youngsters need to be given a chance... sooner the better...

  • Rohan on December 28, 2015, 4:09 GMT

    We are going to see an easy 5-0. SL now not very different from WI, or Zimbabwe. and should start playing against Afghanistan and Ireland. That is the reality. Sangakkara and Mahela were in a mighty hurry to retire, despite several pleas .And then Sangakkara goes and plays cricket elsewhere. Mahela coaches England without giving the full support to SL. They could have easily foreseen this debacle. I am disappointed with their attitude.

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