Sri Lanka in Australia 2012-13

Last-day pitch a 'minefield' - SL coach

Andrew Fernando in Hobart

December 19, 2012

Comments: 134 | Text size: A | A

Angelo Mathews gets hit by a Mitchell Starc delivery, Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Hobart, 5th day, December 18, 2012
Angelo Mathews attempted to duck under a Mitchell Starc bouncer, but ended up getting hit on the elbow © Getty Images
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Given Sri Lanka's history in Hobart, a target of 393 in the first Test was not out of reach in the four sessions available to them. In 2007, Kumar Sangakkara's 192 had propelled the visitors to 410, but in 2012, chances of an upset win evaporated soon after Sri Lanka's openers took guard on the fourth day. A fissured pitch spat up steepling brutes and ankle-high shooters with equal abandon making even survival a daunting prospect.

"If we just look at the last day, I am unbelievably proud of the performance the boys put in," Graham Ford, the Sri Lanka coach, said. "That surface really became a minefield. It was very difficult. Australia got the ball to reverse swing considerably. If you look at probably just about every dismissal, it took a real cracker of a delivery to get the batsman out. As a coach you can't really ask for much more from your troops the way the boys battled out there.

"It was an entertaining Test match and a lot happened. Lots of runs scored, bowlers took five-wicket hauls and it went down to the last hour. If you look at all of that, one feels that it was a good pitch. But looking at the way the ball behaved on day five, you have to say that it was a lot more in favour of the bowlers than it was for the batters and perhaps a little bit unfairly so."

On day five, the northwest breeze helped widen the cracks and make the pitch more volatile with each session. In the morning, Shane Watson got a ball to jag back hard off the surface to hit Kumar Sangakkara on the pads. Only a review, showing the ball had hit him outside the line of off stump, allowed Sangakkara to continue. In the afternoon, Thilan Samaraweera was similarly reprieved when a ball spurted beneath his bat from a length to hit him low on the shin - again outside off stump.

As the day wore on, even Nathan Lyon's seemingly innocuous deliveries started darting around, while the fast men repeatedly hit the batsmen, getting the ball to either rear up off a fuller length or bounce much lower than the batsmen expected off a shorter length. Angelo Mathews attempted to duck under a Mitchell Starc bouncer, but ended up getting hit on the elbow, while Nuwan Kulasekara and Prasanna Jayawardene wore balls on the ribcage. 

Mahela Jayawardene was less critical of the surface, but did say the pitch played unpredictably on the fifth day.

"It was a challenging wicket. Before the Test started a lot of things were spoken about this wicket and it was suggested teams wouldn't last for three days. We battled it out for five days. The plates were moving towards the latter part of the Test match."

Sri Lanka had been well placed to draw the Test at tea on day five, having lost only one batsman in each preceding session in the day, which they began at 65 for 2. Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka's form batsman, was at the crease with Thilan Samaraweera at the start of the final session of the match. A loose drive from Mathews however ended their resistance, and began the sequence that saw Sri Lanka slide to defeat with 10.4 overs remaining in the Test. 

"Tea time, it was pretty much even," Jayawardene said. "They knew they had to pick up early wickets soon after tea. We had 30 or 35 overs to bat. We had two batsmen in, and it was a situation where we had to bat an hour and a half with those two guys somehow, and we probably would have pushed them [Australia] back and they would have had to use all their main bowlers. We lost two wickets soon after tea in the space of six or seven overs, and that lifted things up for them. That was probably crucial. They played good cricket throughout the Test match and deserved to be in that position."

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent

RSS Feeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 21, 2012, 15:59 GMT)

@Meety, just ignore this Sinhaya-2. As a person who has English as the first language like you, you can easily figure that my typing style and that of Sinhaya-2 is quite different. Important you understand ground reality as it is easy to love your own country. I am surprised not to see RandyOZ comment at all during this series. Problem with internet is that people can freely open accounts and post nonsense in anonymously. But to be able to comment like this has the advantages too. Cricinfo knows very well when not to allow comments like how they blocked comments for the day 5 of the Hobart match report and also for Siddle's ball tampering story. Comments will close shortly for this section.

Posted by Htc-Android on (December 21, 2012, 4:08 GMT)

@Sinhaya-2. There is no way welegedera is in the Top15. Sachin,dravid, laxman are good players. They performed poorly during the last tour to Aus and Eng. But in their previous tour Sachin and dravid have scored some memorable hundreds.

Posted by Meety on (December 21, 2012, 0:50 GMT)

@Sinhaya on (December 20 2012, 16:58 PM GMT) - they say immitation is the best form of flattery. I think your twin adds nothing to the discussions.

Posted by Sageleaf on (December 20, 2012, 22:11 GMT)

I totally agree with yohandf1984's comments here. If only SL had played sensibly in the first innings, they would have saved the match. Sri Lankan tail-enders batted as if they were in T20 and just gifted wickets to Siddle. If they have played little longer the result of the match would have been different. The problem is since of late SL is playing negative cricket when you have to be positive. I still believe SL can beat Australia this time even can go 2-1. But it's going to be tough but it's possible. Just don't blame the pitch and absolutely no room for complacency. Sri Lanka's batting, bowling and fielding has to be immaculate. That's what the Aussies bring to the table.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 20, 2012, 16:58 GMT)

@reality_check27, I am different to Sinhaya-2. After seeing your latest comments I am also reciprocating. Actually India did well to win 2 tests in Australia in the last 10 years because of the great batting by Laxman and Dravid. Yes Tendulkar played a big part in it too. I am saying Tendulkar last out of the famous 3 because I am not a fan of his. India winning 2 tests in Australia is great because Pakistan with their great bowlers could not win a test in Australia after the 1995 SCG win. Dilshan is still inconsistent as he suddenly comes out with a blazing knock like in Lords last year, but could fail badly for about 5 more innings.

Posted by reality_check27 on (December 20, 2012, 14:20 GMT)

@sinhaya-2 i agree with you as far as dilshan goes he is way beter than sehwag but to say that sang mahel and samaraweera are better than sachin, dravid and laxman even australians will laugh at that let alone indians. the only batsman who plays well in australia from srilanka is sanga dilshan played well in the first test and so did matthews but to compare them to what dravid laxman and sachin have done in australia is a bit too much too say.anyways bets of luck for the second test it should be a good contest.

