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Boult survives a bowler-killer

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the day from the 3rd ODI in Pallekele

Immediately after exchanging words with Tim Southee, Upul Tharanga  holed out to fine leg  •  AFP

Immediately after exchanging words with Tim Southee, Upul Tharanga holed out to fine leg  •  AFP

The confusion
The time umpires spend looking at balls has been reduced dramatically by the 'new ball from each end' rule that keeps the ball visible, but Ian Gould still had to study his closely before the 27th over of New Zealand's innings. The ball that remains at his end hadn't been returned to him at the end of the previous over, and Jeevan Mendis was about to bowl the next over with the same ball before the other umpire took the ball off him and rolled it to Gould at square leg. Gould wasn't convinced that it was his ball though. He stared at it suspiciously, like a man wondering if he had worn someone else's shoes home after a boozy dinner party, and reluctantly pocketed it.
The words
Tim Southee has a reputation for sometimes saying too much to batsmen, especially when they are batting well against him, but on this occasion he said just enough. He had been hit for two fours in his first over when he bowled a short ball that Upul Tharanga wore on the helmet as he was ducking. Southee extended his follow through and unleashed a volley of expletives at Tharanga, point blank, before bowling another short ball next delivery. Perhaps goaded by Southee to play a shot, Tharanga hooked, but half-heartedly, and sent the ball directly to Jacob Oram at fine leg.
The bowler killer
Two return chances had gone down earlier in the day, but Trent Boult might not put Tillakaratne Dilshan's straight drive in the 22nd over in the same category, despite the fact that it was hit straight at him. Dilshan bludgeoned it so hard, Boult's reflex to duck underneath it was probably a good one, and he wasn't even tempted to put a hand up in the hope it would stick.
The shacklebreaker
Sri Lanka's opening bowlers had not allowed New Zealand a boundary in the first seven overs of their innings, and they needed a fielder's help to break the shackles. Brendon McCullum defended Lasith Malinga on the off side and took off for a single, but Thisara Perera running in from cover thought he had a chance of running McCullum out and let rip with an overarm throw. The ball missed the stumps, hit McCullum's bat and flew over both the men backing up, and on to the ropes. It doesn't officially count as a boundary, but it came out of the middle, and anyway, who's splitting hairs?
The drops
If the same fielder drops two catches in the same over, the bowler would be justified in letting rip with a few words or a stare, but that is a bit difficult for a bowler when the fielder is himself. BJ Watling and Ross Taylor both offered straightforward return chances to Angelo Mathews in his second over, but he spilt both in his follow through. He can't be too disappointed though, as he trapped McCullum in front in between the missed catches.
The injustice
Given McCullum collected four free runs when a throw ricocheted off his bat, Mathews will have felt hard done by when he was hit by a throw while scampering a single and had only a sore thumb to show for it. He needed the physio's spray to keep batting, and couldn't even lift his bat with just his right hand, when he was celebrating his fifty.

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Sri Lanka