Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Colombo, 5th day November 29, 2012

The Titanic turn, the synchronised dive

Plays of the day from the fifth day of the second Test between Sri Lanka and New Zealand at P Sara Oval

The mix-up
Sri Lanka's overnight pair had negotiated the early overs without much worry, but they concocted trouble of their own to see the downfall of one of their most experienced batsman. Thilan Samaraweera pushed a Doug Bracewell delivery to cover and set off immediately for a quick single. Perhaps not expecting to scamper runs at this stage in the game, Angelo Mathews was slow to respond at the other end, and as he saw Jeetan Patel swooping in on the ball, he decided to send Samaraweera back. By that stage though, his partner was too far down the track, and his cause was not helped by an extremely slow stop-and-turn that resembled the Titanic trying to avoid the iceberg. Samaraweera was run out by a good two metres. 

The eager cricketers
Knowing conditions were unlikely to allow them to bowl all the scheduled overs in the day, New Zealand's cricketers were extra eager to resume their hunt for wickets after lunch, and took the field minutes before the scheduled restart. They had even assumed their fielding positions before the umpires arrived. Sri Lanka's batsmen were predictably last to come to the middle, two minutes late. 

The delivery
When Mathews was batting alongside Prasanna Jayawardene, it seemed as though only the new ball would be able to part them. New Zealand's seamers struggled to get much out of the aging ball on a wearing pitch, and the spinners didn't get much help from the surface either. But almost out of the blue, debutant Todd Astle produced the ball of the day to dismiss Jayawardene, when he drifted one in then got it to leap off the pitch, turning away. Jayawardene presented a firm defence, but as the ball had bounced more than he had anticipated, it took the edge, high up on the bat, and broke the partnership. 

The double dive

So keyed up were New Zealand to complete the win that when no. 11 Rangana Herath gloved a short ball from Trent Boult into the off side, two fielders came in and leapt forward, despite the fact that neither of them had a hope of getting there. Brendon McCullum ran forward from third slip and Tim Southee from backward point and the pair performed a futile synchronised dive almost side-by-side, before getting up and smiling it off.

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent

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  • Dummy4 on November 30, 2012, 21:38 GMT

    Any1 thinks that the wicket Todd Astle took was not out..i didnt quite get a closer look but it seems not out what you say guys!!!

  • Dummy4 on November 30, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    Brendan Elks says it all...

  • Khooni on November 30, 2012, 4:30 GMT

    2 minutes late after lunch. and still they pry for spirit of cricket award

  • Jordan on November 29, 2012, 22:05 GMT

    It's so nice to be able to wear my suppoerters Black Cap out without being laughed at. A brilliant team effort built on a wonderful first innings batting performance - something my team has struggled with. Onwards and upwards, boys!

  • steve on November 29, 2012, 21:05 GMT

    YEEEESSS! we don't suck! But seriously, we finally put together a 5 day performance in a test, even taking it to 5 days used to be a worry. Now we have a new ball pair that will trouble anyone (if Timmy can hold it together), Wagner waiting impatiently in the wings, and Tommy just waiting... If we replace Kruger with Watling (sorry Kruger good grinding but we need more) and Jeets with Wagner, I think we won't be thrashed by SA quite so badly as we expected, might even get a draw! Then all we have to do is get Big Jesse back in the groove for England, roll on summer ; )

  • Barry on November 29, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    Best NZ side incl super Southee in 25 years ! Best NZ player since Hadlee - I'M GONNA GET Taylor's autograph at Grace Road in my Wisden 2013 - the one chronicling we won, finally, in Indiahh !

  • Prashan on November 29, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    Congratulations NZ indeed. I also have to say that Samaraweera's run out today was the turning point indeed. Good luck NZ in your tour of SA.

  • Dummy4 on November 29, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    Damn, I love test cricket! T20 is dead to me!!!

  • Dummy4 on November 29, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    a great day of kiwis...hope it heralds a new era for nz cricket - a pleasant recent time, New Zealand had a torrid time, losing one match after another..congrats kiwis...

  • Dummy4 on November 29, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    Kiwis has proved time and again that they are no short of producing such it t20,ODI or Test Matches...brilliant job!!

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