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Plays of the day from the fifth day of the second Test between Sri Lanka and New Zealand at P Sara Oval
Andrew Fernando at the P Sara Oval
November 29, 2012
Sri Lanka's overnight pair had negotiated the early overs without much worry, but they concocted trouble of their own to see the downfall of one of their most experienced batsman. Thilan Samaraweera pushed a Doug Bracewell delivery to cover and set off immediately for a quick single. Perhaps not expecting to scamper runs at this stage in the game, Angelo Mathews was slow to respond at the other end, and as he saw Jeetan Patel swooping in on the ball, he decided to send Samaraweera back. By that stage though, his partner was too far down the track, and his cause was not helped by an extremely slow stop-and-turn that resembled the Titanic trying to avoid the iceberg. Samaraweera was run out by a good two metres.
The eager cricketers
Knowing conditions were unlikely to allow them to bowl all the scheduled overs in the day, New Zealand's cricketers were extra eager to resume their hunt for wickets after lunch, and took the field minutes before the scheduled restart. They had even assumed their fielding positions before the umpires arrived. Sri Lanka's batsmen were predictably last to come to the middle, two minutes late.
When Mathews was batting alongside Prasanna Jayawardene, it seemed as though only the new ball would be able to part them. New Zealand's seamers struggled to get much out of the aging ball on a wearing pitch, and the spinners didn't get much help from the surface either. But almost out of the blue, debutant Todd Astle produced the ball of the day to dismiss Jayawardene, when he drifted one in then got it to leap off the pitch, turning away. Jayawardene presented a firm defence, but as the ball had bounced more than he had anticipated, it took the edge, high up on the bat, and broke the partnership.
The double dive
So keyed up were New Zealand to complete the win that when no. 11 Rangana Herath gloved a short ball from Trent Boult into the off side, two fielders came in and leapt forward, despite the fact that neither of them had a hope of getting there. Brendon McCullum ran forward from third slip and Tim Southee from backward point and the pair performed a futile synchronised dive almost side-by-side, before getting up and smiling it off.
Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondentFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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