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A triple attempt to dismiss Brendon MCullum

Lahiru Thirimanne and Nathan McCullum smile after a collision AFP

The loosener dismissal
Martin Guptill has had a frustrating two weeks, with his only good innings of the series so far having been cut short by rain, and it only worsened as he collected a golden duck off a poor delivery in Dunedin. Nuwan Kulasekara floated one up at around 125kph about 40cm wide outside off stump, and though Guptill was perhaps correct in aiming an expansive drive through the covers, his execution was poor. He did not get close enough to the ball and ended up giving a thick edge to the wicketkeeper.

The tackle
Nathan McCullum is adept at fielding balls off his own bowling, but when he couldn't quite get to the on-drive that Tillakaratne Dilshan hit in the 12th over, he took the non-striker out instead, preventing a run. McCullum had his eyes on the ball, but found Lahiru Thirimanne in his way as he pursued it. Midway through his dive, McCullum's arms and shoulder came into contact with Thirimanne's knees, and both players ended up on the ground in a tangle.

The triple appeal
Sri Lanka have been keen to see the back of Brendon McCullum throughout the tour, and they were so desperate in Dunedin that they appealed for two separate dismissals off the same ball, then attempted to get him out a third way. Kulasekara jagged a short-of-a-length ball into McCullum in the second over to strike the top of his pads. The first round of appeals went up as soon as the ball made impact, but a second appeal was also launched when Kumar Sangakkara caught the ball on the full, in the hope McCullum's bat had made contact. Neither appeal was successful though, and Sangakkara also attempted to run McCullum out, hitting the stumps with an underarm throw. The batsman had reclaimed his ground though.

The header
Lahiru Thirimanne put a lot of pressure on himself in his captaincy debut, bowling seven overs as well as opening the innings. He performed adequately in those roles but did not fare well as a fielding captain, failing to defend the boundaries towards the end of the innings, and shelled two catches to boot. The worse of these came in the final over, when he chased a Luke Ronchi mis-hit over his shoulder, running from point. Thirimanne got to the dropping ball easily enough, but it bounced out of his hands, bounced twice off his head, fell on to his thigh, and then hit the turf.