Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Hobart, 4th day

Warner's aggression, Starc's anger

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the fourth day in Hobart

Daniel Brettig in Hobart

December 17, 2012

Comments: 34 | Text size: A | A

Dimuth Karunaratne is bowled by a yorker, Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Hobart, 4th day, December 17, 2012
Dimuth Karunaratne frustrated Mitchell Strac until the left-arm quick produced a pin-point yorker © Getty Images
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The statement

In the early passages of day four, David Warner was outscored by Ed Cowan. As if seeking to redress the balance but also give Australia's innings some morning momentum, Warner set about Chanaka Welegedara at the start of a new spell. The first ball was pulled to the boundary on the first bounce, and the third had Warner walking down the pitch to meet Welegedara's delivery early. This stroke did not find its way to the boundary, but the the mood of the morning session had changed.

The switch-punch

For the challenge presented by Rangana Herath's spin, Warner had another novel solution - the switch-punch shot he has used successfully at Twenty20 level but been more hesitant to use in ODIs or Tests. Warner had already swung Herath for one six over long-on, but his search for wider scoring avenues resulted in the shot that has caused plenty of discussion about whether it should necessitate a change in the laws relating to LBW. Watching the ball closely, Warner executed his daring stroke effectively, but with a slight adjustment suited to Test matches. Instead of trying for a six, he kept the ball along the ground, and was rewarded with a boundary in front of square.

The call

Matthew Wade's promotion above Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey to No. 5 in the batting order caused some discussion, but nowhere near as much mirth as his eventual dismissal for 11. Facing up to Herath bowling from the southern end, Wade took an almighty swing at the left-arm spinner, causing the ABC commentator Jim Maxwell to exclaim "he's bowled" loudly enough to be heard outside the broadcasting box in addition to on radios around the ground. The only trouble was Wade had made contact, the ball sailing to long-on where Nuwan Kulasekara caught it. Maxwell's misunderstanding caused plenty of laughter at the ground, and conveyed the slight sense of uncertainty that always accompanies the watching of an over from behind the striker's end.

The temper trap

Mitchell Starc delivered a far better spell with the new ball than he had managed with either in the first innings, moving the ball a little either way and working on a tight line that drew numerous edges and spars outside off stump. However he lost his temper when bowling to Dimuth Karunaratne, responding to one diligent forward defensive by hurl the ball back at the batsman. There was no question of Karunaratne attempting a run, so the incident said more about Starc's developing temperament than anything else. The aggression he showed then was to be better directed later, as a yorker screeched under Karunaratne's bat to dismiss the opener closer to stumps.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Shaggy076 on (December 17, 2012, 22:08 GMT)

cricketslcsupport - Clarke didnt make a mockery of Sri Lanka he read that this pitch is hard to score on. To go past 450 is setting the game up for a draw. Mihil Ranatunga - the Australians have plenty of runs, if still in was likely to declare very soon. Sri Lanka need 330 on a last day pitch which has been hard to score on all day and he also knows from Adelaide that players are easier to get out if they are going for victory (as Herath found out). Yes he has 7 5 wicket innings for the year and is a good bowler but to say he dominated Australia is just stupid. Australia after they were 250 in front lost 9/140 of 32 overs well above the match scoring rate. THis is barely a 3 run an over pitch and Sri Lanka have to go at 3.6. They are currently managing 2 rpo with the new ball and that is when scoring is at its easiest. I like Sri lanka think they are a fighting team and wont give in but so far its been Australias test.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 17, 2012, 21:14 GMT)

@cricket_slcsupport. Clarke did no such thing. With all the time lost due to rain, he opened the game up by declaring. A negative Captain would have batted on & on until 600+. That is a positive thinking Captain, probably a new concept for you, but they do exist.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 17, 2012, 21:12 GMT)

@Prabhash1985. Be practical, they cannot win. Period. A draw is their best option, the pitch is not a 393 pitch any more. The bounce is variable, the footmarks are offering spinners great incentive, this should be a real test match of grit.

Posted by Black_Rider on (December 17, 2012, 18:32 GMT)

@Prabhash1985 : : Absolutely mate.... Completely agree with you.. Come on Sri Lanka. Just show some fight. That's all what we want.....

