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The Plays of the day from the second ODI between Sri Lanka and New Zealand, in Pallekele
Andrew Fernando in Pallekele
November 4, 2012
The fielding position
Mahela Jayawardene is usually first slip for Sri Lanka early in the innings, and the discussions between him and wicketkeeper and former captain Kumar Sangakkara likely shape Sri Lanka's strategy in the field. Jayawardene wasn't at first slip today - he had moved to second slip - and Angelo Mathews had taken his usual fielding position. It was as if by sandwiching future captain Mathews between Sri Lanka's sages, he could learn the nuts and bolts of leadership by absorption. Pity though, that Mathews hasn't yet developed Jayawardene's deftness at slip. He let an outside edge off Rob Nicol fly past him in the third over.
The close shave
Tillakaratne Dilshan had plenty of nervous moments in his 37, but none so close as the edge that fetched him four off Trent Boult in the fourth over. Dilshan wound up and let rip an expansive cover drive, but the ball moved back into him a touch off the seam and took the inside edge. He was so close to playing on that if the off stump had had hair, the ball might have displaced the bails on its way past.
The botched repeat
Upul Tharanga clubbed his first boundary when he pulled Mills through midwicket in the fifth over, but rather than changing his length Mills bowled an almost identical delivery next ball and got a vastly different result. This time, the ball stayed lower, and Tharanga only managed an under-edge to the keeper with his pull shot.
Almost every other batsman had trouble adjusting to the low, skiddy bounce in the pitch, but Kumar Sangakkara produced the stroke of the evening off his first ball. Mills dropped one short of a length outside off stump, and Sangakkara leaned back to ease it backward of point for four. Nothing like keeping for 50 overs to get your eye in on a tricky pitch.
Lasith Malinga had been causing trouble with his bouncer all innings, even hitting New Zealand's best batsman Ross Taylor on the helmet. Nathan McCullum, though, countered it brilliantly in the 47th over by backing away and ramping a 140kph short ball over short third man off the middle of the upturned blade.
Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri LankaFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
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Pataudi Jr caught a young English fan's fancy for his princely ways and his heroic batting