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Plays from the first ODI between Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Hambantota
Andrew Fidel Fernando
November 10, 2013
The scoop shot junkie
On a day when Tillakaratne Dilshan appeared to be short of fluency, he seemed addicted to trying one of the most difficult shots in the game - even if it is one of his own devisement. Dilshan scooped one over his shoulder as early as the seventh over, and when Corey Anderson came on to bowl during the batting Powerplay, he appeared intent on playing no other stroke. He sent Anderson's second ball of the 38th over above the keeper, then tried it again next ball, but missed. He played the scoop again successfully on the penultimate ball, but eventually, Anderson got wise. The last ball of the over was slightly slower and Dilshan was early into the shot, sending it straight up for the advancing wicketkeeper to pouch.
The adaptive advance
Angelo Mathews says he loves to play the hook and pull and, although he got himself into an awful position for the shot in the 36th over, a good eye and quick hands ensured he executed it superbly. Having already hit a four in the over, Mathews ran down the track to Mitchell McClenaghan who dug the ball in very short, maybe having seen Mathews charging. The wise thing at this point would perhaps have been to duck but Mathews, with his Plan A foiled, was still keen to be aggressive. Judging the length quickly, Mathews hooked the ball, which was above head height when it reached him, and he connected so well the ball pierced the gap on the leg-side boundary, well in front of square.
The sense of déjà vu
Almost a year ago, against the same team, Dimuth Karunaratne had been lbw for a duck on Test debut, to a ball that pitched around off stump and swung back into him. Though he hit a torrent of List A and first-class runs in the past three months, he suffered almost exactly the same fate in his first ODI in two years. Kyle Mills pitched the first ball of the innings on middle stump, angled across the left-hander, and got it to straighten off the seam. Karunaratne could not get his feet moving and was struck in front of the stumps on the crease, leaving the umpire with an easy decision.
Lasith Malinga has an excellent record against New Zealand, having terrorised many of the visitors' batsmen before. Chasing a tall total, newbie Anton Devcich became Malinga's latest victim, falling prey to his trademark yorker in the first over. Malinga had swung a couple of deliveries onto the batsman's legs, and bowled a wide down the leg side, but on the penultimate ball of the over, he got the ball to move in towards the batsman from outside the off stump. Devcich misjudged both the line and the length of the ball, and it continued unimpeded to strike the base of middle and off stump.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
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Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala