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

Desperation turns to jubilation

Australia were stretched to the maximum, but in finding a way to win in Hobart they took a significant step in developing the belief that will be required for the tours of India and England
  shares 67

Desperation is giving the wicketkeeper the ball in the last over before tea on the final day of a Test match. Jubilation is winning the same match in the final hour having played a considerable portion of it with only nine fit men.

Australia were stretched to the maximum by injuries and a plucky touring team, but in finding a way to deliver a victory in Hobart they took a significant step in developing the belief that will be required for the tours of India and England that follow this summer. This was a result worth savouring, for after the travails of the series against South Africa, Michael Clarke's team were in need of some proof that they were progressing.

On the final day, Sri Lanka's opposition was less of an obstacle than the hosts' own doubts and fears, having seen the Adelaide Test slip away in very similar circumstances. The celebrations were all the more enthusiastic for the knowledge of how painful and costly it can be to draw a match that is there for the winning.

Such a conclusion seemed a long way distant when the hobbling captain Michael Clarke tossed the ball to Matthew Wade. Not since Rod Marsh shuffled in for two overs against Pakistan in the closing stages of a bore draw at the MCG in 1983 had an Australian gloveman been so laterally employed. Not since never had an Australian Test 'keeper been asked to try to break a pesky partnership in a match still well and truly alive.

That over drew plenty of raised eyebrows among the few spectators prepared to journey to Bellerive Oval on the final afternoon, but it also sent something of a message from Clarke to his bowlers. To that point, on a pitch offering generous assistance in the way of variable bounce, they had managed only two wickets in two sessions, albeit those of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, and Thilan Samaraweera remained in stony occupation alongside Angelo Mathews.

Impeded as he was by a hamstring strain, Clarke was unable to bowl himself, and so it was left to Peter Siddle to find the extra gear to tilt the match. As he had done so manfully in Adelaide, Siddle led the attack with bowling of intelligence as well as spirit, and in ripping out Samaraweera and Mathews after the interval finished the work he had done on the top order earlier in the day when dismissing Jayawardene and Sangakkara.

Sri Lanka still had four wickets in hand when Siddle, exhausted once more, had to give up possession of the ground's northern end. At this moment Australia were to be provided with encouragement that their investment in the future, via the inclusion of Mitchell Starc, was paying dividends. At 22, Starc is prodigiously talented and increasingly durable, but not yet capable of putting it all together for extended periods. His best spells to date - if they can be called that - have been short bursts of an over or three, befitting his outstanding returns in recent times as a Twenty20 bowler.

But he was to make a significant advance here, producing another hostile effort to account for Prasanna Jayawardene with a delivery that reared enough to take a glove into the slips cordon. Previously in this match he had been unable to follow up one wicket with another, delivering overs too generous given his potential to send down the sorts of offerings that no batsman appreciates. This time, he was able to sustain his speed and direction, clattering through the visitors' tail so swiftly that the match was won with more than 10 overs to spare - an unlikely prospect at tea.

It's going to take some time for us to put into place areas of our game that we think need improvement. Today's a good start and this Test match is a good start
Michael Clarke

"The boys learned a lot, that if we kept digging in, kept digging in, we did come close in Adelaide but just fell short, we knew if we could keep pushing right to the end that we could get on top," Siddle said. "From that lunch the other day, from then until now it's been outstanding, just the whole unit, everyone together, the process with a bowler down. It's credit to us, the way we've prepared, the way we've gone about it, and performed for the team to get the end result."

For Clarke, this was a vindication of his decision to stay out on the field despite his hamstring injury, marshalling the team with his usual verve, and overseeing the capture of a first Test victory of the home summer. His pre-match measure of the team's progress had more to do with how individuals fulfilled their roles than whether or not Sri Lanka were beaten, but the fact that the team was able to close out the match will help. He also reserved significant praise for his deputy Shane Watson, who may now lead Australia on Boxing Day. While he had only the wicket of Tillakaratne Dilshan to show for it, Watson's 27 overs were vital to sustaining the hosts' push for a win, and Clarke knew it.

"There's no doubt we learned, we've learned a lot from the South Africa series," Clarke said. "We've seen to compete against the best you have to be at your best for the whole five days, you can't afford to give a good opposition like South Africa or Sri Lanka a session, let alone a day, so I think we've learned that lesson. It's going to take some time for us to put into place areas of our game that we think need improvement. Today's a good start and this Test match is a good start. Having the extra bowler today compared to Adelaide played a big part, Watto bowled 27 overs, I would've loved those overs in Adelaide, whether that be through Patto or Watto.