Posted by reality_check27 on (December 20, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

@sinhaya-2 i agree with you as far as dilshan goes he is way beter than sehwag but to say that sang mahel and samaraweera are better than sachin, dravid and laxman even australians will laugh at that let alone indians. the only batsman who plays well in australia from srilanka is sanga dilshan played well in the first test and so did matthews but to compare them to what dravid laxman and sachin have done in australia is a bit too much too say.anyways bets of luck for the second test it should be a good contest.

Posted by Solace1 on (December 20, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

@swauzzie: We have two bowlers welegedra and herath who are among the top 15 in the world, u guys have somehow made sure perera plays in big bash or else he would have been third, regarding batsmen, don't u know dilshan? he scored a 100 now, he is a better batsman than sehwag,then we have the trio of sanga mahela and samaraweera who are better than dravid sachin and laxman, that means we got more top class batsmen than you mentioned!! don't forget matthews too!!

Posted by trumpoz on (December 20, 2012, 11:02 GMT)

Sri Lankan management and fans should stop whinging and admit you got beaten by a better team. Had your batting lineup performed properly in the first innings it may have been a different story. Getting bowled out by the Australian team with one bowler down should be embarassing enough without making yourselfs look even more stupid.

Posted by swauzzie on (December 20, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

@Sinhaya-2 Where are you going to get players from to be able to do that? You only have 1 bowler & 2 batsmen?

Posted by amilag on (December 20, 2012, 7:53 GMT)

ICC should issue a warning notice against this pitch as they did for Galle recently. The only difference this time SL was in receiving end.

Posted by dunger.bob on (December 20, 2012, 7:41 GMT)

@ landl47 on (December 19 2012, 14:03 PM GMT) "I have it on the authority of no less an expert than TommyTuckerSaffa that the pitch was a road. He should really have a word with Graham Ford and put him straight." .. nearly burst something when I read that :) .. @ Htc-Android on (December 19 2012, 16:09 PM GMT) "mathews poor shot in the second innings cost us the game. If not then we could have drawn the game. I hope we can pull up another surprise on boxing day. If clarke doesnt play, then that will be our best chance of winning a Test match in Australia : yep, absolutely spot on. Herath's bizarre knock fed the fire as well imo.

Posted by yohandf1984 on (December 20, 2012, 6:39 GMT)

As a die hard Sri Lankan cricket fan , i want results / performances than excuses . We have lost 8 out of 10 tests in Australia and losing another wouldn't be a surprise. But give your best . If we batted bit more sensibly in 1st innings , we would have scored more and even would have drawn the game . As we know our bowlers are not that great (except Herath) , its batsmen who need to stand up . I personally don't think 5th day pitch was a minefield . If Ford feels we could not save the match coz of that , please draw the MCG game (if not a win) and prove it is . But you should not say MCG is also a minefield at the end of match . ok .

Posted by lukecannon on (December 20, 2012, 6:31 GMT)

Sri lanka will not win until Mahela Jayawardene fires. This series Nuwan Kulesekara has scored more runs than MJ. He has to find his touch and play like Clarke and lead by example. I m keeping my fingers crossed for a Sangakkara/ Samaraweera double century at the MCG. Those 2 look like they want to finish their careers on a high. Especially Sangakkara.

Posted by Solace1 on (December 20, 2012, 5:48 GMT)

@Sinhaya: You see brother, i am telling you we just tested how Australia would react, and see how they have reacted, Clarke has withdrawn fearing a backlash, they have included some fresh faces, now surely we will give them a thrashing at MCG which they will never ever forget!!

Posted by featurewriter on (December 20, 2012, 5:30 GMT)

I have to say, I was truly disappointed that the Sri Lankans decided to play negatively by trying to secure a draw. With the depth of batting talent they have, the guys would have been better served going on the offensive. They had time, balls and talent in reserve to make it happen. That's the real difference between these two teams. Until Sri Lanka backs themselves and plays more attacking cricket, they'll continue to sit in the middle of the Test field - when, in reality, they have the talent to be so much more. The rest of the world sees it, just a shame they don't. (And yep, I'm an Aussie.)

Posted by IanJF on (December 20, 2012, 5:13 GMT)

Need to give Dilshan more overs. We are missing A.Mendis badly. Kule not getting his usual movement. Mahela needs to bat longer. Might as well play Randiv due to the # of Left handers in the AUS side. With Clarke out and Khawaja in - that makes it 6 Lefties in the Top 7, unbelievable !!

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 20, 2012, 4:58 GMT)

I seriously doubt if this lankan team wil manage even to put a fight against the upcoming afghan team

Posted by Trapper439 on (December 20, 2012, 4:00 GMT)

Any pitch that provides a result in the last hour of the Test is a good one.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (December 20, 2012, 3:55 GMT)

@thephill : It came to the last hour not because the pitch was good, but because the Sri Lankans defended really well. Unfortunately, Mathews got hit few balls because of the invariable bounce. One short ball comes to the wicket and the other ball climbs up to the head gear. If you watched the match, you will only know. Otherwise, if you check what happened from the score board after the match is over, or you simply read the text in ESPNCricinfo, you will hardly realize this. You can say whatever you want. But, the people who played there says "It's hard to bat". Sri Lankans do not blame the pitch often.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2012, 3:32 GMT)

The Sri Lankan top order played a series of loose shots in the first innings, and ended up 4 for 80 odd at stumps on Day 2, and any claims to a good contest were buried at that moment. With a bowling line up as unthreatening as their's, it's a lapse they just cannot recover from. They did well to fight the game out and get as close to a draw as they did, but any result other than a 100+ run defeat would have flattered them far too much.

Posted by lukecannon on (December 20, 2012, 3:24 GMT)

Very lucky win for AUS. SL battled to the last hour on that minefield. They are fighters. Watch out for a Sangakkara/Samaraweera double hundred in the next game. These Sri lankans are gonna come hard at the aussies.

Posted by dthegarty on (December 20, 2012, 3:22 GMT)

The winner would describe it as a "result wicket", the loser calls it a "minefield".

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (December 20, 2012, 2:51 GMT)

@disco bob, a delivery can be unplayable on any pitch, but a pitch being unplayable does effect the delivery. For example, on a flat pitch, a ball pitched in a certain area could be hit easily for a 4, but on an unplayable pitch, that ball could do something else quite entirely. Thus, the unplayable pitch can give rise to unplayable deliveries. It really does not make sense to say the pitch is unplayable but the deliveries were easy. The two are quite closely related in many instances

Posted by SarathW on (December 20, 2012, 2:25 GMT)

Yes, Sri Lanka lost, but they put on the fight of their life like the last time they played here. I hope for the next two games there will be different umpires and a match referee. It was obvious Mahele did not have much faith in the umpires and that is why he had to refer most decisions and lost and did not have any left at the end. Sri Lankans had an issue with the match referee when the Aussies visited Sri Lanka sometime ago. That is why he dismissed the ball tampering issue even before the ICC had time to view the footage. ICC must take note of theis.