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (December 17, 2012, 17:50 GMT)

Sri Lankans in Australia, please go to the ground to support our heroes... They are helpless at the moment. There is unfair criticism towards them, which they did all the time when Murali was there. They did that to South Africans. And they do it to us. Whoever going to Australia, has to face the media mafia. Dear Sri Lankans in Australia, pay few dollars, and show the gratitude toward our mother Sri Lanka...

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 17:10 GMT)

the difference here compared with South Africa match is Shane Watson, he's a wicket taker and Australia might have won if he was there when they were one bowler short

Posted by Htc-Android on (December 17, 2012, 16:37 GMT)

looks like sri lanka are going for a draw. With this mindset they are not going to win tomorrow. One of sanga or mahela should bat through to draw this test match.

Posted by KosalaDeSilva on (December 17, 2012, 15:03 GMT)

what about the pitch? Just wondering no one talking about the pitch.Ball going under the bat like rolling on surface.But none of those talk about Gall pitch say nothing about this one.This is worst.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (December 17, 2012, 14:33 GMT)

Many say we cannot win. Remember "Miracle at the MCG - Australia vs Sri Lanka 3/11/10" (search in Youtube if you don't remember/know)??? Whoever thought that we could win it, until the last run? Keep trusting... We can win... They will do everything to show that Sri Lankans are not talented. Talent doesn't matter. Everybody is unique. All have the required talent. We are with you, Mahela and the team. We are with you, forever...

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

@dan1234- you don't need to classify herath's 5 wickets haul great or not. He has already taken 7 of them this year alone. And there's another 2 test matches to go. Don't count your chickens just yet. Slogging or not Aussies could not set a total which is impossible to chase for the srilankans. below 400 is not much. Besides what are you trying to say? watson was stumped trying to slog?? save your words. Watto couldn't even nick herath's deliveries properly. Give credit when it's due mate..

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (December 17, 2012, 14:11 GMT)

Fight till the last drop of blood to win! Do not give up. At least, stop the defeat. Keep trusting yourself, Sri Lanka... We can do it... Just a small country, with people considering Cricket almost like a religion, this is it! Even if we get defeated, we are with you... We respect you, we love you, and we will accept anything... But, please, fight! That's all we want to see... This is the best chance to win the Test for Sri Lanka... Fight for the victory! There is nothing to lose. Even if we lose the match, does that mean anything? No... Just fight!

Posted by bravetigersmustwin on (December 17, 2012, 13:03 GMT)

Now Its all in Mahela and Sanga's hands. Hope they dont throw their wicket and even if they are out, the other batsmen should not panic because Aussies are really good at playing mind games and if SL are mentally strong they are good enough to win.

Posted by dan1234 on (December 17, 2012, 12:56 GMT)

@PadMarley Herath did indeed take a five for. Two tail enders and a couple of sloggers going for it trying to lift the run rate however means it won't rate as the greatest five wicket haul. Especially coming of 0/75 in the first innings where the Aussies really set it up.

Posted by cricket_slcsupport on (December 17, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

C'mon Lankan Lions you can do it, the Oz media, former players have looked down upon the current Sri Lankan team, even Clarke made a mockery of the Lankan squad by declaring the first Innings at 450/5.

Prove everyone wrong, we still support you guys. Make this happen Plzzzzzzzz Of course I'm desperate for a Lankan series win

Posted by Biggus on (December 17, 2012, 12:21 GMT)

@amilag-Ground control to Major Tom....you're lost in space mate. Delusional, in other words.

Posted by Slysta on (December 17, 2012, 12:06 GMT)

Yeah... what's that about? The day was clearly Australia's, we are much closer to winning now than we were at the start of the day. The best thing from Sri Lanka's point of view is that they're not dead - yet - with stalwart batting by their champions in the last hour suggesting that saving the game tomorrow is a realistic prospect for them. Herath and Welegedera are entitled to gain confidence from their performances today, but they didn't get any wickets at all until the lead had reached about 250 with all 10 wickets still in hand. Good on them for grabbing a few poles, but really, the Aussies were hustling towards a target of 400ish as fast as they possibly could, and the cheapies were on offer. A bigger achievement for Sri Lanka would have been stemming the runs so that Australia had to bat 40-60 minutes beyond tea before the target was big enough... but they couldn't manage that.

