Nevill defends sneaking Sri Lanka stumping

Updated: 

Peter Nevill has rejected suggestions his stumping of Sri Lanka's of Dimuth Karunaratne went against the spirit of cricket. 

Australia's wicketkeeper waited until the opener, having played and missed a Nathan Lyon delivery, briefly lifted his back foot before removing the bails on day four of the third Test in Colombo on Tuesday.

The dismissal was awarded following a review, prompting some to accuse Nevill of poor sportsmanship.

"Well, there's always people who are going to say something like that, but I don't think it's contrary to the spirit of cricket," he said.

"If you don't want to get stumped, stay in your crease. You can sort of see a shifting of weight and you're expecting the back foot to come up. 

"That's the hunch I had and that's what happened. Just managed to get the bails off in time."

Sri Lanka centurion Kaushal Silva, who notched 115 as the hosts reached 312-8 to lead by 288 runs going into day five, defended Nevill's opportunism. 

"I don't see it as a wrong thing," he said.

"But you can't also take wickets in a way that is against the spirit of the sport. That said, there's no problem if it's done the right way."