"But I think our bowlers deserve a lot of credit. I think Starcy was outstanding once again, I think Watto did a magnificent job and so did Nathan Lyon. Their job is probably a bit underrated, but I thought the work they did in building pressure, bowling a lot of dot balls was fantastic."

Siddle deservedly took the match award, but it was Starc who claimed the final wicket, drawing a thin edge from Shaminda Eranga. The man who threw the ball skywards was none other than Wade, now reinstated in a far more familiar role than the one he had performed before tea. As the team converged in a joyous huddle, the substitute Jordan Silk and the hamstrung captain among them, they had the memory of Wade's over to remind them of how far they had come - from desperation to jubilation.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • popped on December 19, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    @PhaniBhaskar24.. oh the wonders of the if's & but's of the Indian fan's mentality going to any length to put their country on a pedestal by bashing their neighbors !! really buddy please stay away from comments like those you are only painting a whole country with the same brush. please go & comment on the ENG Vs IND thread shall we? we really did have a great test here ..BTW if punter didn't declare @that score (brilliant declaration bythe way!) with only 11.4 overs to go there wouldn't have been a win. go and learn something about cricket first at least read the score card properly

  • RohanMarkJay on December 19, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    Sri Lanka are a good team. Congratulations Australia. Australia are a good team.

  • g.narsimha on December 19, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    getsetgo- yaa tast time u r team visited AUS PL CHECK THE STATS 3-0, 5-0 , u r great bowler hiding in full sleeves was thrashed to all corners of that continent ave-111,

  • dunger.bob on December 19, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    @ FFL: ah yes, I see. .. very sneaky. .. good to see that not even an Englishman can be that bi-polar. .. and by the way, where's our thank you card for softening the Indians up for you? God knows you couldn't have done it without us.

  • Shaggy076 on December 19, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    Front-Foot_Lunge - I'm happy to give you world best opening batsman and certainly your seamer is in the top 2. But your wicket keeper/batsman and Spinner are certainly not the worlds best.

  • disco_bob on December 19, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    @lansiya, really mate, life is not that serious. Cricket would be the poorer without a bit of larrikan sledging. Put a mars bar on a good length; classic.

  • PhaniBhaskar24 on December 19, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    I don't think, Srilanke pulled to the last minute..its in face, Aus were playing for a win..if not 450 dec in first innings, where there are set batsmen..srilanka would have been a innings defeat or if they played draw, that would be called Srilanke pulled it really well...way to Aus

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on December 19, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    @dunger.bob, @mikey76, He means he's pessimistic about Australia's chances in next year's Ashes, and why wouldn't he be? He's an aussie fan, joined this site two years after I did but decided to adopt my name with a lowercase lat 'l' (they do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery..) The difficult thing for him is at the moment England have the world best test opener, spinner, seamer & wicket/keeper batsman, and as any AUSSIE fan will tell you, are streets ahead of Australia, as has been the norm for so many years now. He's finding it tough in these conditions right now, hence his posts have dropped considerably over the last few months and all but vanished for the last few weeks. Good times for a true English fan :)

  • MrKricket on December 19, 2012, 7:46 GMT

    Lyon bowls well when the opposition is trying to score runs and he gets wickets. When they are stonewalling he just rushes his overs and still worries about runs when they don't matter. Someone should tell him he can buy a wicket sometimes.

    This win a start but Aus have way too many injury worries and bringing in T20 players at this time of year is no help.

  • thectexperience on December 19, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    Steve, Phil Hughes kept wicket while Wade was bowling

  • popped on December 19, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    @PhaniBhaskar24.. oh the wonders of the if's & but's of the Indian fan's mentality going to any length to put their country on a pedestal by bashing their neighbors !! really buddy please stay away from comments like those you are only painting a whole country with the same brush. please go & comment on the ENG Vs IND thread shall we? we really did have a great test here ..BTW if punter didn't declare @that score (brilliant declaration bythe way!) with only 11.4 overs to go there wouldn't have been a win. go and learn something about cricket first at least read the score card properly

  • RohanMarkJay on December 19, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    Sri Lanka are a good team. Congratulations Australia. Australia are a good team.

  • g.narsimha on December 19, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    getsetgo- yaa tast time u r team visited AUS PL CHECK THE STATS 3-0, 5-0 , u r great bowler hiding in full sleeves was thrashed to all corners of that continent ave-111,

  • dunger.bob on December 19, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    @ FFL: ah yes, I see. .. very sneaky. .. good to see that not even an Englishman can be that bi-polar. .. and by the way, where's our thank you card for softening the Indians up for you? God knows you couldn't have done it without us.

