Clinical Lankans demolish Aus

Clinical Lankans demolish Aus

Islanders excel in all departments of the game to clinch the rain-curtailed match

Clinical Lankans demolish Aus

Ricky Ponting chewed his nails, spat on his palms, and rubbed his hands together furiously, and those pictures relayed in frequent frames revealed Australia’s misery on a blustery Friday.

Stand-in skipper Ponting elected to bat, and from that point nothing went right for the home side, eventually getting bundled up for 158 after the match was reduced to 41-overs-a-side affair due to a two-hour rain break. Lanka didn’t sweat much to chase down the revised target of 152 for an eight-wicket win as Tillakaratne Dilshan and captain Mahela Jayawardene, who remained unbeaten on 61, found their range on the day.

However, the Lankan bowlers, who never let the Australians off the hook, laid the foundation for a comfortable victory with an impeccable show. Under an inky sky, they found pronounced movement and ample bounce to trouble Australian batsmen. Each one of the Lankan bowlers was so impressive that the hosts lost their first seven wickets even before 100 were up on the board.

Lasith Malinga dished out his usual stuff – blistering yorkers mixed with slow balls and occasional bouncers, Nuwan Kulasekara swung the ball just enough both ways to fill batsmen’s minds with doubts, while Farveez Maharoof got enough bounce with his open-chested action that denied scoring opportunities for the batsmen.

Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath too was quite tidy in his ways as the Australians struggled to break away. They brought Matthew Wade back to the pole position after flopped experiences of pushing him down the order in the last couple of matches, and for a short while it appeared a good move. Wade and David Warner looked solid and ready for a long haul when Malinga struck.

Warner failed to read Malinga’s slow ball, and he ended up chipping it to Maharoof at mid-on, and the Aussies soon slipped into bigger trouble, losing Wade and Ponting. Wade was run out after a massive mix-up with Peter Forrest, while Ponting scooped a simple return catch to Maharoof. Australia seemed to slither out of that hole through Forrest and Mike Hussey, who added 23 runs, and more importantly they looked untroubled by the opposition bowlers.

Once Angelo Mathews winkled out Hussey, Lanka dismissed Forrest, Daniel Christian, Clint McKay and Brett Lee in quick succession, and at 104 for eight Australia were in danger of folding up much earlier. But a 49-run association for the ninth-wicket between David Hussey, who was dropped in the early stages of his innings by Malinga in the deep, and Mitchell Starc delayed the end of Australian innings, also provided some speck of respect to their total. Hussey made a well-crafted 58 off 64 balls.

But it wasn’t enough to stop the Lankans from emerging runway winners. They started the chase on a resounding note, Dilshan and Jayawardene ran the Australians ragged during their opening wicket stand worth 74. Dilshan and Jayawardene, who opened the innings in place of out of touch Upul Tharanga, has been struggling for runs in the triangular series.

They didn’t show any signs of rustiness, fulfilling the requirement of a strong start while chasing a small yet tricky target. Dilshan in particular was severe on bowlers, and Jayawardene, who hit his first ODI fifty since November 2011 against Pakistan, wisely let his partner to take the centre stage rotating the strike beautifully. The strategy worked brilliantly for the visitors as they garnered 53 runs in the eight mandatory Power Plays upfront.

The dismissal of Dilshan, caught at slips by David Hussey off McKay, came only as a minor aberration in Lanka’s surge to victory that helped them to swell their tally to seven points. Jaywardene and Sangakkara, who completed 10000 ODI runs, added 59 runs off 9.3 overs for the second wicket, and by the time the left-hander departed Lanka were within the touching distance of victory.

Score Board


Warner c Maharoof b Malinga    13
(21b, 2x4)
Wade (run out)    15
(36b, 1x4)
Ponting c & b Maharoof    2
Forrest c Mathews b Maharoof    16
(26b, 3x4)
M Hussey c S’kkara b Mathews    13
(23b, 1x4, 1x6)
D Hussey c Thirimanne b Perera    58
(64b, 6x4)
Christian lbw Perera    6
(13b, 1x4)
McKay lbw Herath    3
Lee (run out)    0
Starc (run out)    17
(24b, 2x4)
Doherty (not out)    2
Extras (LB-2, W-11)    13
Total (all out, 40.5 overs)    158
Fall of wickets: 1-21 (Warner), 2-37 (Ponting), 3-37 (Wade), 4-60 (M Hussey), 5-74 (Forrest), 6-81 (Christian), 7-95 (McKay), 8-104 (Lee), 9-153 (D Hussey).
Bowling: Malinga 8-0-40-1 (w-7), Kulasekara 8.5-1-31-0, Maharoof 8-1-18-2, Mathews 4-0-26-2, Perera 7-1-29-2, Herath 5-1-12-1 (w-4).
Scoring Pattern: 5 overs: 21/1, 10: 36/1, 20: 69/4, 30: 102/7, 40: 156/9, End of Innings: 158 all out in 40.5 overs.
Power Play 1: 1-10 overs: 36/1, Power Play 2: 16-20: 21/1, Power Play 3: 39-40: 10/1.

SRI LANKA (revised target 152)

Dilshan c D Hussey b McKay    45
(41b, 4x4, 1x6)
Jayawardene (not out)    61
(67b, 5x4)
Sangakkara c Doherty b Lee    30
(29b, 4x4, 1x6)
Chandimal (not out)    6
(8b, 1x4)
Extras (LB-5, W-5)    10
Total (for 2 wkts, 24.1 overs)     152
Fall of wickets: 1-74 (Dilshan), 2-133 (Sangakkara).
Bowling: Lee 7-0-42-1 (w-2), Starc 4-0-32-0 (w-1), McKay 6-1-23-1 (w-1), Christian 5-1-32-0 (w-1), Doherty 2-0-18-0.
Scoring Pattern: 5 overs: 41/0, 10: 66/0, 20: 126/1, End of innings: 152/2 in 24.1 overs.
Power Play 1: 1-8 overs: 53/0, Power Play 2: 22-25: 19/1.