Posted by NAD_SriLankanBoy on (December 17, 2012, 11:43 GMT)

Really sad that if SL is not going for the win, If all the 90 overs will be bowled without rain tommorow..SL will have to go at 3.64 to win the match..Thats not impossible and its an attack where only peter siddle is looking threatening, This is even a better chance to win than the previous time when sanga made 192...So Lets hope they're going for it...SL should try to score at around 3.75 in the morning session and take things more seriously from there on...Mathews and Mahela will have to play some important part as well if they're going to win..and sanga will have to play the anchoring part..

Posted by Marcio on (December 17, 2012, 11:38 GMT)

This is not Adelaide. I give SL v little chance of winning, and a small chance of drawing. The pitch is starting to play up. In Adelaide AUS had Watson out injured and lost Pattinson, so they were down to 3 bowlers, and thanks to the curator leaving extra grass on the pitch to extend its season, the pitch didn't deteriorate at all on day 5. It's already cracking here. Watson will probably pick up quite a few wickets here, and Lyon should do well. If SL go for the win in the first session they'll lose wickets and most likely lose. Obviously Clarke won't bowl, and Warner appears to have injured his arm and won't bowl either. This is some loss, but we should be able to cover the losses with Watson in the team. Hilfy would have been handy on this track tomorrow, but it's not to be. Rain would help SL's chances of drawing.

Posted by Yoker111 on (December 17, 2012, 10:51 GMT)

SL still has a good chance to win, if they take each session at a time and score hundred runs for each session then they will emerge as winners. With two of the worlds best batsmen in crease it would be ideal for one last proper senority knock from these two in order to grant SL victory. Go for the win, play hard and make history!!!

Posted by swauzzie on (December 17, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

@amilag: Yes the day belonged to the Lankans - but only because Oz are going for a win & not a draw (like the Saffers would be doing in the same position - a boreing draw!). When one goes for the win on a pitch like this one - of course there will be alot of wickets/casualties. Becomes more of a oneday batting thinking than test batting. Good on ya Oz for doing what ever test playing nation SHOULD be doing - but doesn't. I guarentee you that if the Lankans go for the win too that they will lose from here. Their only chance is a draw (& like many have commented B4 - like the Saffers do best! yawn) "The pitch is such a bad preparation and SL should complain this to ICC" Are you serios? SL should report a bad pitch? Sure you don't want to retract that statement? lol

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 10:25 GMT)

@Amilag, Who are you! the pitch is perfect, it played well for both teams first innings and has provided some help for the bowlers in the second innings, making a result likely on day 5 or an exciting draw. ICC should be very pleased to see such a pitch. The toss wasn't that important either, if SL had used the overcast weather any better they could have made early inroads.

Posted by CricketFollowers on (December 17, 2012, 10:22 GMT)

Tomm, the headline will be Australia won the test match by a margin of 200 runs.

Posted by Shafi79 on (December 17, 2012, 10:22 GMT)

I agree with Meety's take on the current match situation. Aus - 60%, Draw - 30%, SL - 10% seems a fair summary. As a Sri Lankan fan, i would like to add that even if we bat out for the draw i am disappointed, this pitch had nothing in it for the first 3 days + THIS aussie attack is rubbish, almost as bad as ours, Siddle is the only bowler who looked half good, we should have scored about 500 in the first innings, Angelo and Dilshan showed us how easy it was against this attack. looking at tomorrow, normally i would say theres at least a 50% chance of batting out the day since the Aussie bowling is a bit thin BUT given the form and the fragileness of Sl's batting the last year or two i think Meety's assesment is good. Having said all that Sanga & Mahela need you guys to step up, i'm sure Angelo will be ready for a fight so lets make sure we head to the next game with the series still at 0-0.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (December 17, 2012, 10:00 GMT)

HowdyRowdy - Clearly Hughes got out in trying to score runs quickly Australia was trying to set the game up on a difficult scoring pitch his first innings shows he belongs. Amilag - What game you watching Australia wanted to set a target around 400 and took many risks to get there quicker. THere is no chance of Sri lanka winning as they would have to score 30 more runs than what was scored on day 1 when the pitch was easier. And every pitch in Australia gets harder to bat on the fifth day and pretty well around the world which makes it test cricket. You want results you need the pitch to start playing up otherwise there will be draw after draw. Go ahead complain to the ICC Im pretty sure they will have a good chuckle.

