Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Colombo, 4th day November 28, 2012

An unspotted run-out, and Patel's walk

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

The catch
Martin Guptill took a stellar diving catch at second slip to dismiss Angelo Mathews on the third day, but Kane Williamson's take at gully the next day was better. Trent Boult was moving the ball away from Rangana Herath, and when the batsman pushed at one and got an edge, the ball seemed to be flying high over Williamson. In a flash Williamson was in the air, legs akimbo and left arm outstretched, and he clung on to the ball like he would a handrail on a maglev train.

The missed dismissal
Late in the second session, Sri Lanka could have had Todd Astle out for 27 had anyone bothered to appeal for a run-out chance at the wicketkeeper's end. Astle pushed Suraj Randiv towards cover and took off quickly for a single before being sent back by Ross Taylor, who had seen the incoming fielder. Astle turned and dived to make his ground, and although he seemed to have got his bat over the line comfortably before the stumps were broken, the dive had caused his bat to bounce, and it was still in the air when Prasanna Jayawardene removed the bails. Jayawardene hadn't seen the bat lift off the ground, however, and curtailed his appeal to a yelp. As a result, umpire Nigel Llong didn't bother referring it.

The assist
Astle experienced cricket's "great levelling" powers soon after, when his good fortune from earlier was negated by a stroke of bad luck. He swept Randiv hard and low, but before the ball could touch the ground, it hit the heel of Dinesh Chandimal's shoe at short leg and looped in the air. Tillakaratne Dilshan jogged in from short midwicket to swallow the rebound, and though Astle had played the stroke almost perfectly, he was heading back to the dressing room after a few replays.

The farce
Eight times in this match balls have begun to lose their shape inside twenty overs and umpires have had to call for replacements. The routine culminated on the fourth morning, when the ball had to be replaced inside 90 minutes three times. New Zealand had already swapped their ball after two overs with the second new ball the previous evening, and soon after start of play on the fourth day, they asked for another ball change. The visitors managed to induce movement with that ball and bowled Sri Lanka out, but before 15 overs of New Zealand's second innings, the ball had already been changed twice.

The walk
The practice of walking when a batsman knows he is out is considered a sign of good sportsmanship, but Jeetan Patel went a step further. He began walking off before he had even been fully dismissed. Patel ran down the pitch to Randiv, but couldn't get bat to ball, and simply continued on his way to the pavilion without looking back to see if the wicketkeeper had collected the ball cleanly. He had, and Prasanna Jayawardene removed the bails several seconds after the batsman had begun to tread off. Patel might hope the ICC's Spirit of Cricket award committee was watching.

The run-out
The relationship between captain and strike bowler is often of crucial importance to a Test team, but Taylor did not seem to have much love for Tim Southee when he ran his captain out for 74. Taylor hit Rangana Herath down the ground and called for two immediately, and did not see a reason to change the plan as he turned for the second. Halfway through his run back to the striker's end however, Southee sent him back, leaving Herath to complete an easy run-out at the bowler's end. Taylor shot Southee a dirty look and was furious on his way off the field.

The disagreeable equipment
It is a rare series in which Kumar Sangakkara fails to pass fifty, but his own padding conspired to dismiss him in the second innings, leaving him with only 21 runs in three innings this series. Doug Bracewell's delivery would have travelled down the leg side if Sangakkara had not touched it, but the ball clipped the underside of his thigh pad and deflected back onto the stumps.

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Asim on November 29, 2012, 4:23 GMT

    @ Jose..

    you left me short of words..

  • Dummy4 on November 29, 2012, 2:25 GMT

    @Jose Puliampatta

    The law exists to prevent players from using their headgear to catch, like taking off your cap and using it to catch the ball. Hence this law exists.

    Also, helmets are a new addition to the cricket playing world, it is to ensure equality. Otherwise, players would just wear big enormous helmets and help field easier.

  • Andrew on November 29, 2012, 1:29 GMT

    Taylor was completely wrong in judging he could get two runs for that shot. Southee turned and started back for the second at the insistence of his captain, but soon realised he would be run out by several metres if he continued. Southee should have said no earlier, but the problem started with Taylor's poor judgement - both batsmen to blame.

  • Stephen on November 28, 2012, 21:10 GMT

    @Jose Puliampatta probably because everyone in the field wears shoes.

  • Dummy4 on November 28, 2012, 15:35 GMT

    Chandimal's shoe reminds me. Shoe is also a protective gear. I should know, since I finished my entire schooling, believe it or not, the entire college studies in the 50's without a footwear. I can still feel the pain after haf a century! A pair of shoes is as much a protective gear as the helmet. Then why the cricket's laws give an additional/ special status to the helmet (for example, Gambhir's catch)?

  • T on November 28, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    Didn't Sri Lankan coach go the New Zealand dressing room after seeing the replays of Astle's missed run out and ask the kiwi management to consider him getting retired out?

  • dave on November 28, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    Good stuff. Lets hope its fine and the young bowlers get a chance to finish the job if they are good enough.

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