Posted by sl_blood on (December 20, 2012, 1:32 GMT)

it was a nonsense test movement on the first three days and then suddenly on the 5th day it becomes a minefield with reverse swing and variable bounce that was so bad that srilankan wickets are much australia u expect a pitch to stay put ..specially with the gloomy and rainy conditions..whoever the team who was playing on the 5th day it wudve been very tough to win that test match ....unfortunately it was australia who batted first..if there was atleast enough lateral movement in the first three days it wudve been a very interesting test match .. as it turned out it became a match where srilanka were struggling to survive because of a bad pitch than consistent good deliveries..

Posted by Ameega on (December 20, 2012, 1:32 GMT)

People are not getting this correctly. If you watched the last two sessions you know this. Once a delivery nearly rolled after pitching and hit Sanga's bat the last moment not crushing the wood . Commentators referred that with a terribly similar ball from Ambrose years ago with visuals. No doubt, it was beyond usual 5th day deterioration. Anyway, I do not see coach or skipper making excuses, just saying how hard it was. They never said no one can survive. There are better teams still can survive on that pitch, may be Aussies would have if they were chasing.

Posted by redneck on (December 20, 2012, 0:49 GMT)

thats a bit rich to say the pitch played unfaily on day 5. its day 5 for crying out loud, it should be!!!! also coming from a nation that calls rolled mud a cricket pitch i dont think variable bounce on day 5 is something unknown to them, hell some galle pitches have it on day 1!

Posted by PKosgoda on (December 20, 2012, 0:24 GMT)

It is meaningless to blame the pitch but the selectors for the loss at a time the SL's main batting positions(1, 3 & 4 )have been occupied by 3 unpredictable batsmen having poor histories of inability to bat under pressure. These sticky footed 3 veterans have to be replaced with promising young batsmen of quick reflex & solid technique (that come out of schools each year); even if we lose the remaining 2 matches with youngsters. There is no way you can carry on with these 3 fleet-footed bats till the next WC. They (s'tors) can't remain adamant to this very fact thus jeopardizing the Future of Cricket in SL. I've a great respect for the 3 seniors for the things they have done in the past but what they should do at this juncture is to help the promising youngsters in line to gain confidence at the highest levels allowing them to play in the middle and guiding them with earnest interest till they gain full confidence. What you give away has the highest blessings than what you take in.

Posted by TYJAY on (December 20, 2012, 0:18 GMT)

I Could not believe that ICC has allowed it to carry on playing !!! Very disappointing !!

Posted by wapp on (December 19, 2012, 23:58 GMT)

It's pretty funny really. Pitch! Pitch! Pitch! it's nothing new everyone, it's just that it hasn't been highlighted in australia for so long because tests didn't last til the fifth day. Blaming the pitch is lazy, they are imperfect no matter where you are and it is upto the pro cricketers to handle them. Instead of blaming the pitches after the fact, call upon the ICC to provide a uniform artificial pitch for all grounds around the world so that no country can 'doctor' the conditions. How's that take you all?!

Posted by Shaggy076 on (December 19, 2012, 23:31 GMT)

Yes the pitch was difficult but also happens a lot, but I guess recent pitches have generally held out longer. You cant compare day 5 on Australian to subcontinental pitches. THis pitch had 311 (3 1/2) days of pace bowling with big men running onto the pitch, compared to a subcontinent pitch where you have less than 20 overs a day. As for the Sri Lankans they are rebuilding after losing quality bowling, they have a lot of fight in them and always have and I admire the way they go about cricket.

Posted by Meety on (December 19, 2012, 23:20 GMT)

@Sepathie on (December 19 2012, 21:08 PM GMT) - mate I think if SL were more aggressive in their 2nd innings, they would of been bowled out befure Lunch on the last day & the margin of defeat would of been worse. SL (IMO), were a bit on the slow side in their 1st innings - some of which was good fielding & field placements & bowling by Oz. @ johnathonjosephs on (December 19 2012, 20:02 PM GMT) - I would say that had SL batted first, they would of conceeded a much bigger 1st innings deficit - why? As I think Pup would NOT of declared when he did, instead trying to only bat ONCE in the match. I think Oz would of at least got 550 (100 more). SL probably would of scored more than 300 in their 2nd innings, which would of meant Oz would be chasing 100 runs roughly batting last. Batting first, SL would of had MORE chance of a DRAW, but probably wouldn't of had enuff time for a win, although Herath would of been a handful on Day 5!

Posted by SLMaster on (December 19, 2012, 23:11 GMT)

Sure Sri Lanka lack the pace. But this is a bad pitch. If this was in Sri Lanka, I can see all including ICC coming guns blazing. Even a Sri lankan pitches cannot make the ball roll to keeper of a fast bowler.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 19, 2012, 22:44 GMT)

@johnathonjoseph. I also watched the game & the pitch may have been difficult, but certainly wasn't unplayable. Clarke showed how much in touch he is by scoring his 50 in better than a run a ball where everyone else laboured. I guess you can always surmise how things would have happened if you tossed up other scenarios, but what about if Sri Lanka won the toss, batted first, then Australia batted them out of the game, Clarke allowing the batsman to pile on 600+? Sri Lanka still would have been batting on day 4 & 5. Sri Lanka put up torrid resistance, not sure how well many players from all teams can play defensively for so long given the impact of T20, but it should always be a part of the game.

Posted by yescric on (December 19, 2012, 22:35 GMT)

I believe it is the efforts of siddle that gave australia the momentum to win... i agree mitchell starc played well especially considering that he hasn't bowled well for most of the match... but it is siddle who kept the australian's in the game with his efforts, as is often is the case these days... I don't really see a chance for srilankan winning in australia at this moment as long as clarke and hussey keeps scoring centuries...

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 22:26 GMT)

why some people here compare SriLanka with India when the series going on is between Aus and SL. And why only India?

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 22:07 GMT)

Well said Separhi, my vision is the same as you.

Posted by disco_bob on (December 19, 2012, 21:50 GMT)

@johnathonjosephs on (December 19 2012, 20:02 PM GMT) You say the pitch was unplayable and you back it up by quoting commentators saying that 'the deliveries were unplayable'. That is two separate concepts.

