Lankan batting fails to cope with Brackenís pace
Aided by some indecisive batting from Sri Lanka and spearheaded by
the left arm paceman Nathan Bracken (5 for 47) and Brett Lee, Sri
Lankaís batting was demolished by Australia, as the host nation beat Sri
Lanka by 123 runs in their Commonwealth Bank limited over series in a
terribly lop sided game at the Sydney Cricket ground yesterday.
Sri Lankans could only blame themselves for not timing their innings
and making sure that the 50 overs were occupied, which was the strategy
that they should have adopted for victory.
Chasing a victory target of 254 off 50 overs Sri Lanka were all out
for 125 in 31.3 overs.
Sri Lanka gave a mockery of a batting display. One reason for the Sri
Lankan rashness was that the Aussie pacemenís nagging length and
accuracy that runs were not easy to come by. The Aussie bowling and lack
of strategic planning in Sri Lankan batting was the decisive factor in
Once Bracken and Lee provided the early break through dismissing
Tharanga and Jayasuriya for 18 and skipper Jayawardena playing an
injudicious shot and half the side out for 81 the match was as good as
over. Only wicket keeper Kumar Sangakkara who hammered an attractive 42
off 41 deliveries with 7 fours played an innings worthwhile mentioning.
Mahelaís rash stroke not worthy of a batsman of his class and
experience came at a time needlessly when Sangakkara was batting
beautifully at the other end and scoring quickly.
This was the downfall of the innings and the batsmen who followed did
not show any grit in trying to challenge the total. Dilshan struck a
beautiful six over mid on and in the same over tried to repeat the same
shot that caused his downfall disappointingly.
Play started on time with high clouds but no signs of rain. Ponting
won the toss and elected to bat and skipper Mahela Jayawardena
surprisingly went on the defensive in the third over of the match and
paid the penalty. Opener Mathew Hayden edged one off Vaas past the slip
area where Jayawardena himself was fielding.
Jaywardena had moved away from the slip position and Hayden had a
lucky escape edging a ball at a comfortable catching height. The left
handed opener was living dangerously although most of the runs came
through his bat. In the first over of Malinga, he nearly lost his wicket
when he almost dragged one onto his stumps off an inside edge.
Hayden after facing 50 deliveries was caught by Jayawardena for 42
with five fours. Gilchrist who was playing the quieter role got into his
stride in the 13th over and kept the scoreboard moving.
The soggy outfield restricted the number of boundaries. Gilchrist
after adding 65 runs for the opening wicket looked more of the authentic
Gilchrist. He struck Amarasinghe for two fours and continued his run
spree when finally Kapugdedera trapped him lbw while sweeping.
Gilchristís innings contained five fours and a six and he had faced 81
None of the Australian batsmen really played a domineering innings
besides Michael Clark who was unbeaten on 77 at the end adding a
precious 63 runs for the seventh wicket with James Hopes (34). Clarke
also put on 51 runs for the third wicket with Symonds the danger man.
The Sri Lankan bowlers rallied around their captain and bowled
exceptionally well. They gave a disciplined display while bowling. It
took 37 overs for the Lankans to register a run in the extras column.
They did well to restrict their opponents for 75 runs in the last 10
Vaas accounted for two valuable wickets when he first had Ponting
batting at number three caught by Jayawardena in the gully and Symonds
snapped up by Kapugedera in the covers that put Australia in spot of
The Aussies firmly believed that a total excess of 250 would be a
challenging score and they worked towards it.
The lack of pace in the wicket was not conducive for stroke play, it
was clearly demonstrated while the Australians were batting as they
managed only 14 fours and two sixes in their innings of 253 for 6. Sri
Lankans were quite impressive in their fielding and apart from the first
mistakes which let Hayden off the hook, field setting too was quite
A. Gilchrist lbw Kapugedera 61
M. Hayden c Jayawardene b Amerasinghe 42
R. Ponting c Jayawardene b Vaas 9
M. Clarke not out 77
A. Symonds c Kapugedara b Vaas 12
M. Hussey c Dilshan b Amerasinghe 10
J. Hopes c Dilshan b Malinga 34
B. Lee not out 0
Extras (2lb, 6w) 8
TOTAL (for six wickets) 253
FALL: 65 (Hayden), 88 (Ponting), 139 (Gilchrist),
160 (Symonds), 190 (Hussey)
BOWLING: Vaas 10-1-34-2, Malinga 10-0-55-1 (5w), Amerasinghe 10-0-66-2 (1w),
Muralitharan 10-0-42-0, Kapugedera 10-0-54-1.
U. Tharanga c Gilchrist b Bracken 10
S. Jayasuriya b Lee 7
K. Sangakkara lbw Bracken 42
M. Jayawardene c Gilchrist b Johnson 6
C. Silva c Gilchrist b Hogg 7
T. Dilshan c Lee b Bracken 14
C. Kapugedera c Hayden b Bracken 0
C. Vaas run out 18
L. Malinga run out 2
M. Muralitharan c Symonds b Bracken 11
I. Amerasinghe not out 0
Extras (3lb, 4w, 1nb) 8
FALL: 18 (Jayasuriya), 18 (Tharanga), 57 (Jayawardene), 74 (Sangakkara),
81 (Silva), 84 (Kapugedera), 93 (Dilshan), 105 (Malinga),
114 (Vaas), 125 (Muralitharan).
BOWLING: Lee 7-1-34-1 (1nb, 1w), Bracken 8.3-1-46-5 (1w),
Johnson 5-3-9-1, Hopes 5-0-16-0, Hogg 6-1-17-1 (1w).