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Plays of the day from the fifth day of the Hobart Test between Australia and Sri Lanka
Andrew Fernando at Bellerive Oval
December 18, 2012
The surprise bowling change
With the Test in the balance, most might have expected Michael Clarke to exhaust every frontline bowling resource available to him on the final day, but Australia's captain lived up to his reputation as an enterprising leader by introducing the least likely bowler in his playing XI into the attack, the over before tea. Matthew Wade had never bowled in any form of professional cricket, but delivered a maiden to Thilan Samaraweera, who in turn seemed wise to Clarke's hope that he would attempt an expansive stroke off the wicketkeeper-batsman-bowler and make a mistake.
Angelo Mathews had defused the vagaries of the cracked Hobart surface for 47 deliveries when Mitchell Starc dug one in short, and though Mathews ducked, the ball failed to bounce as expected and thudded into his elbow. The end-flap of his forearm guard appeared not to have shielded the blow much, as the batsman sunk to the ground clutching his elbow almost immediately. What ensued thereafter was predictably drawn out. Sri Lanka's physio came on to the field, and continued to treat Mathews leisurely for several minutes, before leaving.
Sri Lanka had had a woeful time with DRS until the final innings of the match, failing to overturn any decisions at each time of asking, and finding themselves without reviews to use when incorrect decisions were made to their detriment. Kumar Sangakkara reversed that trend late on the fifth morning though, when Shane Watson got the ball to hit a crack and dart into his pads. Nigel Llong did not hesitate to give Sangakkara out, but as the Australian players crowded around the pitch in celebration, obstructing Sangakkara's view of the umpire, the batsmen threw his hand and bat above his head to form a 'T' visible to Llong, and the review found the ball to be hitting him outside the line.
The loose stroke
Mathews has been Sri Lanka's form batsmen over the past month, but he will be kicking himself for the wayward drive that ended his 61-ball innings. Peter Siddle had been largely threatening the stumps in the second session, but pitched one well wide of off stump, and though Mathews had been disciplined with his shot selection to that point, he let fly with an angled-bat drive. The thin edge was swallowed by Wade, who had resumed wicketkeeping duties after tea, and that strike began the final sequence for Sri Lanka, as the five remaining wickets fell in the session.
Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondentFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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