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

Lyon a likely threat on final day - Herath

Andrew Fernando in Hobart

December 17, 2012

Comments: 18 | Text size: A | A

Sri Lanka will have to contend with turn in addition to variable bounce on the final day of the first Test in Hobart, after Rangana Herath credited a surface that was becoming increasingly conducive to spin for his five-wicket haul on day four. Herath's 5 for 96 helped restrict Australia to 278 in the second innings, and was aided by a wearing, cracked surface that offered much more lateral movement for him than in the first innings.

Australia's offspinner Nathan Lyon had already exploited the bowler's footmarks when he bowled earlier in the Test, and dismissed Thilan Samaraweera with a topspinner that leapt off the turf. Lyon is set to have a high workload on day five, with Ben Hilfenhaus' injury leaving Australia a bowler short, and Michael Clarke also unlikely to bowl his left-arm orthodox spin due to a hamstring strain.

Herath will now likely finish as the top wicket-taker in 2012, with 60 wickets and a Test to go. His five-wicket haul in Hobart was his seventh of the year in nine matches.

"I didn't get a wicket in the first innings, but on a fourth day pitch I thought that there would be some assistance for the spinner, and there was some turn and bounce," Herath said. "The ball does not spin as much as Sri Lanka, but if you maintain a good line and length, you can take wickets.

"Lyon will get turn and bounce as well - he always gets bounce because he is tall, and he will have the assistance of the surface as well."

Several seasons of county cricket before he became a mainstay in Sri Lanka's Test side also contributed to his performance in Hobart, he said.

"I used my experience of playing in England. When you get wickets on a pitch like this it's always pleasing. The main thing is that it helped me to adapt to the situation and the pitch, and I managed to do that. That's why I was successful."

Herath said Sri Lanka had not ruled out victory, and backed Sri Lanka's batsmen to see out the final day if a draw seemed the better option. Sri Lanka were set 393 for victory, but lost both openers in the 37 overs before stumps. They will begin at 65 for 2 on day five, with Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara at the crease, and 328 runs required for victory.

"Draw is possible if we can bat the first session without losing wickets, it's going to be an interesting day," he said. "The pitch is a bit up and down, but apart from that it looks a good track so far."

David Warner set out to dominate Herath in the first session of the day, venturing a switch-hit sweep off his bowling after already having struck him for six, but Herath said he did not want a rule change disallowing batsmen from changing their grip, mid-shot.

"Batsmen have done it against my bowling before as well. I don't mind Warner playing that shot because he is creating more chances for me to get him out. In the end I took his wicket."

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent

RSS Feeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by AKS286 on (December 18, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

Oz won the match. if siddle & starc will not took 9 wickets, then i guarantee that Mr.threat will take all 10 wickets LoL. or IF the pitch is plough by the tractor then he will definitely. or the match was played in Tasmanian High school campus then. @OzWally you compared Swann with Lyon how? there is no scale to compare School Campus Cricketer and A WORLD class bowler. its sounds like Khwaja avg is 29 ang bradman avg is 99. dude if you look at the stats then Sachin is World's best ever but is he is a match winner?

Posted by markatnotts on (December 18, 2012, 1:18 GMT)

Aside from the usual ignorant comments here, I have watched Lyon on and off all year. He to me looks a genuinely threatening off spinner when conditions help. Now I am watching a penetrating spell and given his age he can only get better. He currently doesn't have the rip of Swann or the variance yet, but things are falling into place for him. Keep going Nathan and up the conventional off spinner.

Posted by Kolpak1989 on (December 17, 2012, 23:12 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge, shows how much you know. Lyon's stats aren't far behind Swann's and are a damn sight better than Monty's. Given that he is only 25 years old and 16 games into his test career he is only going to improve. Australia is ranked 1 spot below your beloved England and just gave the world number 1 team a good shake, whereas your boys were totally embarassed by the South Africans at home earlier in the year. Considering Australia are at their lowest ebb since the 1980's and most English fans are saying this is your best team ever I think we all know who the real minnows are. Our best XI's throughout history totally outclass yours my pasty friend.

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

@Front foot keeps calling Australia and just about every one of its opponents "minnows". Mate, cricket isnĀ“t played by many countries and you seem to write off most of them. Who do you want to play with?? Yourself .. Judging by some of your comments, you've been doing too much of that already.

