Australia v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sydney

Thirimanne pushes Sri Lanka to 294

The Report by Brydon Coverdale

January 3, 2013

Comments: 117 | Text size: A | A

Sri Lanka 294 (Thirimanne 91, Jayawardene 72, Bird 4-41, Starc 3-71) v Australia
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Jackson Bird celebrates a wicket, Australia v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sydney, 1st day, January 3, 2013
Jackson Bird picked up 4 for 41 © AFP

Six days ago, while the Sri Lankans were capitulating to lose the Boxing Day Test, Lahiru Thirimanne was back home in Sri Lanka enjoying a day off in between one-day commitments for Ragama. He must have been as surprised as anyone to find himself batting on the opening day of a Test match at the SCG less than a week later. Thirimanne acclimatised to his new role quickly and although he narrowly missed out on a maiden Test century, he ensured Sri Lanka were able to bat until stumps. Just.

At the close of play, the Sri Lankans had just been dismissed for 294. It could have been better had Thirimanne or Mahela Jayawardene, who both made half-centuries, gone on to triple figures. But it could also have been much worse after the Sri Lankans were sent in by Michael Clarke, who had chosen four fast bowlers on a pitch tinged with green grass. Jackson Bird finished with 4 for 41 and Mitchell Starc bounced back from his rest over the Christmas period with 3 for 71, and while it took until nearly 6pm, Clarke would have been pleased to end the day with the Sri Lankans all out.

For a while, that appeared unlikely as Thirimanne and Jayawardene steered Sri Lanka to 2 for 134, and later the score was 4 for 222. But once Australia's bowlers found their way into the tail, the end came quickly. The final five wickets fell for 44 and a briefly entertaining last-wicket stand of 21 between Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep had the unexpected benefit for Australia of allowing Ed Cowan and David Warner to start their innings on the second morning instead of late on the first evening.

Pradeep finished on 17 not out, his highest first-class score, and Lakmal was the last man out when he edged to slip for 5 off the bowling of Bird. It was the third catch of the day for the retiring Michael Hussey, who also put one down early in Jayawardene's innings. Bird had also picked up the wicket of Rangana Herath, who skied a catch to mid-off for 5, shortly after the last of the recognised batsmen, Dinesh Chandimal, was superbly yorked by Starc for 24.

Starc had been involved in the previous wicket as well, when he took a diving catch at mid-on to get rid of Dhammika Prasad, whose heaving pull off Peter Siddle was a shot deserving of a dismissal. Another fine catch had brought Prasad to the crease, when Thirimanne, on 91, was deceived by Nathan Lyon. Thirimanne drove hard at a ball that was wider than he expected, and his edge lobbed up towards point and was brilliantly taken by a diving David Warner.

It was a disappointing end for Thirimanne, who was initially scratchy and struggled to rotate the strike, but found his touch as the innings wore on. Thirimanne would not have played this match but for Sri Lanka suffering two injuries to their top seven. Chandimal, the backup batsman in the squad, came in for Kumar Sangakkara and when Prasanna Jayawardene was also ruled out due to his broken thumb, it allowed Thirimanne to play his eighth Test.

He was impressive in his 151-ball innings and scored 13 fours and one six. He drove with authority and used his feet to Lyon, also pulling strongly against the fast bowling. Thirimanne had been fortunate to make it that far; he was given out lbw for a golden duck when Bird bowled full and straight, but after some consideration Thirimanne asked for a review and was reprieved as replays indicated the ball had pitched a fraction outside leg stump.

Jaywardene also had a lucky break early. On 4, he edged Siddle to second slip and Hussey was slow to react to a chance he should have taken, and managed only to get his left hand to the ball, which then ran away to the boundary. It was a very similar shot that brought Jayawardene his half-century, another edge that this time bounced just in front of Hussey before running to third man for four. It ended a three-year drought for Jayawardene, who had last made a Test fifty away from home in November 2009.