Posted by Partyman on (December 19, 2012, 21:28 GMT)

Another laughable comment today. Why are the sub continental teams always quick to blame the conditions rather focus on their performance? It is ridiculous. Dhoni's rants about the pitches in England and Australia and now this..... Who said Cricket is a gentleman's sport!? It ain't anymore.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 21:19 GMT)

not because the sri lankans did well on a pitch where the bounce was variable means that they will do well when the bounce is consistent. i saw someone wrote a comment that if sri lanka got the chance to bat 1st they could have won. i dont think so. a fresh green pitch is still hard for subcontinent players to bat on. i think australia did well to post 450 1st up. when the ball is zipping off the pitch sideways, is a different thing from variable bounce. but i think sri lankans did well

Posted by thephill on (December 19, 2012, 21:15 GMT)

If a test comes down the last hour after 5 days of competitive cricket, i fail to see how anyone can criticise the pitch. It is meant to get harder to bat as a game goes on. Thats why runs in the 1st innings are crucial. The Aussies made the most of their first innings, the Sri Lankans did not. Thats where the game was decided.

Posted by Nerk on (December 19, 2012, 21:10 GMT)

A lot of the people commenting don't seem to get it. A good test pitch will deteriorate over the course of five days so that it is difficult to bat on day 5. This is exactly what this pitch did. In fact, it was criticised for being too flat on days 1-3. There was no movement and the bounce was true. It was only the last two days that batting became difficult, as is supposed to happen. So stop complaining that the pitch was not flat enough on day five. A good pitch is never flat on day 5.

Posted by Sepathie on (December 19, 2012, 21:08 GMT)

I watched whole whole match, And its very disappointed to see Sri Lanka loose. My main argument is Sri Lanka were too cautious. If they adapt "attack is best way of defence" , this could have been a different story. Sri Lanka doesn't have have the ability to block for long times. The same thing happened with New Zealand's last test match in Sri Lanka. In my opinion Sri Lanka should play the attacking cricket they always known for( but have to play safe- not like in a one day or T20) . DO WHAT YOU CAN DO BEST, NOT WHAT SOUTH AFRICANS CAN DO(their style is different) And also very important You should take your single and and one in to two runs. imagine what happens if the Sri Lanka's score was closer to Australia's ----- their inexperience bowlers would be under pressure and would make lot of mistakes.

Posted by Mervo on (December 19, 2012, 20:54 GMT)

The reality is that this was a good balanced wicket. Of course on Day 5 things get much more difficult. Herath took 5 wickets and the pace bowlers did well too at times. Unlike in India where the local team has such poor wickets that they open with a spinner, this was a good wicket with something in it for quality spinners, quicks and the batsmen. I suggest that some our ground staff be invited to India to teach a little about pitch preparation. That would be good for the future of Indian cricket. At the moment it is so boring to watch spinners looping away for hour after hour and batsmen blocking ...

SL however has much more variable and balanced wickets and responded very well in this match.

Posted by dalboy12 on (December 19, 2012, 20:42 GMT)

I don't know if he actually blames the pitch at all does he - he simply says that they battled really well on a hard pitch. Sri Lanka played way better than I thought as a Kiwi, of course I was hoping that they would hold out. The fact is pitch's are often minefields on the final day, Sri Lanka really needed more runs or wickets in the first innings, they were always playing for survival not for a win. Next two tests will be interesting, Aussie has to be worried that Lyons couldn't get a fourth innings wicket on that pitch. But having watched the Black Caps games in Sri Lanka, Herath is their only decent spinner, that they have selected, and they will be very dependent on him if they are to win any tests and take 20 wickets. But hey in this test they showed that they have the heart and skill so it's going to be interesting.

Posted by crh8971 on (December 19, 2012, 20:07 GMT)

I thought it was actually a very good test pitch. Good pitches are supposed to change in character and deteriorate over the 5 days of a test. Yes batting was difficult on day 5 but certainly not impossible. It was a good test of technique and character and several of the Sri Lankans showed plenty of both. It wasn't their 5th innings batting that cost SL this match it was their lack of ability to take wickets on day 1 when batting was also difficult and then not making enough runs in their first innings when batting was more of a challenge. I hate to see coaches/players make excuses like this. The indians did it last year carrying on about non existent green tops but as we have seen it was more they were a team in decline with not much character. I thought SL showed plenty of character and Aus will need to bowl well to take 20 wickets in the next two tests.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (December 19, 2012, 20:02 GMT)

The pitch in session 2 and 3 of the last day was really unplayable. Even the Channel 9 commentators (McGrath, Healy, Taylor, Nicholas) were all saying that some of the deliveries were unplayable even to the best batsman in his best form. Good fight by Sri Lanka, and until Samaraweera got out, it looked like Sri Lanka was gonna save the match. I feel like on this pitch (last day) it really didn't matter who the bowling attack was. If Welegedera/Eranga bowled a "bad ball" and it hit the right area, it would have shot down at exactly ankle height and even Clarke/Hussey wouldn't be able to play that. Thus, if Lanka won the Toss, batted first on a good surface, they could have very nearly given Aus a scare

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 19, 2012, 19:54 GMT)

Bottom line is srilanka lost. You can sugarcoat anyway you want. Srilanka better than india? 100%. Srilanka fight as a team. India do not have "team" vocabulary in the team. Internal struggle for power going on with indian team.

Posted by Rick777 on (December 19, 2012, 19:36 GMT)

Good words coach. This pitch was rubbish. Great work Lions. If the pitch had stayed true, we could have pulled off a win. We will beat Oz in the next game. Rangana, no words to say. Superb bowling. But we definitely lack Malinga in our test side.

Posted by Mayan. on (December 19, 2012, 19:04 GMT)

this is a pretty good result, india barely survived 4 days in the last summer, but we fought till the last hour, i think we'l win the boxing day test if clarke doesnt play

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 19:00 GMT)

When lions were batting in last session in the match OH MY GOD it reminds me Arjuna and Hashan were trying to save a test in AUS in 1995 by getting soo many body shots but Hashans smile never fade away (REAL LIONS ACT )

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (December 19, 2012, 18:52 GMT)

I think it was a bad pitch. The bounce isn't true. It was uneven. That's dangerous. Hope they prepare proper wicket for the next match.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 18:47 GMT)

From the toss to the end luck dosnt favor us. To win a test in AUS talent and determination is not enough luck also needed

Posted by speakall on (December 19, 2012, 18:45 GMT)

I really enjoyed this test match, as an Englishman living in NZ I wanted SL to win, but that last day was excellent, good bowling with only 3 real bowlers, good intent, and it is nice to see SL batting was holding on for as long as possible. It was a big ask to see SL do the same as SA and Faf du Plessis on this pitch.

