Sri Lanka vs Australia
Australia Win By 125 Runs
It took them a bit longer to wrap up victory today than they would've anticipated, but the Aussies have first blood of the series well inside four days. The pitch certainly had a huge say on this match, and the same can probably be said for Tests two and three down the line. Lyon, Harris, Mathews and Jayawardene take the bulk of the applause, and the hosts will have to have a serious think about the make up of their starting XI for the duration of the series. Mendis has to get a game next time around. The second Test kicks off in Pallekele on Thursday. Catch you then. Cheers.
Over 95.5 Lyon 0-0-0-1-W
253-10 - WICKET! Lakmal holes out in the deep, Lyon bags his only wicket of the second innings and that - as they say in the classics - is all, folks.
Over 95 Watson W-0-2-0-1-0
252-9 - WICKET! Watson back into the attack and lands immediate success. Mathews, looking for three figures in one fat swing, attempts to go big down the ground but plays down the wrong line and has his off-stump pegged back. Welegedera is the last man in for Sri Lanka as the Fat Lady begins to warm up in anticipation of Aussie triumph. The hosts have made it to 205 at least.
Over 94 Lyon 1-0-0-1-1-0
249-8 - The spinner gets a go with the relatively new ball, with Clarke well aware that Mathews probably won't be able to resist having a heave at the slower stuff. He'll do it in singles alongside the able Lakmal for the time being, though.
Over 93 Harris 4-0-W-4-0-0
246-8 - Something more orthodox from the left-handed Herath, who employs a straight bat for some pretty elevation over mid-off for four more. WICKET! A short-arm jab straight to Copeland at short midwicket, suits the Aussies and Harris in particular just fine. The fast bowler has his five-for and the Sri Lankans are now just two wickets away from defeat. Mathews wondering whether or not he is going to get to three figures. For the record, he fell for 99 against India a while back. Lakmal in now and he is almost out for a first-ball duck but rather enjoys a fat edge wide of third slip for four.
Over 92 Johnson 0-1-0-2-0-1
238-7 - Questionable move from Mathews, for his own good and that of the team, as he takes a single early in the over to leave Herath exposed. The tail-ender, as always, can't be bothered with defence and instead goes big down the ground for two into no-man's land. Having a long-off and long-on wouldn't be untoward from Clarke here.
Over 91 Harris 0-0-0-4-0-0
234-7 - Herath won't go down quietly and wields the willow at almost everything, fetching himself a lucky four runs off the edge between slip and gully for his efforts. Can't see this lasting long, though. Harris will have his man sooner or later.
Over 90 Johnson W-1-4-0-4-0
230-7 - WICKET! One victim follows another. Randiv can't ride the line and lenght, fending off a stockstandard edge to the slip cordon, where Clarke is at hand for a sitter. There was a bit of extra bounce in that one, but really it was Johnson's deadset accuracy that did for the right-hander. Herath, on a pair, in now. Mathews, running out of options and partners, decides he'd better tee off an chase a maiden Test ton before it's too late. A couple of heaved boundaries send him right on his way - into the 90s, in fact.
Over 89 Harris 0-0-0-0-2-4
221-6 - Johnson is still mumbling, mostly to himself, after sharing a heated word or three with Mathews at the end of the previous over. The right-hander, meanwhile, gets a short ball which doesn't bounce nearly as much as he expected, and defends it awkwardly in the nature of a number 11 batsman. Comic relief all around.
Over 88 Johnson 0-0-0-0-4-1
215-6 - Good call from Clarke, this, as Johnson - certainly a more attacking option than Copeland - returns to the bowling fray with a new man at the crease. Meanwhile, Mathews is going to have to rethink his approach. Does he look for quick runs and farm the strike or does he afford the wannabe all-rounders and tail-enders faith? Time will tell, but me thinks the former.
Over 87 Harris 1wd-W-0-0-0-0-0
210-6 - Harris really puts his back into a bouncer - too much so as it's called a wide, but then gets it very right to end the centurion's stay at the crease. WICKET! Nip through the air and jag off the seam is enough to undo Jayawardene's near impenetrable defence, with the stumps castled and the bowler an team-mates understandably jubilant. Randiv in now as the Aussies head into the Sri Lankan tail.
Over 86 Copeland 0-0-0-0-0-4
209-5 - Having watched his team-mate employ the shot time and time again from the non-striker's end, Mathews hauls out the 'soft hands' to fetch himself four runs past gully. Copeland, meanwhile, concedes a rare boundary. A quick glance at the overall wagonwheel for the innings will show plenty of runs to that area.
Over 85 Harris 0-0-0-0-1-4
205-5 - Mathews, not for the first time today and probably not the last, rides his luck. Spooning some sharp seam movement to midwicket, the right-hander breathes a sigh of relief as Ponting's attempt at the catch on the dive to his left is not enough.
Over 84 Copeland 0-0-0-0-0-1
200-5 Meh. Copeland plugs away. But it's pretty predictable. There isn't as much in the pitch for him as there was in Sri Lanka's first innings. Clarke would do well to get Johnson into the attack from this end sooner rather than later. 200 up for Sri Lanka, meanwhile, with their target now under 180. Trying times for Australia.
Over 83 Harris 4-0-0-0-0-4
199-5 - Hands on Australian heads all around as Harris forces the edge from the man in the nervous, but there for the umpteenth time of the match a tentative shot falls short of the men in the slips for four runs. There was an element of 'soft hands' from the batsman, but the bowler will count himself unlucky there. The over ends with a convincing late cut - enough to bring four more and take Jayawardene to his century. It's the 29th of his career - and sees him draw level with the late, great Sir Donald Bradman's number of Test tons.
Over 82 Copeland 0-0-0-1-0-0
191-5 - Copeland gets the new ball alongside Harris, but I would really like to have seen Johnson afforded the chance with the harder cherry. Anyway, the medium-pacer it is, and he is no match for Jayawardene's textbook defence. Clarke could certainly give his bowler another close-in fielder, an extra slip at least.
Over 81 Harris 0-0-0-0-0-0
190-5 - The new ball is due and Clarke does not dillydally, handing it straight to Harris. The right-armer slips into a near perfect approach from the get-go, beating Mathews with a particular peach that strikes the seam and moves away from the flatfooted right-hander's empty shot.
Over 80 Clarke 0-0-1-0-0-1
190-5 - Clarke extends his stay in the attack and finds some turn to the right-hander. Plenty of 'soft hands' from Jayawardene, who makes sure the edges - if any - won't fall into the hands of the duo of close-in fielders. Every now and then he drops one in short, but deep point s in place for the cut.
Over 79 Watson 1-0-0-0-0-0
188-5 - The right-arm seamer begs for something from the surface, dragging his fingers across the ball for a bit of an off-cutter, which catches Mathews driving and missing as the ball snipes through bat and pad - not nearly close enough to the off-stump for Australia's liking, though.
Second Session, Day Four
All and sundry back out in the middle after a quick cuppa. Sri Lanka chasing a further 192 runs or the draw. Australia still in search of five further wickets.
- 31st Aug - 3rd Sep 2011
- Aleem Dar and R A Kettleborough
sri lanka BATTING CARD
|Paranavitana||lbw b Harris||0|
|Sangakkara||c Hussey b Watson||17|
|Samaraweera||c Haddin b Johnson||0|
|Randiv||c Clarke b Johnson||0|
|Herath||c Copeland b Harris||12|
|Lakmal||c Johnson b Lyon||5|
|Extras||1w, 1b, 1lb||3|
|Total||All out, 95.5 Overs||253|