  • Shaggy076 on December 19, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    Front-Foot_Lunge - I'm happy to give you world best opening batsman and certainly your seamer is in the top 2. But your wicket keeper/batsman and Spinner are certainly not the worlds best.

  • disco_bob on December 19, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    @lansiya, really mate, life is not that serious. Cricket would be the poorer without a bit of larrikan sledging. Put a mars bar on a good length; classic.

  • PhaniBhaskar24 on December 19, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    I don't think, Srilanke pulled to the last minute..its in face, Aus were playing for a win..if not 450 dec in first innings, where there are set batsmen..srilanka would have been a innings defeat or if they played draw, that would be called Srilanke pulled it really well...way to Aus

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on December 19, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    @dunger.bob, @mikey76, He means he's pessimistic about Australia's chances in next year's Ashes, and why wouldn't he be? He's an aussie fan, joined this site two years after I did but decided to adopt my name with a lowercase lat 'l' (they do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery..) The difficult thing for him is at the moment England have the world best test opener, spinner, seamer & wicket/keeper batsman, and as any AUSSIE fan will tell you, are streets ahead of Australia, as has been the norm for so many years now. He's finding it tough in these conditions right now, hence his posts have dropped considerably over the last few months and all but vanished for the last few weeks. Good times for a true English fan :)

  • MrKricket on December 19, 2012, 7:46 GMT

    Lyon bowls well when the opposition is trying to score runs and he gets wickets. When they are stonewalling he just rushes his overs and still worries about runs when they don't matter. Someone should tell him he can buy a wicket sometimes.

    This win a start but Aus have way too many injury worries and bringing in T20 players at this time of year is no help.

  • thectexperience on December 19, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    Steve, Phil Hughes kept wicket while Wade was bowling

  • The_bowlers_Holding on December 19, 2012, 3:53 GMT

    I agree with comments of Clarkey being an inspired captain and a good leader. I believe the Ashes back to backs will be a good contest and now I am in the States I can watch the Oz tesst in the evening rather than stop up all night like I usually do. I see the imposter front-foot_lunge is on here again, a very strange mindset, seemingly obsessed like RandOz/Jonesy2 (same person) who hardly comments on Australia but is like a plague on England posts. Peace and love at christmas.

  • disco_bob on December 19, 2012, 2:28 GMT

    Test cricket is showing the way forward. Wicket keepers having a maiden bowl when all seems lost. The next logical move is to allow crowd catches as a fair form of dismissal. Take that T20.

  • lansiya on December 19, 2012, 2:28 GMT

    disco-bob and andross plus others how did you guess. I watch channel 9 with the sound off which is the best way to watch the cricket. However I still maintain that the commentators are so biased it is painful. Pup and Huss play cricket the way it should be played. However some of the late arrivals feel they it is open slather for verbals. As for disco-bob's comment for the Sri Lankans to reply in Sinhalese seems pathetic. They should reply in ENGLISH and it should be the language understood by all the players. Roll on the Lions - remember the World Cup win 1996.

  • dunger.bob on December 19, 2012, 0:59 GMT

    @ Front-Foot_lunge on (December 18 2012, 13:00 PM GMT) : You are one of those enigmas wrapped in a riddle old mate. You're either bagging the hell out of us for being ordinary or praising us up as potential world beaters. The truth is somewhere between I reckon. .. re. our tilt at #1 against the Saffers. .. I'm not disappointed because we wouldn't have been able to do the position justice anyway. We aren't good enough to fend off all comers at this stage. Perhaps in time we will be, but not right now. .. South Africa is a very powerful batting side and their bowling isn't too shabby either. They are very worthy top dogs and I'm happy to have them there, for the time being at least.

  • CricketFanInLosAngles on December 19, 2012, 0:47 GMT

    India need GOOD ew bowlers. Both Pace and spin. Excluding Yadav, who seems to be learning and getting better, the rest (Ojha, Ashwin (as a bowler) are not TEST material. That includes Ishant. He has not yet learnt to fully utilize his height or the right line and length. Sehwag and Gambhir are both past their prime and oppositin have figured them out and they don't seem to have their priorities right. Gambhis should be dropped to give other potential candidates to excel. Sehwag is still good enough for tests, BUT only 5 or 6 down. Dhoni, captaincy is not good, but no other option for now. Tendular should retire at the end of the Aus series. What we need is good bowlers. If we can bowl em out, we can't win.

  • on December 18, 2012, 23:58 GMT

    @SteveGregory Phil Hughes was 'keeping while Wade bowled. He didn't have much to do while he was there...

