Rain favours table leaders
It will be a must win situation for Sri Lanka in their remaining two
matches and they also have to depend on Australia beating India if they
are to find a place in the best of three finals in the Commomwealth Bank
Limited overs series.
In yesterdays match between Australia and Sri Lanka, the host team
won by 24 runs under the Duckworth and Lewis System at the Melbourne
Sri Lanka chasing a moderate victory target of 185 in 50 overs, were
77 for 4 in 29.3 overs when a heavy downpour drenched the grounds and
play was called off.
The Lankans fared miserably while batting as they lost Sanath
Jayasuriya in the first ball for 0 followed by Dilruwan Perera who
should consider himself unlucky for 1.
Once again the burden fell on Jayawardena and Sangakkara. The pair
brought the score from 3 to 42 then Mahela after facing 45 balls for his
27 flirted with a rising ball out side his off stump and was caught
behind. And soon after Sangakkara was caught by Symonds off Hopes, Sri
Lanka’s hopes too, of obtaining a favourable result quickly disappeared.
Earlier with the clouds gathering and overcast conditions Mahela won
the toss and invited Australia to bat. Anticipating that the conditions
would help his fast bowlers. But as soon as the Australian opening pair
walked in the sun came out to dispel the gloom.
However openers Adam Gilchrist and Mathew Hayden were struggling
against the steady pace of Vaas, Malinga. Maharoof, took over from
Malinga just after one over. Vass bowled Gilchrist for 6, Maharoof
produced a fine spell and he had Hayden caught by Chamara Silva.
The Australians struggled desperately and their batting lacked any
touch of authencity. Australian skipper Ricky Ponting once again was
looking very vulnerable and survived some awkward moments.
He once again played his off side shot which has brought his down
fall on several occasions, this time he hung his bat and Dilshan failed
to hang on to a difficult catch off Vass’ bowling at point.
Ponting did not last long when he straight drove Maharoof and setting
off for a single, Maharoof while falling on his follow through threw the
ball to Sangakkara who put the down the wicket.
Australia at 3 for 44 the million dollar man Andrew Symonds arrived,
but after only scoring 4, Maharoof bowling to a good line and length had
him caught behind off the inside edge.
Michael Clarke and Michael Hussy there after was engaged in a fifth
wicket stand worth 90 runs utilizing 126 deliveries. Clarke and Hussy
systematically repaired the Aussie innings.
They did not try anything extravagant and was satisfied with the
singles and twos.
Michael Clarke who had scored precisely 50 hit back a full toss back
to Muralitharan who caught it in the second attempt and Michael Hussy
remained unbeaten on 64.
A. Gilchrist b Vaas 06
M. Hayden c Silva b Maharoof 23
R. Ponting run out 11
M. Clarke c and b Muralitharan 50
A. Symonds c Sangakkara b Maharoof 04
M. Hussey not out 64
J. Hopes st Sangakkara b Muralitharan 11
B. Hogg c Dilshan b Malinga 04
M. Johnson not out 06
Extras (2b, 3w) 05
TOTAL (for seven wkts, 50 overs) 184
FALL OF WICKET: 12 (Gilchrist), 39 (Hayden), 44 (Ponting),
54 (Symonds), 144 (Clarke), 166 (Hopes), 173 (Hogg).
BOWLING: Vaas 10-1-34-1, Malinga 10-1-44-1, Maharoof 10-1-20-2(1w),
Muralitharan 10-0-37-2, Amerasinghe 10-0-47-0 (2w).
D. Perera lbw Clark 01
S. Jayasuriya c Ponting b Clark 00
K. Sangakkara c Symonds b Hopes 22
M. Jayawardene c Gilchrist b Bracken 27
C. Silva not out 16
T. Dilshan not out 09
Extras (1lb, 1w) 02
TOTAL (for four wkts, 29.3 overs) 77
FALL OF WICKET 0 (Jayasuriya), 3 (Perera), 42 (Jayawardene),
BOWLING: Bracken 6-1-13-1, Clark 5-1-8-2, Johnson 7-1-17-0(1w),
Hopes 7-2-23-1, Hogg 4.3-1-15-0.