Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 2nd T20, Pallekele November 21, 2013

Kusal brings out his rugby moves

Plays of the Day from the second T20 between Sri Lanka and New Zealand, in Pallekele

The unintentional rugby pass

Kandy is considered the rugby capital of Sri Lanka, and against opponents from the best rugby nation in the world, Kusal Perera did a decent imitation of a trendy pass. He ran in from deep midwicket to take a top-edged catch off Anton Devcich in the eighth over, as Nuwan Kulasekara also approached from long-on. Kusal got his hands to the descending ball, but as if imitating a centre linking with a wing in a swift backline move, he palmed it out to Kulasekara, less than two metres away, who completed a simple catch in front of his face.

The punch

Kusal's big shots are defined by their power, but his prettiest stroke of the evening proved finesse was not beyond him either. Having launched Kyle Mills into the sightscreen off the previous ball, in the third over, Kusal moved swiftly back to a short-of-a-length delivery just outside off stump, and pushed it powerfully and precisely. Exploding off the bat, the ball split point and cover perfectly, and raced to the boundary.

The instruction

Debutant Ramith Rambukwella, during an impressive spell with the ball, had an impetuous moment. Pleading for a wicket when he struck Devcich just outside the line of off stump in the fifth over, Rambukwella rose from his appeal in visible disbelief when the umpire turned him down. Seeing this, Kumar Sangakkara thought to give the bowler some advice. At the end of the over, he took Rambukwella by the shoulder and appeared to remind him to accept the official's decision.

The misfortune

Kusal rode his luck for his fifty, perhaps because Mahela Jayawardene had already used up the misfortune-quota for the innings when he was given lbw in the second over. Coming over the wicket, Mitchell McClenaghan pitched the ball just outside leg stump and straightened the ball off the seam, to strike Jayawardene on the pad. To his shock, Jayawardene looked up to see the umpire's finger in the air, and shook his head all the way to the dressing room.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    senanayake is far better player than rambukwella. if rambukwella wants a place in team he must improve his batting bowling and fielding. he must be a good allrounder.nice 2 see youngesters performing well. specially kusal. good 2 see sanath and co. giving chances 2 these youngsters. it is really good for sl cricket. also watch out for ashan priyanjana, he will become a good allrounder. hats off for u mr. sanath. get us a good coach. if slc wants 2 have a local coach i think that chandika hathurusinghe is the ideal person for that job.

  • udendra on November 22, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    Rambukwella may be a good option in the T20 format. But he was playing yesterday at the expense of Senanayake! Will have to see how he goes against better teams. And if he does, Mendis will have some pressure.

  • sachit on November 22, 2013, 3:25 GMT

    Great to see MDKJ Perera coming back into international form - he's been piling it on at List-A and FC level .Always good to see pure aggression from a batting line up that has been relatively meek in the recent past.

  • ESPN on November 22, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    Kusal Janith played his natural game so nicely.... What a player to challenge to the bowlers.. Gd luck kusal....,

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