  • EdwardTLogan on December 18, 2012, 23:23 GMT

    If all you've got to complain about is the commentary on the Nine Network you need to get a life. I had the misfortune of watching the India v England series on Fox. The rampant cheerleading by Sunny Gavaskar and co even makes Bill Lawry seem considered and unbiassed. I find that muting the tv and listening to the ABC is the way to go, especially as the radio is about five seconds ahead of the tv (if watching through pay tv). I sincerely hope Fox Cricket is sending a team of commentators to India next year - I won't be listening to the garbage dished up by the Indian commentators (Harsha Boglr exceptted).

  • RyanSmith on December 18, 2012, 23:15 GMT

    @ Steve Gregory. I believe it was Phil Hughes who kept wicket for Wade's over.

  • RednWhiteArmy on December 18, 2012, 23:06 GMT

    Congratulations to australia on finally winning their first game of the home season.

  • Drop_Thunder on December 18, 2012, 23:06 GMT

    I think with time this boys will acquire that lethal attitude. These blokes are still in development stage. There is no point talking the talk if you can't walk the walk. These guys are talented but yet to be at the level of Mcgrath of Warny. Give em a few more years and they'l get there.

  • on December 18, 2012, 23:01 GMT

    A lot of people myself included find the Australian team much more likable nowadays than they were when McGrath, Waugh & co were around. not only do they have to fight a lot harder for the fewer victories they are getting now but humility, decency & fair play is no longer as much of a rarity in the Australian setup. Hopefully Clarke & co won't sink to the lows that the Australian team used to with all the sledging & cheating & over appealing etc. DRS has also helped somewhat improve the umpiring decisions. This team may never dominate like the old team used to but i believe cricket on a whole will be a lot better of for it.

  • on December 18, 2012, 22:54 GMT

    @Steve Gregory - I believe it was Phil Hughes keeping to Wade

  • on December 18, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    One tends to think SL would have held on had Mathews not chased the ball unnecessarily outside offstump, thus ending a promising partnership. SL batsmen need to learn to concentrate and keep concentrating till the very end. And Mahela could learn from Clarke to try to gamble with the apparently unthinkable when things seem to be out of control.

  • mikey76 on December 18, 2012, 22:20 GMT

    @Front foot Lunge. I wouldn't be too pesemistic about our chances in the ashes, it's taken Australia almost all the fifth day to take these SL wickets. On a 5th day pitch Lyon was toothless, and with variable bounce and seam movement the SL batsmen were untroubled for long periods. Lets be honest, Australia have two world class players in Clarke and Hussey and not much else. Eng have 5 world class players with 3 others approaching that standard. Siddle will huff and puff manfully, Lyon will twirl away all day, Starc and Johnson will spray it everywhere and the rest will be glued to the physio's bench as wickets simply don't tumble. The ashes are safe in England for the foreseeable.

  • SevereCritic on December 18, 2012, 22:18 GMT

    For a visiting team touted to have the weakest pace attack in the last several years, the SL team has done really well in hostile conditions. They did much better than their Indian counterparts last year. A little more effort and the Australian barrier can be breached. No Clarke next test. This is SL's best chance. Go for the kill.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on December 18, 2012, 22:12 GMT

    Lyon wins the award for most impotent bowler ever yet again. What is Lyon doing in the team? Shouldn't the ability to turn the ball be a pre-requisite of anyone applying for the job as 'Spin Bowler' in a cricket team. Not in Australia. Lyon is a seamer. Notice the gulf in class and skill between Lyon and the long-established biggest turner of the ball in world cricket, Graeme Swann. Swann rips it from day one. And what have Australia got? A guy who on a day 5 Spinner Paradise can't even take a single wicket. The 'Christmas Minnow Big Bash' series we have in front of us just took another turn: How long can this embarrassment remain in the Australian team?

  • Meety on December 18, 2012, 21:47 GMT

    @getsetgopk on (December 18 2012, 10:48 AM GMT) - mate you have one massive chip on your shoulders buddy! @lansiya on (December 18 2012, 11:03 AM GMT) - I would say without reservation that Kumar Sangakarra gives back what he receives & some, (btw I am a big fan of his). @ valleypf on (December 18 2012, 11:27 AM GMT) - mate in some ways, Pups team are the MOST watchable Ozzy side of the last 25 years. Results are not a formality, they play a nice style, well led & give their best. @jb633 on (December 18 2012, 11:49 AM GMT) - I hope Oz never deliberately produce a pitch to be the opposite of what a touring team plays on (my preference), but I agree with everything else you said. SL are the best batting team in the SC by a long way. To roll the Lankans over ( a side that had 3 x 50+ ave batsmen), minus a strike bowler - was IMO a glorious effort. @Jason Bray - to be fair - he had missed opportunities against the top order. He played his part with pressure - IMO!

