Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Sydney November 5, 2010

Sri Lanka break series drought on rainy night


Sri Lanka 3 for 213 (Tharanga 86*) beat Australia 210 (Watson 40) by 29 runs on D/L method
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Sri Lanka came on this tour with one goal and achieved it with a match to spare. By handing Australia a seventh straight defeat, Kumar Sangakkara's men delivered their maiden series win in Australia in 26 years of trying. When the hosts slipped over for 210 in the greasy conditions it gave Sri Lanka victory by 29 runs - and it had come more easily than expected.

There was much to like about Sri Lanka's play in a match regularly threatened by rain, but there was little to inspire the hosts as they head to Brisbane for Sunday's dead rubber. The only time the visitors struggled was in the first two overs of the match - when they didn't score - but once the openers Upul Tharanga, who held the innings together with 86 not out, and Tillakaratne Dilshan got going there was nothing that could stop them. Not even the weather.

The rain disrupted Sri Lanka's innings twice as it finished early at 3 for 213 in 41.1 overs, but Australia's target was quickly inflated to 244 in 39 overs under the Duckworth Lewis method. The calculations added more difficulty to what was already a tricky pursuit in a seamer-friendly environment, and they began needing more than a run a ball. A short rain break towards the end trimmed another over from the match and reduced the target to 240. It didn't help.

Mistakes came quickly, starting with Brad Haddin's flash at a Nuwan Kulasekara inswinger and the knocking back of his middle stump. Ricky Ponting (10) fell hooking, just as he did so often last summer, and when Michael Clarke's (25) attempted pull ended up with a lunging Muttiah Muralitharan at third man, Australia were 4 for 80 and the game was heading one way.

Murali then watched Michael Hussey tap a catch to deep mid-off, a wicket which came after Shane Watson had missed a sweep on 40 to be lbw. He finished with 2 for 30 off seven while Thisara Perera, Suraj Randiv and Kulasekara also claimed two victims. Cameron White (35) and Steven Smith (33) could not achieve the miracle, especially when Lasith Malinga was varying his pace superbly.

Sri Lanka were 2 for 161 off 34 overs when the weather intervened for the first time, chopping five overs from their original allocation, and they finished in a rush before the clouds reopened. Tharanga ensured Sri Lanka built on the high gained from their stunning victory in Melbourne on Wednesday as he put on 98 for the first wicket with Dilshan.

The 70-run stand between the captain Kumar Sangakkara and Tharanga was starting to warm up when the rain arrived for the first time. Instead of acceleration, the ground received 90 minutes of saturation. Sangakkara (45) sliced Watson (2 for 45) to Clint McKay at third man before Angelo Mathews, the hero from the first game, provided a timely surge by swinging to 17 off 11.

Tharanga, who was comfortable chipping over the infield, was the slower partner alongside Dilshan, but he ended up in the lead role during his 112-ball stay. His half-century came up with two lofted boundaries to the legside off Nathan Hauritz and there were six fours in his display.

While his innings was highly worthy, Tharanga was dropped on 61 by Haddin and also survived a comical run-out attempt when stranded at the wrong end on 76. Haddin's throw flew over the bowler Watson's head before Clarke backed up and shied at the bowler's end. His on-target effort hit the leg of Watson, who was trying to get out of the way of the stumps, and Tharanga eventually regained his ground. It is a moment that will be replayed often until Australia can show they are a committed, unified and successful unit.

After Australia's bowling troubles in their awful loss in Melbourne, they demoted the spinner Xavier Doherty to 12th man despite his four-wicket debut, and also dropped John Hastings. The replacements didn't create a sudden shift in the team's fortunes.

McKay (0 for 42) came in to take the new ball and was steady, while Hauritz showed some useful signs in picking up 1 for 49 from nine overs. Mitchell Johnson gave away 11 runs in his first over while Peter Siddle was handy without being dangerous.

While there only 11,495 watching at the ground, Australia's seventh consecutive loss in all forms of the game will be noticed by everyone. England are in Perth, having started well in their tour opener, and can see a host of Ashes weaknesses. Over in Colombo there will be celebrations for the Sri Lankan team after their biggest obstacle ended up being the weather.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • swaroop on November 11, 2010, 2:21 GMT

    @Ahamed Afker :plz check out my frnd its sa who won in 2002 not pak.