that last sessions was a joy to watch, and every ball defended was keeping me on the edge of my seat, give me test matches like this over 20/20 anyday

Posted by d1n0 on (December 19, 2012, 18:37 GMT)

We have a saying in SL that is equivalent to "One who can't dance blames the floor". I like Mahela's response. I think this is a bit of tit-for-tat from the SLC to say its not just SLC that have bad pitches. Let's just chalk it down as an opportunity missed (to save the match) and move on. Brilliant stuff by Aussies by being so positive throughout and Declaring early. They deserved the win.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 19, 2012, 18:35 GMT)

Unlucky Sri Lanka. You would've won the match if you had won the toss. Australia got lucky but you still have the chance to beat them in the next test.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 18:31 GMT)

@ Jose Puliampatta & narbavi Wow its good to see one neighbor like Jose Puliampatta rather than millions of narbavi. Dont worry mate our big brother will back to its normal performance level very soon

Posted by Rahulbose on (December 19, 2012, 17:54 GMT)

They should be proud of the batting in second innings. That was one of those cracked up pitches you get in Australia, could have easily been bundled out for less that 150 score.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 17:37 GMT)

i think we can put it simply as a Sri Lankan fan, "it was a good 5 days of test cricket" team that played better won i admit, but still very happy about our team also. showed lot of fight on that pitch which was as a bit uneven. well played to both teams

Posted by WheresTheEmpire on (December 19, 2012, 16:54 GMT)

@ Warren Smith Congratulations on having what seems to be an honestly held, agenda free opinion. Are you sure you on the right site?

Posted by Htc-Android on (December 19, 2012, 16:09 GMT)

@Sinhaya. mathews poor shot in the second innings cost us the game. If not then we could have drawn the game. I hope we can pull up another surprise on boxing day. If clarke doesnt play, then that will be our best chance of winning a Test match in Australia.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 16:04 GMT)

Just a comment here ... on others comments. Theres normally a lot of talk about the arrogant Aussies on these forums o be honest i find that most of the Aussie commentary is knowledgable and at least attempts to look at both sides of the coin. Most Sri Lankan fans are very humble in my opinion and are the best at critiquing their own teams weaknesses while trying to remain encouraging. The worst of the lot seem to be the English and the Indians with spiteful angry comments common. More of the lankans fairness and Aussie knowledge please.

Posted by stormy16 on (December 19, 2012, 15:56 GMT)

Interesting that all the focus in SL usually is on pitches - usually due to visiting teams looking for seaming conditions in a place that only ever spins! I think its reasonable to SL to draw attention to the pitch but Mahela still refuses to blame the pitch. The pitch wasnt the easiest to bat on but I reckon SL should have held out for a draw. Aus were down to three bowlers and really one og Sanga, Mahela or Thilan were expected to bat more than a single session.

Posted by Mevan on (December 19, 2012, 15:24 GMT)

The pitch was difficult and the bowling unrelenting. The SL batsmen must be commended for the fact that they put up a fight and for that - for the first time in my memory - none of them gave away their wickets. The Aussies had to get them out!

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 19, 2012, 15:24 GMT)

Hobart pitch anyway was a worry with WA being all out for 67 few weeks ago. We also made the mistake of putting defensive fields when Aussies batted in the first innings.

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 19, 2012, 15:15 GMT)

Looking through the comments I have to state that this was the test match where I put least hope as far as Sri Lanka is concerned as it was the toughest of the 3 venues. We did very well to drag it on to the 5th day last session rather than crumbling cheaply. The way our top order showed patience will give a lot of confidence to bat longer sessions if or when required at the MCG or SCG. Interesting thing was I recall in the test match between Australia and NZ at this venue, Channel 9 commentators said that batting will get easier as the game goes on, but only Warner got a ton in the 2nd innings. If we came to bat on day 4 wanting to win, we would have had to take chances and wickets would have fallen early. The tough part was the extreme variable bounce with balls keeping and inch or 2 above the surface to even suddenly going over the shoulder. Mathews rash shot was the turning point, but still Samaraweera falling LBW too made things tough.

Posted by kirikat on (December 19, 2012, 15:06 GMT)

I don't understand why Aus fans get upset about comments of G.Ford or Mj. They didn't say it was a poor wicket. They said it was a challenging wicket and they are happy about their 2nd inning batting. As GF mentioned SL lose their wickets to real good deliveries and not because of the pitch.Its mean they dont blame the pitch and they give credits to Aus bowlers which they deserved. As we all know it is a difficult wicket to bat on. But Aus do well in their 1st inning than Sl and thats why they won the match.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 15:02 GMT)

If Mathews did not lose his head and swiped outside the off, SL may very well have drawn the test. Mathews does not have a sensible 'head' on his shoulders, and should never be the SL captain.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 14:41 GMT)

if u try to duck under a bouncer and it hits u im the arm while laying down , speaks volumes dont it boys .

Posted by landl47 on (December 19, 2012, 14:03 GMT)

I have it on the authority of no less an expert than TommyTuckerSaffa that the pitch was a road. He should really have a word with Graham Ford and put him straight.

Posted by PFEL on (December 19, 2012, 13:54 GMT)

These comments really show how few people actually watched the game, and yet are still commenting. (1) pitch was fine, lasted til last session on day 5 --> HOW MUCH MORE PERFECT CAN IT GET!!! (2) if anything Sri Lankans had better batting conditions for most of the match (3) Aus were 1.5 players down, and declared with only 5 wickets in 1st innings, and won comfortably . . . it was not an even match by any stretch of the imagination

Posted by gnanzcupid on (December 19, 2012, 13:53 GMT)

pitch was not a minefield.SL batsmen were poor skilled but for sanga and mahela

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (December 19, 2012, 13:47 GMT)

So much of talk, so much of talk against Sri Lankans in 1996, and they had the best all time, Warnes, Taylors, Pontings, and who else! But, Arjuna's team defeated them, and it was not a coward show. It was very brave, and they really executed the Aussies from the beginning to the end. We didn't have the best team ever. The team today is full of skilled players. Why do you hide?

Posted by brusselslion on (December 19, 2012, 13:23 GMT)

@jonesy2: Been a while mate but you've returned in style: Does this mean that Hilf is no longer one of the top 5 bowlers in the world as you previously suggested or do Australia now currently possess an attack consisting of the no. 1,2 & 5 seamers in the world plus the "'s 2nd best slow bowler..."? Someone reign him in or else put on that white jacket with straps!