  • Test-is-the-best on December 18, 2012, 21:47 GMT

    Michael Clarke is the adorable Australian Captain I have seen after Allan Border. ~ Good Luck ~ Sri Lankan Fan

  • JG2704 on December 18, 2012, 21:46 GMT

    @lansiya on (December 18 2012, 11:03 AM GMT) Could they not sledge in their own language? Surely that would be similar to Australia sledging in their language?

  • BG4cricket on December 18, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    I agree Starc has the potential to be a very effective bowler however it was interesting in an earlier article to read he bowled like it was a T20 or ODI which has merit. His big hauls have been by cleaning up the tail and getting wickets when the slog was on which leant itself to his yorkers and short balls. Combined with his pace and in swing there is a lot to work with but there is a bit to work on as well, namely his lines and his length against the top order but I think this will come in time and he will get better. Combine him with Siddle and Patto and I think we have found our first choice attack.

  • potofazherbaizan on December 18, 2012, 20:01 GMT

    @SteveGregory Hughes was keeping. Although he didn't touch the ball once.

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 18, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    @getsetgopk: First of all, keep India out of this. They have nothing to do with this tour. Secondly, worry about your own team Pakistan who are NOWHERE in world cricket at the moment. All you guys can boast about is that 3-0 win over England. The number of times you comment on team India goes to show you DO care about the Indian team. So either you are a bitter Indian fan or a poser trying to act like a fan of another nation. Either way, keep your comments relevant to the article. Thanks.

  • hhillbumper on December 18, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    got to say how well the Yorkshire bowler did. its amazing how often players improve when exposed to a strong system.

  • MENDIS_Forever on December 18, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    I love pup very much.He is the gentleman of Australian team.Good luck pup! ~Lankan Fan ~

  • disco_bob on December 18, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    @ lansiya, er... if the Sri Lankans are 'not so fluent in English' then the sledging is irrelevant isn't it. The Sri Lankans can give the Aussie batters an earful of Sinhalese.

  • Andross on December 18, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    getsetgopk The ICC reviewed the footage, and said that there was NO evidence of ball tampering, the comment by the Sri Lanka seems to be spurred by the fact that the TV footage kept showing close pictures of Siddle playing with the ball. There's an article somewhere on this site if you look for it, so don't go making slanderous accusations.

    lansiya I wouldn't even bother watching the channel 9 coverage with the sound on, look up ABC Grandstand on the internet instead and listen to their coverage. Much better and balanced, AND you get to listen to Kerry O'Keefe all day XD

  • on December 18, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    I was working when M Wade had a bowl can some one tell me who kept wicket for that over?

  • disco_bob on December 18, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    @Okakaboka, absolutely spot on! It confirms yet again that Clarke is the very model of a modern major general...er...captain. He is redefining the role and while Cook, like Clark has not has his batting harmed by his elevation to captaincy, Clarke's complete embracement and willingness to take captaincy to new levels, may very well be the difference between the teams in the upcoming b2b Ashes.

    It is no coincidence that Clarke is also a not too shabby bowler; witness his handling of Lyon whose development will become apparent when we get to see him and Swan in the same series.

  • Prats6 on December 18, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    I have loved Siddle's attitude since he played his first game against us (India). Amazing ability to keep going on and on and giving it more than a 100% Aussies know its a young team and it would take time to find its feet, but the indications are very good. Well done Aussies!

  • Gloryof96 on December 18, 2012, 14:58 GMT

    I anticipated even a bigger defeat but still disappointing. No point touring Aus without a strike bowler (express pace) which we he been lacking for so long.

    With all that, congrads to Aus, specially when they were a bowler short in the 4th inn.

  • stormy16 on December 18, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    Yes a win at last for Aus and Siddle was sensational, specially with Hilfy out. Starc repaid the faith in the end and he had to as Suddle has ripped the heart out but SL were still kicking. Any test that end in the last hour of the 5th day is a decent game of cricket and SL did well to take this game that far. With the attack they have its always a case of if they can bat our long enough in conditions such as Aus and they will be reasonably pleased with the outcome, albeit a loss. Starc is the big news I reckon, being a left armer is always tricky but if you have some talent you can be lethal. Starc has height, pace and talent and will be a star of the future and he can bat too.