Posted by pandude1 on (December 17, 2012, 22:09 GMT)

why these indians keep commenting here...the match is between Aus & Sl and we are here to appreciate two good spinners in the world cricket. Pls guys go and make comment on relevant forums..(tip) India got trashed by Eng.. cheers

Posted by decko on (December 17, 2012, 22:07 GMT)

Calling Australia a Minnow county and Sri Lanka as well. Wow! It's very clear to see that Front Foot Lunge is a one eyed crciket fan with no memory of how australia DOMINATED the game for over a decade, and is still holding their own. You watch us crush England this Ashes. It's very obvious you are a Pom.

Posted by disco_bob on (December 17, 2012, 20:40 GMT)

@AKS286, it's a pity that the SL supporters cannot be as gracious as the players.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 17, 2012, 20:38 GMT)

Indeed, Sinhaya, well played to Herath. I also liked the way he stuck his tongue out at Lyon after bowling him, nothing like a little jousting between tweakers. It is harmless & adds a little overall to the proceedings.

Posted by disco_bob on (December 17, 2012, 20:23 GMT)

@FrontFL, you are TommyTS in disguise and I claim my 5 quid.

Posted by OzWally on (December 17, 2012, 20:22 GMT)

And when Australia replaces England as #2 in the world after the SL tour, does that mean England will then be a minnow?

Posted by OzWally on (December 17, 2012, 20:21 GMT)

@front foot lunge - club level? Lyon in 16 tests has taken 54 wickets @ 30.64 with a strike rate of 64.5. Swann (who I assume you feel is world class - being English) 212 wickets @ 29.13 and a strike rate of 59.9. Virtually identical in average and strike rate, and Lyon is still learning. Granted he isn't the biggest spinner of the ball, but you don't have to spin it a foot to find an edge.

Posted by AKS286 on (December 17, 2012, 17:38 GMT)

after loosing ASHES i think Oz also lost their mojo. Oz says about Usman khwaja is that he is the current best player they have in tests. i read lots of comment about khawaja like he is tremendous, awesome, very much talented, best skill in current domestic side, fabulous, why you all overrate very ordinary players.same about lyon , i also read comments like lyon is better than swann (when he was no.1 bowler), panesar, ajmal, murli, after warne lyon is the next big thing. OMG

Posted by AKS286 on (December 17, 2012, 17:29 GMT)

@ Aidan Callegari if you close look at lyon & beer then you will find that M.BEER is far far better than lyon in all formats of the game. if BEER will play same amount of cricket than lyon, beer will prove most effective.Lyon is nothing than a clarke's boy. @Front-Foot-Lunge you forget O'Keefe, Doherty, maxwell, steven smith lol.

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

Well Well, The English aren't world renouned for being a humble sought of a people. Unfortunately Front-foot-lunge, you are proving it. Please stop disparaging these two excellent talented cricket teams. You are giving your fellow England supporters a bad name as well as disrespecting the game of cricket. Don't forget England were thrashed by Pakistan and South Africa in 2012 hardly the stuff of a world beating England team. Where as Australia went 10 full years and more with out losing a Test Series and Sri Lanka against all the odds won the 1996 world cup not to mention reached the last 3 recent world cup finals. Please learn some humility. England aren't exactly a great side, just a good workmanlike side. Maybe the minnows you refer to are playing over in India right now LOL!.Then you wonder why opposition fans write negatively about you guys on these cricinfo threads.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2012, 14:35 GMT)

AKS286 you can't be serious mate. Lyon is still only young and has a ridiculous amount of potential. He will be a world class bowler in a couple of years and is definitely no "school boy player". Considering where he got recognized from, he is improving tremendously every innings he bowls in.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 17, 2012, 14:31 GMT)

Well played Herath and fantastic. Lyon gets a good line and length though no real variety. His line and length is why he gets wickets. Keep getting singles off him as thats the best way to tackle him.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 17, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

When two minnows of world cricket like Sri Lanka and Australia play each other there is a clear tendency by opposition players to take below-par standard players like Lyon and elevate him to being worthy of test status. Mr Hearth, the world has just giggled at you, not even die hard Aussie fans would claim Lyon is anything more than club-level. First, Lyon needs to learn how to spin the ball. You'd think this would be a pre-requisite of anyone applying for the job as 'spinner', but not Australia. They're just so desperate for someone to replace Warne they've been throwing club-rate bowlers in the side for years to make up the numbers. Mcgain? Beer? Hauriz? Lyon's just another name on that long list.

Posted by AKS286 on (December 17, 2012, 13:02 GMT)

please don't give such type of comment Mr. Herath. these kind of comment overrate a school boy player. unwanted publicity. he will pick the wicket if pitch is rough by footmarks or galle pitch or in a school campus. after warne, macgill, hogg his selection faded the legends. important thing is that he is a clarke's boy.

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