Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Hobart, 5th day December 18, 2012

Australia's wicketkeeper-bowler

Plays of the day from the fifth day of the Hobart Test between Australia and Sri Lanka

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.

The injury
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.

The review
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 correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 19, 2012, 3:33 GMT

    @ narbavi- yes sl lost, but still they have played good cricket than what india did last year.... you r calling this is a flat shows your knowledge in cricket. if indians were in the same place, they would have lost by innings considering their recent performance.

  • Yoker on December 19, 2012, 3:18 GMT

    SL had a fair chance to go for the win but they let them selves down, this is where aggrisveness and patience cannot be played at the same time by SL. That is there weakness. Mahela should have attacked and taken it smoothly with the support of Sanga. it would have made a difference, it was a pity dilshan missed out as well. Play hard or go home boys.. good luck

  • John on December 18, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    Alas, every country has posters who think saying other sides are useless is amusing. Australia has RandyOZ and jonesy2, India has gsingh7 and we (England) have Front-Foot-Lunge. For the record, this was a very good test to watch, SL fought hard and Aus played very well to win with a bowler down and Clarke hobbling. As I've said many times, I'm impressed with Starc; he's a young guy and he'll have bad days, but he bowled really well at the death yesterday. Siddle had perhaps his best test and those who said being a vegetarian was a problem for him now have to eat their meatless words. Lyon is bowling well with no help from the pitch- he'll be a threat in India. Aus's batting remains a concern and Watson did nothing to show he is a #4, although he bowled well. Let's hope Clarke is not badly hurt. SL were what we expected, useful batting, not much threat with the ball. It's hard to see them winning a test, but they might force a draw on a friendly pitch.

  • Dummy4 on December 18, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    very disappointed we couldn't last a day. May be that was hard to do with the uneven bounce that was in the pitch. May be next match... Some people have came here to comment without watching even the cricinfo commentary. Shame on you haters.

  • Dummy4 on December 18, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    Great fight from Sri Lanka, pitch was really difficult to bat on with a lot of uneven bounce. Mathews's lose shot was the turning point, if not we would have saved the match. its not fair to compare South Africa's effort against this, because Australia had Shane Watson to bowl this time and the pitch was completely different and hard to bat. Well played Australia, hard fought win. Tough test cricket as we know and love !

  • Perumal on December 18, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    I must appreciate the australians strategy and aggressiveness. They were able to secure win even in Flat track as SL looked to draw the test. Its the real guts from Clarke and co to declare at 450 on a flat track. That crucial decision won the match for australia. Best part is they proved they were right to declare at 450 and didnt respect SL too much. Only Aussies can take such brave decision and prove they were right....

  • sidh on December 18, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    the overated sl team not win even aus has a half of its real sl are nothing track bullies.even they lost to minows nz at their home.ind even bd whitewashed that nz team but not sl.

  • Prem on December 18, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    Mahela Jayawardene must be the worst captain of Sri Lanka. He over-thinks and keeps it complicated. And when Sri Lanka lose he awlays displays poor sportsmanship like hinting ball tampering with Siiddle and last year accusing the Indian team of trying to run out a big backing THiramanne. Angelo Mattews does not seem very sensible either though he is a talented cricketer. It may be best to have Sanga do the job again or Samaweera for tests.

  • Suss on December 18, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    Australia deserved the win in the end but they were poor in the first 2 sessions. This pitch was very difficult to bat on and it was great to see Sri lanka fight until the last hour of the test match. I'm sure the pitches in the MCG and SCG will help the Sri lankan bowlers more.

  • Richard on December 18, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    Kudos to the Lankans for fighting it out until the end, you really have to admire their tenacity. Regarding the ball tampering issue they now say they saw nothing but brought it up because the camera zoomed in. I find that odd I'm afraid, are we to bring everything that is zoomed in to the attention of the match committee? Yesterday they saw ball tampering, today they say they saw nothing. Honestly, make up your mind guys. You shouldn't bring these accusations up on a speculative basis, and I would have expected better from them, given that they are customarily real gentlemen. Anyway.....on to Melbourne.

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