  • on December 18, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    All the talk of siddle leading the bowlers why dont australia give him the vice captain role ? He leading the team and giving everything that he has

  • on December 18, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    Very hard fought win congrat. What i think this Australian team is not too hostile. There are a more lay back team.The teams in the pass were more aggressive style they were more in your face team. I think this Michael Clarke team needed to be like old OZ team of pass. Be more aggressive, hostile, in your face and trust me they will win more test matches. That's kind oz cricket I now. GO OZ

  • on December 18, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    Lyons inability to get a wicket here shows that while he is an improving bowler, and the best spinner we have - he is far from a match winner yet and Australia still need to look to Siddle and our pace attack to win games. This does not bode well for India. Nonetheless Siddle's rise as our leader of the pack is a great inspiration for our young brigade. You could see that Starc didnt start the test well but with Siddle as a role model, he finally came back and broke the game open for us. Sri Lanka deserve full respect for showing tremendous determination on almost sneaking home with a draw. A great batting line up too.

  • on December 18, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    Have you ever wondered why the Sri Lankan team is just about every cricket followers second favourite team - because their team play with a lot of spirit and never seem to whine about anything........ shame that doesn't extend to many of their fans if the comment in some of these posts is any sign.

  • NALINWIJ on December 18, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    There were criticism levelled at DRS by commentators when SANGA and SAMARAWEERA were reprieved. However the ball was outside the off stump and the reprieve was legitimate. This is not the case of DUPLESSIS when CLARKE bowled to him. Part of the ball [35% was within leg stumps] and batsman are exonerated only if the ball is outside the leg and any part of the ball should be umpires call and therefore he should have been out. This robbed Australia of victory.I believe DRS should remain but we need to get the green, red and orange defined correctly.Batsmen should only be reprieved if no part of the ball is within the stumps.[GREEN]. The bails and outer third belongs to the umpire [ORANGE} any part of the ball going inside this is RED. Batsman is reprieved with one green and the bowler needs all red.

  • Lord.emsworth on December 18, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    Well Played OZ. Great fight SL. Pre-tour doubts about the SL team stand. No real pacemen to speak of. (Yes afraid Mr.Hogg is partially right.) Dilshan and Mathews 1st innings batting made it possible that the match went 5 days. MJ and Sanga are struggling (Have been for some time) I suppose they still have a century or 2 in them somewhere and have done SL cricket proud but gentlemen dont wait too long like Jayasuriya (Or Tendulkar). Siddle's ball tampering thing must be investigated beyond Broad.

  • Front-Foot_lunge on December 18, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    Clarke's captaincy is inspired, his leadership vital to this emerging and impressive Oz outfit. To think, this is a team on the up, a team that could easily have been No 1 in the world. This Aus outfit also beat SL at home, something England couldnt do and its worth noting during our celebrations at finally winning in the sub-continent, Aus have been doing that already...even in their supposed fallow period of team performance. Learned cricket followers like myself, fear the ashes next year, as this aus team will have ratcheted up the performance a few notches by then. Our cracks, papered over by winning against a weak indian team will be chasms by then.

  • CricketFollowers on December 18, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    I said yesterday AUSSIES will win this test match by a margin of 200 runs but what happened was 100+ runs. If Jayawardena and Sankagara retires then the SL team can be beaten by even Bangladesh. just wait and watch. i dont know why Aussies play 3 test matches with such teams, 1 or 2 wouldn't be enough?.

  • whyowhy on December 18, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Lansiya, accept the defeat and do not find excuses, ball tampering, verbalism, what next, the point is that the lankans are not upto test class and cannot bat to save a match even when the opposition is a bowler short...........acceptable verbalism is fine, just relax and let the umpires and match referee decide - they are highly paid and can certainly judge better than some armchair critic....sometimes this type of comment only shows that you are old school and probably last century.

  • philcart on December 18, 2012, 12:31 GMT

    @getsetgopk, so are you saying that TV cameras can pickup ball-tampering that visual inspection by match umpires and referees don't see?

  • Potatis on December 18, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    I thought Wade's over was impressive. If Watto is injured again, Wade can take his place as batsman and medium pace bowler, with in-form Haddin keeping. It's a radical idea, I know, but might just work in a pinch when away on tour. :)

  • Potatis on December 18, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    I thought Wade's over was impressive. If Watto is injured again, Wade can take his place as batsman and medium pace bowler, with in-form Haddin keeping. It's a radical idea, I know, but might just work in a pinch when away on tour. :)

  • PrasPunter on December 18, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    "I think they've got the talent to win matches without doing those kinds of things." - My respect for the gentleman called Mahela has gone up a few notches.