Posted by dsig3 on (December 19, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

Minefield? you should of seen Hobart last year Graham. Doug Bracewell looked like Dennis Lillee. SL played very well but calling a pitch a minefield is a bit rich.

Posted by 200ondebut on (December 19, 2012, 13:05 GMT)

Australia need sporting wickets to mask the lack of talent in their bowling. Tried the same against England and got hammered by an innings three times

Posted by nickcarter80 on (December 19, 2012, 12:56 GMT)

I have only one thing to say. If Australians get this kind of a minefield in SL, they would make a lot of fuss about it until ICC warns that ground (Remember 'Galle' in 2011). Hats off to Sri Lankans, for their gentlemen like behavior. Australians should learn from them, how to become gentleman (Specially people like that young boy called Starc)

Posted by creekeetman on (December 19, 2012, 12:47 GMT)

a minefield??... dont think so, difficult yes, good bowling yes, but hardly a minefield.

Posted by arvija on (December 19, 2012, 12:47 GMT)

I don't know why people take coach's comment wrong! He just said it was a mine field, which was difficult to bat on. Didn't say it was fixed by CA. If SL has won the toss and batted first, the story may have been the same provided the match goes the distance!It was a spirited performance from Sri Lankans and to show the value of it, coach referred to the pitch as a mine field!I feel SL will win one of the two if not both remaining matches !

Posted by WheresTheEmpire on (December 19, 2012, 12:46 GMT)

Let's be clear about this. It was a great fightback by SL in an excellent test match and it seems as if it is the South African coach and not the Lankans that are critical of what was a reasonable 5th day pitch. I agree with other comments and I do not associate whinging with either SL or South Africans. Cynics will point out that perhaps Graham Ford spent too long in England at Kent but I am very surprised and hope this is just a media beat-up.

Posted by ShehanJ on (December 19, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

Sour grapes Mr.Ford. You wouldn't be complaining about a 'minefield' if Australia was batting on the 5th day and SL was bowling. That Hobart test could have been drawn, if the batsmen had batted with caution and the tail enders had helped out in the last overs.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

Srilankans will come back in MCG. This is a gentlemen game. No hard feelings!

Posted by TheJake on (December 19, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

@Front Foot Lunge Minefield pitch means squat for a spinner. The irregular bounce and sideways movement is effectively pointless to a slow bowler. Herath is arguably the best spinner in the world and he only took wickets in Australia's second innings when they were swinging at everything and just looking for quick runs.

Posted by rumyfala on (December 19, 2012, 12:34 GMT)

Well done aussies and SLankans for a super test. The biggest mistake SL did was in the first inings. Ehn they lost all the front line batsmen for decent scores the tailenders just threw away their wickets. For christ's sake this is a test match. When you know yje opponents have a big 1st inings total and plenty of time left your job is to stay their as long as possible and try to get close to the oppponents total. runs will automatically come even in singles if you stay at the crease. instead they were trying to hit sixers as if it was a one day game and only a few more balls were left.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 12:30 GMT)

Whinge, Whinge, Whinge, Unless they are flat pitches, that turn too dust on day 4, these sub-continent, batsmen complain. It is supposed too be a contest between bat & ball, batsmen have already bluffed the ICC, and now the bowler only has, half of leg, and off stump. This is totally wrong, even if a poof-teenth of an inch, of the ball pitches on the stumps, and is hitting, you should be out. I blame Sachin Tendulkar, the pad first man, for pressuring the BCCI, i hope his retirement, will end this war. It is just not Cricket, so many plumb LBW decisions turned down, because of the seam of the ball, if any part of the ball pitches in line, and is hitting the stumps. You are out, its simple, now stop counting your numbers, Sachin, and retire.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (December 19, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

On a minefield of a pitch, Australia's 'spinner' Lyon couldn't take a single wicket. How long will this club-level seamer masquerading as a spinner stay in the Australian team? Judging by past experience, quite a long time. More money for old rope for England next year.

Posted by whofriggincares on (December 19, 2012, 12:24 GMT)

Fifth day pitch hard to bat on? What a surprise. There was a bit in it for the bowlers as is to be expected. But a minefield, cmon what a joke. Perhaps if G.Ford had of played a test he would have more knowledge to base his opinion on. As for one genius suggesting the toss won the test, ha ha that is very funny. People should actually have some idea of how the game is played before commenting. This pitch as with most of our pitches made all three results possible with the right decisions and a bit of luck. Unlike Nagpur which offered up a game that is the type of game that is putting test cricket at risk. Why didnt England at least declare with a session and a half to bowl out the brittle Indian line up? Perhaps they were scared of Sehwag scoring 150 in a sesion? Live in fear and never reach your full potential. Give me Clarke as a batsmen and a captain over Cook any day. The truth is Pups style of captaincy will be the saviour of test cricket not Boycott/Cook style of cricket.

Posted by aymin on (December 19, 2012, 12:06 GMT)

SRI LANKA will o their BEST @ MCG....

Posted by jonesy2 on (December 19, 2012, 12:03 GMT)

surely they realised that australia were a bowler down and micheal was on one leg? both teams were courageous but australia just supreme due to the highest of quality bowling from the worlds two best fast men

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 12:01 GMT)

one word Shocker!! come to SL and they will be up in arms but over here tough fruities, get used to it do u say it, fair go? Ha

Posted by Marcio on (December 19, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

Hmm, once the victim and blame game sets in, its a slippery slope. Too bad, as the SLs have always played with a good attitude, unlike certain other touring teams we won't mention (It's not true, we never say bad things! Take it back or we fly home!). This was a better-than-typical Hobart pitch, and that's the truth, I'm afraid. Western AUS got done for 60-odd here not long ago in the first innihgs of a shield game, and I think the average 1st innings score this season is 150. AUS got 5/450. The ball tampering stuff was ridiculous too. So Siddle holds the ball along the seam when running in, and Cowan does the same when polishing it. Goodness gracious me!

Posted by venbas on (December 19, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

Maybe the Aussies should have called the Indian test team. The match would have been over inside 2 days in Australias favor and everyone would have enjoyed 3 days of rest.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

As an Indian, I am very happy to see the way my neighbors Srilankans fought on the last day, with grit & determination (unlike my country's team -- except for a partnership between my current captain and 'future'captain). Ford can be proud of his wards. Now, I understand, why some one said, when Ford took over from Marsh --- "The Ford is going to pull Sri Lanka out of the Marshy lands"! Duncan Fletcher, what do you think of Ford, several years junior to you?