He was fluent in his 110-ball innings, which featured 12 fours and a six. He was strong through point and when flicking through the leg side, and he also used his feet Lyon. However, on 72 Jayawardene was caught at slip driving hard at a Starc delivery angled across him and after the third umpire checked for a no-ball and found Starc's heel had landed legally and then slid forward, it was the end of an encouraging 62-run stand for Sri Lanka.

Thilan Samaraweera (12) and Angelo Mathews (15) both made starts but failed to go on; Samaraweera was plumb lbw to Siddle and Mathews edged Starc to Hussey at second slip. It was a busy day in the field for Hussey, who had brought about the first wicket of the day when Dimuth Karunaratne (5) went for a pull from just outside off stump and top-edged Bird high and over the slips cordon and was taken by Hussey, running back with the flight of the ball from second slip.

Bird, the best of Australia's bowlers, also got rid of Karunaratne's opening partner, Tillakaratne Dilshan, who occupied the crease for 100 minutes before he was caught behind for 34. They were the only two wickets the Australians picked up in the first session, but by stumps the bowlers had done what Clarke wanted. Now, it's up to Australia's shortened batting line-up.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Ragav999 on (January 5, 2013, 2:46 GMT)

Lyon might be the best spinner in Australia and it is true that except Warne, no spinner has done well in Australia in the last 2 decades. Since Australia is so spinner unfriendly as history has demonstrated, why shouldn't Australia go with the 4 quicks even though the quicks may not be as fearsome/consistent as McGrath or Akram. At least they might provide the extra edge required to win those close games that are drawn or lost. In this period of transition and top few teams so closely matched, Australia need to gain every advantage possible to become the best.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 4, 2013, 8:22 GMT)

FFL - I remember 4 years ago as well when COok was a walking wicket to Johnson I believe 4 times. If you think Hughes is Anderson bunny considering he was only out once to Anderson you must be worried about the Johnson dominance over Cook on English soil. Also BTW Johnson average was much better than Jimmy Anderson that series. Its nice that your main bowler averaged 45 the last time we played in England and using your logic that players dont approve looks like England are in for some trouble.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 4, 2013, 0:20 GMT)

Ed Cowan shows what a league of amateurs the top order is. Running yourself out because your're lacking in skill in fitness is good enough for Australia these days unable as they are to have their own Alistair Cook. Anderson will yet again be aching to bowl at Hughes, whose technique hasn't changed at all since 2009. That was four years ago. The Ashes look permanently safe at the home of cricket.

Posted by Kolpak1989 on (January 4, 2013, 0:01 GMT)

What's with all the run outs in the Australian top order lately? Cowan or Hughes seem to have a hand in all of them. Sort it out fellas, you're not club cricketers and you're wasting starts.

Posted by Moppa on (January 3, 2013, 23:52 GMT)

@elle119, like Jono Makim, I enthusiastically agree with your comment. As average as Johnson was, I think he outbowled Starc, who for me was disappointingly inconsistent. Looking for Starc to blossom as a Test match bowler one day, but increasingly feeling like that day might not be until 2014 or 2015! @Jono Makim, I also agree, Clarke putting SL in was more driven by the Australian line-up, the SL hangover from Melbourne, and tactics than the pitch. If it was driven by the pitch, he, like most observers, misread it. Agree with many posters re it being a 'greentop' - LOL! @kc69, the series is already over mate, 2 up with 1 to play - put down your glasses. @Jono Makim, also agree re Lyon, he's doing alright but as @elle119 said just needs to slow it down a bit and work the batsmen out a bit more.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 3, 2013, 23:37 GMT)

Joseph Langford - You may prefer a bowler to take 5/50 of 10 overs rather than 0/20 of 10 - but you need to give test batsman some credit. 5/50of 10 overs is rarely going to happen, these batsman are of high quality and you need to strangle them out and as such Watto does his role with the ball. He may not be getting wickets but his partner is, however most times I have seen Watto bowl he looks like getting wickets regularly.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 3, 2013, 23:19 GMT)

