Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 2nd ODI, Pallekele November 4, 2012

Mathews takes Jayawardene's place, at slip

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

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.

The stroke
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.

The improvisation

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 Lanka

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mohan on November 5, 2012, 6:53 GMT

    I always admired Jayawardene's passion for future of SL cricket. He always wants to pass on his experience to his youngsters which I think our Indian players should follow him. Also Angi should use this opportunity wisely because Chandimal messed his opportunity to gain batting experience when Mahela dropped his postion for Chandi so that he can bat between Sanga n Mahela to mater the batting skills. Also dont for get Mahela moved up his position to top when SL need solid opener for Dilshan in bouncy OZ pitch. Now it upto Angelo Mathews to use it

  • Denham on November 5, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    That's the best way to answer your critics Lasith Malinga. I wonder what they will call you now instead of IPL Malinga, probably SLC Malinga? You never know? Well done Son...

  • Dummy4 on November 5, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    mathews is a terrible slip fielder btw

  • Rajith on November 5, 2012, 3:58 GMT

    @CheeCheeChee - Thumbs Up. yeah Vaasi was always behind the murali's shadow in his whole career. Yet he took 400 ODI & 355 Test wickets. He is by far the best bowler in Srilanka compared to Lasith. Still Wasim, Waqar and Vaasi is the best pace bowlers in Asia.

  • udendra on November 5, 2012, 3:54 GMT

    1st slip is a specialized position. why is Mathews fielding there?

  • Mark on November 4, 2012, 22:41 GMT

    Good performance from SL. Keep it up.

  • Milroy on November 4, 2012, 19:26 GMT

    No one should forget about the greatest fast bowler that Sri Lanka has ever produced is CHAMINDA VAAS, who played all three formats of the game!!!!!

    Lasith Malinga is the best bowler now but cannot compare to VAASI.

    Malinga is still to wiln a worldcup? hopefully in the next one!!!

    Vaasi was always consistant and played his best for Sri Lanka.....

  • Yohan on November 4, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    A result at last . Cylone and rain has made mess of this series so far and hope things will get better in coming days . Awaiting for test series .

  • Dummy4 on November 4, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    Malinga Replies to Some Jokers With a Man of the Match Award!! We Love Lasith Malinga.. He is the Greatest Fast Bowler Srilanka Ever Produced! A BOWLER WHO BORN ONCE IN A LIFE TIME!!

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