Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Colombo, 1st day November 25, 2012

Stubborn bails, and the lbw that never was

Plays of the Day on the opening day of the second Test between Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Colombo

The howler

DRS wasn't missed in the first Test, but it would have saved Brendon McCullum in the fourth over of the day when he was given out lbw off Shaminda Eranga. Eranga had been firing it into the pads, and though McCullum defended down the wrong line to one that moved in a touch, he got a thick inside edge on the pads and was adjudged lbw. He stared at the umpire, muttering expletives, before punching his bat in frustration as he exited the field.

The near-miss

Ross Taylor's good luck in the first hour of his innings went some way to negating the misfortune of McCullum's dismissal, as he edged several times before reaching the 30s. He had edged Eranga over the slips twice in one over - once just evading the tips of Angelo Mathew's fingers - but his closest call came off Mathews a few overs later. Taylor went back to defend the ball, but Mathews got it to jag back at him, and the Taylor's inside edge just evaded the stumps on its way to the fence.

The physics-defying bail

Late in the second session Mahela Jayawardene dived at short midwicket to intercept a Taylor drive, and the ball deflected towards Thilan Samaraweera at short mid-on, who picked up the ball and shied at the stumps, seeing Taylor out of his crease. The ball hit the off stump, causing it to rattle visibly, but the bail stayed firmly in place, leaving Samaraweera to stare dumbfounded at the furniture. Tillakaratne Dilshan jogged to the offending wickets at the end of the over and lifted the bail, just to make sure it wasn't glued on.

The shot

Taylor shelved his brute power strokes during his century, and perhaps nothing epitomised this better than the boundary he hit to sign off on day one. Nuwan Kulasekara was bowling with the second new ball, and he went full, searching unsuccessfully for swing. Taylor's drive was more off a checked push, but he had timed it beautifully and the ball sped past the bowler and to the straight boundary, all along the ground. Mid-off barely moved, except to retrieve the ball from the boundary.

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri Lanka

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Peter on November 25, 2012, 19:47 GMT

    And that Ross Taylor is how to play cricket. Straight and with timing.. when you do it, its sooo easy for you and centuries beckon. Big forceful cross the line shots bring you seconds of glory followed by weeks of criticism.

    Train your mind to love playing straight and along the ground. Enjoy how peaceful it makes your life. You dont need to fight anything, just enjoy being there and timing the ball to the fence. Easy peasy.

  • Dummy4 on November 25, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    Is there any reason why the DRS isn't employed for this test?

  • Jeremy on November 25, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    Why isn't there UDRS in Sri Lanka? they just spent money on a new stadium and upgrading another. Especially with this heat, umpires have a hard time concentrating. India don't have it for other reasons, maybe they should let Sri Lanka borrow it.

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