Posted by suve on (December 19, 2012, 11:38 GMT)

PFEL: C'mon mate. The SL management only made an informal complaint about the ball to the referee and after it was cleared, the Sri lankans moved on without any issues. And about the pitch: Hobart was no where near as bad as Galle but it was still not the best pitch to bat on. Minefield is exaggerating it a little bit by the Coach but the wickets of Samaraweera and Sanga was because the ball stayed low, so it's fair to say Hobart wasn't the truest pitch buddy.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 11:31 GMT)

The pitch, had unpredictable bounce from day one, if anything the Sri Lankan`s, had the best batting conditions on day 2, and 3. They also had the best bowling conditions on day 1, they are scared of Peter Siddle, his bowling skills are phenomenal, and he alone kept Australia, in the series against South Africa. This was a tactical effort, by the Sri Lankan`s, too make faulse claims, against him. Why do all sub-continent teams, try and portray Australia as cheats, the Kiwi`s, beat the Aussie`s in Hobart, last year, fair and square, because they got behind the ball on a minefield pitch. This pitch was batsmen friendly, if you played straight, and watched the ball. Go get them `Sid`s`, for the Lankan`s are shit scared of you.

Posted by disco_bob on (December 19, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

Stop The Presses! Fifth Day Pitch, "more difficult to bat on". There have been discussions with officials to do away with the 5th day in Tests because of the continual complaints about 'pitch deterioration'.

Our Man In Hobart: Surely in this day and age we have the technology to make a pitch that doesn't crumble away after 5 days. Someone could get hurt. The ICC will be looking at testing out Rebound Ace, for truer bounce and more consistency worldwide. "We need to standardise surfaces, so many teams have trouble playing away from home", said coach Graham Ford.

Posted by Biggus on (December 19, 2012, 11:28 GMT)

@PFEL-My feelings entirely. Somewhat dismayed I'm afraid. Let's just hope it's a blip on the radar.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (December 19, 2012, 11:27 GMT)

Sri Lankans, let the bat speak, and make sure you plan, train, and become mentally strong! That's a must, to become mentally strong. It's a mental game. Be positive. Now, please don't try to draw a match. Try to win or just come back home 3-0. I don't care even if you win, hiding yourselves on the fragile shells. Just be positive. Try to win FOR GODS SAKE.

Posted by stuartk319 on (December 19, 2012, 11:21 GMT)

Sri Lanka batted OK, but their bowling just isn't threatening enough early in a Test in Australia. Their bowlers lacked the venom to stop Australia's first innings being 5/450. No team can win from there. Simple.

Posted by disco_bob on (December 19, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

Oh wait I've got it now, this series was looking a bit saccharine, it needed some needle for the Boxing day Test.

Posted by PrasPunter on (December 19, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

whats with these teams ? I never thought SL would retort to these kinds of allegations - first the ball-tampering one and now this, about the pitch !! I can say for sure that we have always provided good wickets that would favor both the teams ! Wondering where this stuff is coming from !!

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

Surprised to see coach blaming pitch for there lose. SRL need to accept that they lost to Australia's good bowling. The spirit Australian should amazing, they are close to win in 2 test matchs against RSA but ended in draw. This time Australia won go to see that GO AUSSIES GO. SRL lost because they cant able to deal with handicapped Australian bowling attack(Helfi injured).

Posted by Biggus on (December 19, 2012, 11:13 GMT)

The Galle pitch was breaking through the surface and spitting from early on the first day. Comparison between the to pitches is blind delusion, but don't let me spoil your fantasies.

Posted by chad_reid on (December 19, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

agree with niraj vashi clarke is the man of the match and the best captain i have ever seen and probably the best ever no captain ever i repeat not captain wud have declared so early with so much time for the other team to win i thought it was crazy to declare his the best thing that has happened to Australia after the legends retired

Posted by PFEL on (December 19, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

Just noticed some people comparing this excellent Test match Hobart pitch with the 2011 Galle pitch that was a joke from day 1 . . . as if the comments here aren't bad enough already

Posted by LoveCricLove on (December 19, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

It's very disgraceful to see how assies carried out the sledging on SL batters. That's way too much and harm for name of the cricket. They tried to win however. Hats off to SL players except mahela and angelo's 2nd innings. Mahela was too negative never seen him as dynamic.

Posted by PFEL on (December 19, 2012, 11:03 GMT)

This is very odd. I've never associated the Sri Lankans with beign "whingers", but first we get ridicuolous ball-tapering allegations and now this? The pitch was fine for batting. Better than most 5th day pitches. And the toss had no impact on the match, Aus batting conditions were the same as SL's, if anything more balls seemed to "roll" on day 4 than day 5. Unlike most people commenting (and perhaps the author of this article), I actually watched the match . . .

Posted by tinkertinker on (December 19, 2012, 10:54 GMT)

Can't believe some people are comparing galle to this pitch, galle was massively in favour of the bowlers from the first ball, this pitch was flat for most of the test.

Reality is flat green or turning sri lanka are a very poor test side and that is why they have one test win in their entire history vs the aussies.

Posted by Nerk on (December 19, 2012, 10:51 GMT)

It was a difficult pitch to bat on during the last day and Sri Lanka can be very proud of their performance. Bounce was unpredictable, some balls stayed low whilst others reared up viciously, and any team would be troubled. It was not a wicket decided by the toss either. Sri Lanka could and should have not let Australia get the lead they did, and 200 odd could have been chased with ease. All in all, it was a good wicket. Not the best, it must be admitted, but a good one giving both teams an even chance throughout the match.

Posted by swauzzie on (December 19, 2012, 10:49 GMT)

What a load of rubbish! Minefield? Wake up! It was a good solid pitch the majority of the match. On the 5th day it played like a day 5 pitch. It was certainly alot better than pitches that get produced in SL & looking at the scoring rate of the last Eng/Ind game, this was of much better quality.

Posted by Perera32 on (December 19, 2012, 10:44 GMT)

Ms.Cricket: Mathews was injured and didn't even play in the 2011 World cup final, get your facts right mate. The shot he played in Hobart was not reckless, he's an attacking player and tried to keep the scoreboard moving. Angelo's bowling was outstanding in the WT20 final, so you can't blame him for one poor shot. Any way this pitch was one of the worst i've seen after Galle, I saw an over where the ball pitched in the same place and one ball rolled along the floor to the slips and the other shoulder height down the legside to the keeper. Chris Broad who was the referee in the Galle pitch rated the pitch as poor but in Hobart, he lets the Aussies get away with it.