@@Ragav999. Don't worry too much about Lyon. I have seen, too often the bottom halt our run at ending innings. And until another spinner sticks his hand up & presents a case, Lyon is the best option. He's no Murali, nor does he claim to be, he is still in learning mode & clearly the best option available. @Herath-UK. Take it from me, this is as far removed from a greentop as any Australian pitch.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 23:12 GMT)

@Joseph, unfortunately Australia doesn't even have too many specialist bowlers capable of reeling off 5-50 too often! Much less an allrounder. For now I still think Australia is best suited to having a batting allrounder rather than a 5 man bowling attack with a couple of guys who are handy with the bat. I think our bowling is shaping as our strength, if Australia can't assemble a good attack from Pattinson, Siddle, Starc, Bird and company over the next two years then something has gone horribly wrong. On the other hand, I don't think now is the time to be shortening the batting line-up. While I think its getting better with every test, losing Hussey is the sort of loss that will only be seen in full once he is gone.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 3, 2013, 22:42 GMT)

Ragav999 - THere hasnt been an off spinner in recent history to have impressive stats bowling in Australian conditions. Lyon is still young in bowling terms and had a much better start to his career than the majority of the off-spinners in world cricket. I think if persisted with will have a very good career.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 22:24 GMT)

@ Jono Makim ..... you are absolutely correct, and that was almost 18-months ago taking 5/30 from the two innings at Galle. Take out Cape Town and he has taken 9 wickets in 16 Innings. He only took 3 wickets in the 2010/11 Ashes Tour and 2 wickets the 2 test tour of India before that. He has not been a GO TO bowler for some time. Yes ..... he is an exceptionally tight bowler, it's just that I prefer a bowler with figures of 10-0-50-5 not 10-5-20-0.

Posted by disco_bob on (January 3, 2013, 22:18 GMT)

I did manage to catch Hussey's drop and tbh if this wasn't his farewell match, he'd have copped a fair bit of flack because by his standards that was a dolly. Point I'm making is that for all the happiness engendered because Jaya got a big 50, he was lucky to be dropped on 4, so do keep that in mind all those who think this presages anything special, the SL batting effort that only looks good in comparison to the MCG debacle.

Posted by disco_bob on (January 3, 2013, 22:10 GMT)

I could only catch the beginning of this match, so can someone please confirm if Mitchell Johnson was as ordinary as his figures suggest? Going at nearly 5 an over while taking no wickets is not a good look but maybe he still caused wickets to fall at the other end. Talk about a confidence bowler, he's either breaking bones or breaking hearts.

Posted by hhillbumper on (January 3, 2013, 22:05 GMT)

not sure with the Lankies quite what they are doing at this point.They have even managed to make Siddle look decent so it must be going well.As for Lyon is he aware that you can actually spin the ball if you try hard?

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 21:52 GMT)


Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 21:22 GMT)

@Ragav999, Don't worry about Lyon! Besides, counting no.7's as tailenders isn't really fair. He knocked over Rudolph 4-5 times in the SA series didn't he? That is not too bad! No finger spinner in my lifetime of watching cricket in Australia has ever spun through a web of wickets over a summer. It just doesn't happen. His job is to contain, break the odd partnership and help build pressure at the other end. He was mighty good in Sri Lanka and the West Indies.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 21:17 GMT)

@Joseph Langford, Watto also bowled very well on Australia's last tour of Sri Lanka. Made critical breakthoughs throughout and was always threatening. Besides that he is always economical and helps take wickets at the other end, he keeps the pressure on where as guys like Quiney, Hussey, Warner are always going to bowl something loose and release the pressure.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 21:11 GMT)