Posted by late--cut on (December 17, 2012, 9:53 GMT)

I can see a lot of SL fans are very pessimistic about the outcome of this match. C'mon guys.....put ya game face on. Two of the best 'n classiest batsmen in the world at the crease. And they've got over 40000 runs (combined/both odi 'n test) under their belts. If they can't make a victory outta this match, then no one else can. I really appreciate how Sanga 'n MJ played today, very cautiously not give any more wkts. SL will have around 100 overs 2moro as there were some delays thru out the game. RRR is about 3.2. If Sanga 'n MJ can hold on until the lunch, keeping the RR around 3.00, Then It'll be a piece of cake as SL have a solid 'n explosive lower middle order (Mathews,Thilina, Prasanna, Kula). Now is the opportunity. This is it...Like EMINEM says , "Would you capture it or just let it slip "

Posted by PadMarley on (December 17, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

Check all the writing on homepage links related to this game. All Aussie bla bla bla bla...Boring like hell!!! . Herath has taken a five-for and has just become the leading test bowler of 2012. And no one writes something significant about it... This cricket world of journalists has a long way to go! Yes I know Andrew Fernando will come and save the chap...yet!!

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 9:21 GMT)

Hey Meety: "Oz theoretically COULD have to replace the entire seam attack for Boxing Day & that MUST give SL the edge". Are you stark raving mad? Are you thinking if a sniper taking the other bowlers out? My ghast is well and truly flabbered.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 9:14 GMT)

The switch is NOT illegal. The laws already cover the situation. The leg side is determined the instant the ball comes into play for that delivery, so if the batman turns around and the ball lands in what people think kis now his leg side he can STILL be out LBW because the ball has pitched on his off side. When will people get this in their heads?

Posted by disco_bob on (December 17, 2012, 9:14 GMT)

@HowdyRowdy, Hughes did the job in the first innings when it mattered.

Posted by dan1234 on (December 17, 2012, 8:57 GMT)

@amilag "the day belongs to Sri Lankans without any doubt". Cheers for the laugh mate, assuming that was a joke. They remove the Aus batsman with ease only when they started accelerating the RR. SL fail to take 10 wickets for second time, have already lost 2 of their own, momentum well and truly with Australia.

Posted by HowdyRowdy on (December 17, 2012, 8:22 GMT)

Another day of Test cricket...and another Phil Hughes dismissal via an ugly angled bat outside off stump, with the feet going nowhere. At least this time, by way of variety, he chopped on, instead of edging to the cordon.

While it's clear that Hughes has a brilliant eye and can shred ordinary attacks, I reckon that the claims that his technique and mindset have been totally recast need to be assessed very carefully. I am far from convinced.

Posted by amilag on (December 17, 2012, 7:55 GMT)

The day belongs to Sri Lankans without any doubt. They remove aus batsman with ease. Momentum is towards SL.If they can draw or win(quite unlikely) this test , I am sure they will do wonder in next matches. Should not forget that aus had the advantage of wining the toss and electing to bad in first time in the pitch which is quite a huge advantage when looked in to the status of the pitch in fourth day.It is getting deteriorated and deteriorated. The pitch is such a bad preparation and SL should complain this to ICC.

Posted by Meety on (December 17, 2012, 7:51 GMT)

The % split as I see it is Oz 60%, Draw 30%, SL 10%. Sri Lanka's chances at stumps on Day 4 is probably the strongest since they had Oz about 4/180 on Day 1. Good stubborn cricket by SL. The run rate to win this for SL is 3.65 rpo. On this pitch I think that will be too hard, although I think they are a realistic chance of batting through the day.For SL, batting a draw IMO outweighs the importance of a win. I say that because whilst SL are yet to win on Oz soil, as could be seen at Adelaide when Oz were a man down, the effect it has on the remaining bowlers is massive - with only a week turn around. Oz theoretically COULD have to replace the entie seam attack for Boxing Day & that MUST give Sri Lanka the edge. SL need to learn from Sth Africa & hang tough. For Oz, Day 5 will be an important step for Nathan Lyon's development as a Test cricketer. Needs a few wickets tomorrow - but it would help IF catches were taken!!!!

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 7:29 GMT)

Come on sanga please win this. This is the best chance to show that SL beat a strong Aussie side on the record. Because there might not be clarke and hilfy on the next match. Odds have never been on our side like this. Time is ripe for the first test and hopefully series win on aussie soil for us.

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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