  • Dummy4 on November 10, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    @swaroopjammula. 2002 is not before 1999 where PAK win.That is the time they are peaking but where as in 2008 they are declining (1994 onwards they played good cricket along with Mcgrath,Warnie& others).See there record at that time even NZ beat them 3-0 while chasing.Later SA also beat them in AUS.That was shown how they decilned.

  • swaroop on November 10, 2010, 2:29 GMT

    @Ahamed Afker :That was before 1999 when australia was just like the other teams in the world.we beat aus when they were in their peak and the rest of the world believed it impossible to beat them.I did not say the other teams didnot beat nz in nz i just said india is able to beat anyone ion their own backyard...

  • Dummy4 on November 9, 2010, 15:21 GMT

    @swaroopjammula. Who said First time who beat AUS in AUS is IND.PAK did before IND.That is in 1996/97 at Carlton United Cup (PAK not only beat them also put them out of the ournament as well) because PAK thrase them out.Later 2002 as well.How IND will say they beat AUS in AUS before others?....Please check your records.Further SL too win against NZ in their back yard long time back.

  • swaroop on November 9, 2010, 2:52 GMT

    @nav84smom: even after the thrashing recieved from chris martin India recoverd from 15/5 to 266 runs.This is a sign of number one team in the world. @ Ahamed Afker:India were finalists in 2003 wc in sa.India won t20 wc in sa in 2007.We were the side that showed the rest of the teams in the world that the migty aussies can be thrashed at their own backyard beating them comprehensively in the first two finals itself lifting the cb series in 2008.later we bet nz in nz.we drew with sa in sa.won in west indies.Can you tell me one series where india lost in test matches from 2008?We even drew the series with sl in sl.

  • Andrew on November 8, 2010, 10:35 GMT

    @nav84smom - LOL re: UDRS, poor form on India's behalf!

  • Shehan on November 8, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    @athwinner: Heard Chris Martin is having a ball in India - 15/5 shows that India being number 1 is a big joke. India deserves to be ranked 5th not 1st. As for dead pitches in SL - Matches played in SL produced results more frequently than those played in India. That is a fact. As for bad umpiring - Not our fault India lacks the intellect to use UDRS

  • Dummy4 on November 8, 2010, 6:58 GMT

    @athwinner. We never forget Ganguy & Dravid inning in 2003WC. But you forget Sanath Jayasuriya & Aravinda innings in 1996WC where SL played both the matches in IND.SL had better record than IND when SL played out side subcontinent.Example WC finalist in 2007 in ODI (in West Indies).WC finalist in T20 in ENG2008 and Semifinalist in T20 WC in 2009 at SA.These all matches played at out side subcontinent and see where IND is stand those tournaments.Then you know the results.Furthe we won against ENG as well 5-0 margin in ODI.

  • Andrew on November 7, 2010, 23:41 GMT

    @playitfair - good point re: DWL & wet outfields. I think Oz still would of lost, but the ball was not travelling as well to the boundary as in the SL innings. This is relevant I suppose because SL got to change the ball several times during the innings - again probably would not of changed the result. My only gripe about DWL is that you have to wait for the commentary team to tell you the Target figures - I get the concept, but sometimes the Target seems unrealistic. Didn't matter in this game because SL would probably have got around 330 in 50 overs, which Oz probably wouldn't of got.

  • randil on November 7, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    its funny.if india won 100 matches,85 of them won inside india.their cricket outside india(outside southasia) is very poor also in tests..we saw in t20 w.cup west indies,how they lost to srilanka..finally they bacame no1 as srilanka beat sure if they meet a side like south africa or srilanka or england on fast tracks outside india,sl or bangladesh,they will understand as happened in the past. and australia srilanka matches always have rain as a side player.sometimes australia win as last worldcup which srilankans had to bat like bats in dark..but the result came out.they lost.but this time australia had to play but not in dark...they lost bcz of srilankan talents. these teams will meet again in few months.will see the result.

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