  • amilag on December 18, 2012, 11:57 GMT

    Absolutely fantastic 5 days of test cricket. Congrats Aus well played SL. The pitch played a lot of demons in day 4 & 5 and Clarke was very lucky to win the toss. Otherwise we could have witness SL win. However, it is very sad Aus are using sledging to get wicket especially wade. They don't play gentlemen's cricket. Ball tempering was quite evident and pitch is bad preparation where ICC should warn Cricket Australia. Some ball didn't bounce at all and after pitching it went along the ground to the keeper.

  • jb633 on December 18, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    Well played Oz must say that this wicket was pretty flat and they have done well to bowl SL out. I hope to see some green seamers in the following matches. Considering the tracks we had to face in India countries like Oz/Eng/SA should feel no shame in producing a cowfield and sticking the opposition in. To be fair though Sri Lanka can cope with various conditions as they have the best batsmen from the SC by a distance. Good game of cricket all in all though. I want to see some movement though.

  • on December 18, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    Uh oh; Someones learnt how to Bowl! There will be no stopping Starc now!!

  • Marcio on December 18, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    Firstly, well done to the Lankans for the great fight. At tea I thought they had it saved. It was good for the AUS boys to get the win. I think it has to be said that they have had an enormous amount of hard luck this season, esp. with the timing of injuries (which cost them the SA series with Pattinson and Watson out of Adelaide leaving 3 bowlers early in a test that was as good as won). With Watson being fit here, AUS wasn't so badly affected with the loss of Hilfy and Clarke. Great to see Starc bowling well in the end, as I predicted he would when others were calling him "very average and not up to test standard" after the first innings (where are those critics now?). I just wish fools would stop swinging the axe like Jack Nicholson in The Shining every time someone has a bad innings.

  • RoJayao on December 18, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    Desperation sure, but you don't win too many matches easily with two injured players! A good win against reasonable quality and certainly hard fighting opposition. After failing to beat SA and only narrowly winning here, it makes you realise how easily India gave up last summer. A weak, characterless team.

  • postandrail on December 18, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    Not a bad effort Australia, given the unresponsive pitch and the shortage of a key bowler. At the moment though I would only rate us as a good ordinary side with SA a fairly good side and England a quite good side. India are downright ordinary unlike the Sri Lankans who at least know what fight means and WI, Pakistan and NZ are only occasionally competitive. Test cricket's like one big "B" Division at present. There's no team that could sensibly be called a great side or likely to develop into one, though perhaps that gives rise to hard fought series and close contests. As an Australian though I can't help feeling nostalgic for six or eight years ago though. I wish supporters of all teams could experience their team dominating for as long as Australia did. But it's crap when it ends!

  • Okakaboka on December 18, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    Bowling Wade was a stroke of genious. It had the effect of lifting the whole team. Everyone seemed to be enjoying that moment.... except the batsman! After tea, it was like the re-set button was pressed. Further more, if Wade got closer to the stumps .....you could actually see potential??? He was good enough to get wickets. While we never will know, this bizzare bowling change may have indirectly won the match.

  • Simoc on December 18, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    Great hard fought win to Oz. That pitch was definetly harder to bat on than Adelaide day 5 and Sri Lanka did well. The Oz team didn't panic unlike the mediocre radio and TV (apart from Chappell) commentators who suffer from poor memory. Starc is hopefully at the start of a long career and perseverance is the key. Compared to Siddle he appears to do it easily. Well done to the Australian team.

  • Chris_P on December 18, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    Good learning curve for Star, he is only 22 with unlimited potential. Those yorkers are incredible to watch. Step by step, he is progressing along nicely. Soon enough, with Cummins & Pattinson, there is going to be some fascintating cricket to view down here.

  • on December 18, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    The match was won and lost before a ball was bowled on the first morning of the Test match.The toss decided the match. I love Test Cricket.

  • lansiya on December 18, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    Do the Aussies need to resort so much of verbalism to win a match. Surely they have the talent to do so without this. Pity the Sri Lankans are not so fluent in English (except for a couple of them) because they could give some of the sledging back. A few instances of throwing the ball at the batsman - maybe the Sri Lankans should also resort to the same tactics. Maybe even throwing their bat at the close-in fileders who keep verbalizing them. Also another point, I have never heard a more one-eyed commentary than what I heard during the last few days. Come on boys lets be fair. Have you heard other commentators recently.

  • getsetgopk on December 18, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    The ICC is a joke, there was no evidence what so ever when Daryl Hair awarded Eng 5 runs and confirmed that Pakistani's tampered with the ball back in 2006 but here even with evidence, seems as if nothing has happened. SL should have made a formal complaint and persued the matter further. The Aussies haven't won a test match this summer doesn't mean they start taking the seam off the ball. But still, SL have put up a great fight here and should be congratulated for taking the battle to the last hour, way better team than over hyped team with over sized 'stars' of INdia.

