Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Hobart, 4th day December 17, 2012

Warner's aggression, Starc's anger

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

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Graham 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.

  • Peter 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.

  • Peter 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.

  • Bhagya 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.....

  • Janaka 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...

  • Dummy4 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

  • associate cricket fan 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.

  • kosala 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.

  • Janaka 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...

  • Dummy4 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..

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