The bashful bash
Whether in the middle, or at press conferences, Hashim Amla can be shy about appreciations of his ability, choosing often to deflect praise and dwell on collective success. So it might have suited him when a milestone in his innings was overshadowed by a piece of poor cricket. Amla tried to launch Ashan Priyanjan into the sightscreen in the 23rd over, but managed only to loft it towards long on. Running in from the fence, Thisara Perera did well to get to the ball, but let the chance bounce out of his grasp. With the crowd fixated on replays of the spill, barely anyone noticed the single that took Amla to his fifty.
The "that's how I play" dismissal
Tasked with bridging the major gap between domestic and international cricket, young Sri Lanka batsmen are given a lot of rope at the start of their careers. At the Premadasa, Priyanjan used his lengths of cordage to hang himself. Imran Tahir had bowled himself into rhythm in his second spell and was turning it as sharply as any spinner had managed in the day, but Priyanjan thought it wise to step down the pitch and aim an almighty slog over midwicket - against the turn. Almost predictably, the ball took his top edge and settled in the hands of short third man. Priyanjan looked once at an unimpressed Kumar Sangakkara at the other end, and turned to leave.
Where most boo when they see something they dislike, the Colombo crowd express emotions via playful rounds of hooting - a practice even the country's president has been subjected to at the cricket. Last year, Morne Morkel had the biggest hooting ovation, when he dropped his trousers to adjust his undergarments at the boundary. This year, Imran Tahir was at the receiving end. Upon dismissing Priyanjan, Tahir took off on his customary, flailing run, ending up alone at square leg while his teammates decided to form the huddle elsewhere. The Premadasa crowd though, saw Tahir's animation, and the way he beat his chest, and unleashed their high-pitched hoots in unison. They did not stop for almost a minute.
The inauspicious return
Having played only four ODIs in 2013, and retired from Tests since, Jacques Kallis did his best to put his official comeback in doubt, putting his back out before the warm-up match on Thursday. When he was cleared to play on Sunday, he was hardly there at all. Kallis did not bowl and his stay at the crease lasted two balls. He defended one ball from Angelo Mathews before playing around a carrom ball from Ajantha Mendis to be caught plumb in front.