  • PrasPunter on December 18, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    "you can't afford to give a good opposition like South Africa or Sri Lanka a session,.." you win only if you learn to respect the opponents . Pup is fast becoming one of the inspiring captains around. Congrats Aus !! Cant wait for the Boxing Day.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • PrasPunter on December 18, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    "you can't afford to give a good opposition like South Africa or Sri Lanka a session,.." you win only if you learn to respect the opponents . Pup is fast becoming one of the inspiring captains around. Congrats Aus !! Cant wait for the Boxing Day.

  • getsetgopk on December 18, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    The ICC is a joke, there was no evidence what so ever when Daryl Hair awarded Eng 5 runs and confirmed that Pakistani's tampered with the ball back in 2006 but here even with evidence, seems as if nothing has happened. SL should have made a formal complaint and persued the matter further. The Aussies haven't won a test match this summer doesn't mean they start taking the seam off the ball. But still, SL have put up a great fight here and should be congratulated for taking the battle to the last hour, way better team than over hyped team with over sized 'stars' of INdia.

  • lansiya on December 18, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    Do the Aussies need to resort so much of verbalism to win a match. Surely they have the talent to do so without this. Pity the Sri Lankans are not so fluent in English (except for a couple of them) because they could give some of the sledging back. A few instances of throwing the ball at the batsman - maybe the Sri Lankans should also resort to the same tactics. Maybe even throwing their bat at the close-in fileders who keep verbalizing them. Also another point, I have never heard a more one-eyed commentary than what I heard during the last few days. Come on boys lets be fair. Have you heard other commentators recently.

  • on December 18, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    The match was won and lost before a ball was bowled on the first morning of the Test match.The toss decided the match. I love Test Cricket.

  • Chris_P on December 18, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    Good learning curve for Star, he is only 22 with unlimited potential. Those yorkers are incredible to watch. Step by step, he is progressing along nicely. Soon enough, with Cummins & Pattinson, there is going to be some fascintating cricket to view down here.

  • Simoc on December 18, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    Great hard fought win to Oz. That pitch was definetly harder to bat on than Adelaide day 5 and Sri Lanka did well. The Oz team didn't panic unlike the mediocre radio and TV (apart from Chappell) commentators who suffer from poor memory. Starc is hopefully at the start of a long career and perseverance is the key. Compared to Siddle he appears to do it easily. Well done to the Australian team.

  • Okakaboka on December 18, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    Bowling Wade was a stroke of genious. It had the effect of lifting the whole team. Everyone seemed to be enjoying that moment.... except the batsman! After tea, it was like the re-set button was pressed. Further more, if Wade got closer to the stumps .....you could actually see potential??? He was good enough to get wickets. While we never will know, this bizzare bowling change may have indirectly won the match.

  • postandrail on December 18, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    Not a bad effort Australia, given the unresponsive pitch and the shortage of a key bowler. At the moment though I would only rate us as a good ordinary side with SA a fairly good side and England a quite good side. India are downright ordinary unlike the Sri Lankans who at least know what fight means and WI, Pakistan and NZ are only occasionally competitive. Test cricket's like one big "B" Division at present. There's no team that could sensibly be called a great side or likely to develop into one, though perhaps that gives rise to hard fought series and close contests. As an Australian though I can't help feeling nostalgic for six or eight years ago though. I wish supporters of all teams could experience their team dominating for as long as Australia did. But it's crap when it ends!

  • RoJayao on December 18, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    Desperation sure, but you don't win too many matches easily with two injured players! A good win against reasonable quality and certainly hard fighting opposition. After failing to beat SA and only narrowly winning here, it makes you realise how easily India gave up last summer. A weak, characterless team.

  • Marcio on December 18, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    Firstly, well done to the Lankans for the great fight. At tea I thought they had it saved. It was good for the AUS boys to get the win. I think it has to be said that they have had an enormous amount of hard luck this season, esp. with the timing of injuries (which cost them the SA series with Pattinson and Watson out of Adelaide leaving 3 bowlers early in a test that was as good as won). With Watson being fit here, AUS wasn't so badly affected with the loss of Hilfy and Clarke. Great to see Starc bowling well in the end, as I predicted he would when others were calling him "very average and not up to test standard" after the first innings (where are those critics now?). I just wish fools would stop swinging the axe like Jack Nicholson in The Shining every time someone has a bad innings.