Posted by Narbavi on (December 19, 2012, 10:37 GMT)

minefield? lol, the pitch was a flat deck, no doubt some balls kept low but still it was pretty much a flat deck so stop giving excuses as if you would have won had u been presented with a traditional aussie pitch!!

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 10:36 GMT)

Clarke was man of the match for his relatively early 1st innings declaration.

Posted by cricisfan on (December 19, 2012, 10:33 GMT)

Seriously, It actually wasn't bad.

Posted by Slysta on (December 19, 2012, 10:19 GMT)

Nonsense Lawton, SL had the best batting conditions of the match. Clarke's declaration gave them half a chance, but 87 for 4 on the second evening was terrible batting, and it was always going to be uphill from there. Dilshan and Mathews showed on the third morning just how good the conditions were, and although 336 was a good recovery, the all-out total was well below par, and ensured that SL would be under pressure the rest of the game. "Minefield" is an emotive term; I personally think it is an exaggeration for a side that batted 90+ overs to be 4 down with one session to go... but despite the fact that two results were still possible deep in the last hour, this was not a good Bellerive pitch. I do not want to see such up-and-down wickets in Australia, and I'm sure the curator was not proud of it. But Ford is correct to say SL batted very, very well in the fourth innings: top 7 terrific other than an awful lapse from Mathews, probably cost SL the game with such a long tail.

Posted by Udendra on (December 19, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

ha ha... the last time AUS toured SL, everyone was blaming the Galle pitch. Now we can see the same in Hobart. Ironically both these grounds are close to the sea!

Posted by Slazenger84 on (December 19, 2012, 10:12 GMT)

The first test in the SL vs Aus series in 2011,was also played on a some what similar pitch in Galle International Stadium. Chris Broad was the ICC match referee for that series too and he rated that pitch as "poor" and advised SL Cricket not to prepare such wickets. Australia went on to win that game by a similar margin of 100 odd runs, but I doubt whether Mr. Broad will go on to rate this Hobart pitch also as a poor pitch since it is product of Australia........

Posted by AndrewFromOz on (December 19, 2012, 10:11 GMT)

Tasmanian cricket should have a good hard look at themselves! Pathetic crowds and a sub-standard pitch. There should be two MCG tests and Hobart can have a couple of one day internationals.

Posted by SpadeaSpade on (December 19, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

Mahela's response is very measured and true.

I would like to add that I think both of Clarkes declarations were crucial to thois test ending so tensely, Captains previosuly would have been tempted to bat on in both innings to gurantee no chance of defeat. I felt Australia made all the running in the test , SL played like a team trying not to get beaten badly.

I may be wrong but I think in the same position Australia would have looked to score the runs to win the test. Based on how the wicket played they probably would have lost , However fact remains that there batting is their strength and Australia was one fast bowler down. I think there best approach would have been to try and place pressure back on Clarke and the austrlians.

Anyway Well done boys , Good win and a needed pick-up after the disappointing 3rd test at the WACA.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (December 19, 2012, 9:58 GMT)

If you don't see that the pitch was very hard to bat, you are just blind or evil. That's all I have to say.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (December 19, 2012, 9:56 GMT)

Sri Lanka are making excuses and deluding themselves. And Mathews has played a reckless shot that cost him his wicket and his country dearly in the 2011 50over World Cup final vs India in Mumbai, the T20 final vs West Indies in Sri Lanka and this Test match; and he is supposedly to be 'wise' enough to be next captain of Sri Lanka!!

Posted by Nerk on (December 19, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

It was a difficult pitch to bat on during the last day and Sri Lanka can be very proud of their performance. Bounce was unpredictable, some balls stayed low whilst others reared up viciously, and any team would be troubled. It was not a wicket decided by the toss either. Sri Lanka could and should have not let Australia get the lead they did, and 200 odd could have been chased with ease. All in all, it was a good wicket. Not the best, it must be admitted, but a good one giving both teams an even chance throughout the match.

Posted by SamAsh07 on (December 19, 2012, 9:54 GMT)

Asian teams love to blame pitches. Move on.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 9:42 GMT)

only one poor shot cost a wicket of mathews. other than that all of the wickets fell to really good balls. hats off to SL team they batted out almost four sessions. with the uneven bounce it was a difficult wicket to bat on. dissapointed with the outcome but looking forward to MCG and SCG

Posted by Sugath on (December 19, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

I think our approach was too submissive on 2nd innings and first except day 3 first session when Aussies did not know what to do. When you become over protective it always open many other doors. We were too cautious, and at least one of not two batsmen should have attacked and spread the field. At one time almost 9 fielders were around or near the batsmen meaning we were too protective. As they say best form of defence is to come out and be aggressive as Gilchrist once did against Pakistan. Australia were then 5 down for some 120 runs and out come Gilly and the 6th wicket partnership with Langer delivered victory. Akram and the boys were helpless. had he too done like what Sri Lanka did Aussies would have lost

Posted by srriaj317 on (December 19, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

All I have to say is that this pitch was similar to the one in Galle last year where Australia won. Seeing the ball nip around is fine but if the bounce becomes so variable, the players are at risk of getting injured like in Galle.

Posted by Jeyan_Sinthu on (December 19, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

Any way, well played Lions. keep going. Hope that the first victory in the Aussie soil is not too far away...!!

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 9:32 GMT)

Because wickets on the sub-continent never become unplayable and unpredictable on Day 5 of a Test match...

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

What match was he watching? The pitch was doing nothing from what I can see except the occasional delivery. SL could have probably chased it had they not given up and gone for the draw.

Posted by Biggus on (December 19, 2012, 9:26 GMT)

He wouldn't be talking about it had we Aussies been batting last though, he'd be waxing lyrical about his bowlers. Not too impressed either about the allegations of ball tampering they claimed to see one day, only to say the next that they were suspicious only because the camera had zoomed in. Make up your mind guys, either you saw something or you didn't. Imagine the howls of indignation had the finger been pointed in their direction. Irresponsible in the extreme really, and I would have expected better from them.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2012, 9:20 GMT)

The outcome of the Test Match was decided on the first morning even before a ball was bowled-by the Toss.Any team even Bangaladesh would have taken 10 wickets on that pitch on the last day.

Posted by thewayitwass on (December 19, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

how can they blame the pitch? they were 4 down until the last session! fact is the quicker aussie bowlers just found an extra gear in that final session and lankas long tail was exposed.. matthews shot too was a shocker

Posted by disco_bob on (December 19, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

I'm not sure what the Lankans are implying. I'm pretty sure I saw Warner carry his bat on a more treacherous hobart pitch last year. This is why it's called Test cricket.

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