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Nevill Sri Lanka stumping splits opinion

AAP logoAAP 16/08/2016 Will Knight

Crafty keeping, lazy batting, Test match desperation or against the spirit of the game?

Australian wicketkeeper Peter Nevill's stumping of Dimuth Karunaratne on day four of the third Test against Sri Lanka could be conceived as any of the above - or a combination of a few.

With Australia in urgent need of a wicket in Colombo on Tuesday as they attempt to avoid being whitewashed 3-0 in a difficult tour for the No.1-ranked Test team, Nevill sniffed out the smallest of chances.

Nathan Lyon produced a perfectly pitched off-spinner that squared Karunaratne up and beat the outside edge of the bat.

With the ball in his gloves, Nevill locked in on the Sri Lankan opener's feet like a hawk for the slightest of movements and just as he raised his back foot, Nevill whipped off the bails.

Following a review, Karunaratne was given out stumped for 22.

He wasn't attempting a run. His foot hadn't dragged out of his crease. He wasn't off balance as part of his defensive stroke.

The dismissal naturally wasn't against the rules but was it against the spirit of the game?

Mitchell Johnson applauded Nevill for his "nice work... game awareness" on Twitter.

Others on social media described it as lazy from Karunaratne and sneaky from Nevill.

It was certainly opportunistic.

Time will tell if it's a dismissal that sparked Australia to a consolation Test win in Colombo.

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