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Plays of the Day from the fourth ODI between Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Hambantota
November 10, 2012
The run out
BJ Watling has been New Zealand's batsman of the series so far, and he looked set to knuckle down for another good innings before Brendon McCullum caused his dismissal in the 12th over. McCullum knocked one into a gap on the leg-side and the batsmen took off with two on their minds. As he turned though, Watling saw that Nuwan Kulasekara was closing in, and protested. McCullum was insistent however, and Watling was forced to attempt the second run but was nowhere near completing it when the throw came in and the bails were removed.
Jeevan Mendis' legspin has been used sparingly in this series, but he ensured New Zealand would not rebuild after four top order wickets had gone cheaply, when he dismissed Kane Williamson and Nathan McCullum off consecutive deliveries, in the same fashion, with the same delivery. Williamson had played Mendis' legbreaks comfortably, but did not pick the googly, leaving a gap between bat and pad for the ball to bisect as it broke the other way. McCullum failed to read the googly as well, and was also bowled through the gate next ball.
Tim Southee and Trent Boult were moving the ball viciously in the air and off the seam in their opening spells, and were unlucky to finish with just one wicket between them, having beaten the batsmen on numerous occasions. Southee's best delivery came the second ball of his second over and, typically, it went unrewarded. Southee moved the ball in through the air, pitching it on a length on middle stump, before getting it to straighten dramatically off the seam. The ball beat Dinesh Chandimal's prod and flew inches above the bails. Southee was so adamant that he should have something to show for that ball that he turned around to appeal raucously by himself, despite the fact that the batsman had got nowhere near it.
The déjà vu
Upul Tharanga was dismissed by Southee after the bowler had had words with him in the second ODI, and so would have been desperate to get the better of Southee in the next match. But like in the second ODI, Tharanga hit a beautifully timed punch off Southee through the offside before throwing his wicket away, this time cutting straight to backward point. No words were necessary this time.
New Zealand pride themselves on their fielding, but in the 13th over James Franklin failed to make a regulation boundary stop. It was a slip-up that most backyard cricketers would be embarrassed by: sauntering around from sweeper cover, Franklin got down to intercept a Dinesh Chandimal cut shot, didn't get his hands near the ball, and it duly rolled between his legs and onto the boundary.
The umpires' justice
Having worked hard to see Sri Lanka through the chase, Kumar Sangakkara was livid to have been deemed caught behind off Trent Boult in the 25th over, when the deflection had come off his thigh pad. Justice prevailed however, in a slightly complex fashion, as the third umpire ruled that Boult had overstepped, even though replays suggested a fraction of his boot had landed behind the line. In the end, two wrongs made a right, and Sangakkara finished unbeaten on 42.
Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri LankaFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge
Plays of the day from the tri-series match between Zimbabwe and South Africa
Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?