@Ranil Herath, I think Clarke sent Sri Lanka in because he probably thought he'd pick up a couple of wickets with the new ball and then the rest would fold pretty easily. This is not so much to do with the pitch as the fact that SL are missing Kumar, Jayawardene has been in poor form (was dropped in single figures again here) and besides that they folded twice in Melbourne without so much as a murmur. It has nothing to do with it being a so called greentop, though I do think Clarke expected a little more than what he got. Though as others have noted Starc was very flat with the new ball, only Bird and Siddle threated at all early on. If you want to watch cricket being played on a difficult wicket, tune into SA v NZ where even James Franklin is making the ball spit like a possessed Cobra.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 21:02 GMT)

@ PFEL, having 5 bowlers is a big advantage. By the end of one day bowlers can be pretty stuffed. You can bowl them in short spells, keep them fresh, you get the natural variation and if one bowler is having an off day you still have another four. The worst performing bowler yesterday was Johnson .... but after he recent performances he was never going to be dropped. So Clarke still had Starc, Siddle and Bird. That was a great advantage!!! BTW ..... Watson is not a strike bowler. With the exception of the Cape Town Mine Field in Nov 2011 it has been almost 18mths since he has taken more than 2 wickets in an innings and he hasn't had a great series since Pakistan in 2010.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (January 3, 2013, 19:24 GMT)

You would still have to be optimistic to think SRL will win this test, but with 294 they are in the game. If 1 of their seamers can find the right line & length then we could be in for a decent contest. I still think it was a poor decision to play Johnson at 7 Aus could yet regret not playing another specialist batsman.

Posted by kc69 on (January 3, 2013, 19:19 GMT)

I see a series loos for visitors already

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 18:54 GMT)

lanka battled well; good mahela to come at 3; kings can be made.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 17:30 GMT)

Swann b Bird! Swann bowled Bird!

Revenge? Lol!

Contemplating next Ashes ...

Posted by RohanMarkJay on (January 3, 2013, 17:15 GMT)

Yes India is having a very bad run in the last 2 years, but we shouldn't forget India is the only side from the subcontinent to go over to Australia and win twice. Also India and Sri Lanka are very similar teams. The India-Australia encounters both in India and Australia have seen some of the best test cricket played in the last 12 years. Hats off to India for their performances in Australia.

Posted by Herath-UK on (January 3, 2013, 17:08 GMT)

@Biggus,mate would the Aussies choose four quickies and send the Lankans to bat,very unusual step if Clarke did not think it as a green top?did not choose a second spinner too. Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by first_slip on (January 3, 2013, 17:05 GMT)

Mahela and Mathews both were given out even though both deliveries No Balls, Umpiring Was truly terrible, not two words

Posted by Ragav999 on (January 3, 2013, 17:04 GMT)

@Meety: Do you think Lyon should be given more chances as he has not impressed this summer? I browsed his stats and found that out of his 60 wickets, 37 are of batsmen batting at position No.7 or lower. In spite of this, he averages above 30. Wouldn't Australia be better off playing an additional seamer like they did against England in Ashes and SA in SA under Ponting?;template=results;type=bowling;view=dismissal_summary

Posted by RohanMarkJay on (January 3, 2013, 16:58 GMT)

@Front-Foot_lunge nice quote from Mahatma Ghandhi, yes I agree it could be extended sometimes to supporters from all countries. But just occasionally very knowledgeable cricket comments do come through. Also regarding this match, after the debacle of the MCG only way is up for Sri Lanka. A better performance here from the Sri Lankans. They are batting better here, now if they can force a slight lead over Australia. Who knows, Herath might be able to have an impact and start to weave his magic. If he is gonna be a match winner in Australia it has to be at the SCG. We can only hope.

Posted by OzWally on (January 3, 2013, 16:44 GMT)

Just finished watching the day's play (in USA) and then perused the comments. My feelings are: - SL fans have no concept of what the no-ball rule states - Pitch was no where near as lively as Clarke thought - Bowlers appeared flat (a dead rubber will do that) and appeared to be thinking ahead to India and auditioning for a spot - SL at least 100 runs short & it looks like a long couple of days in the field for them

Posted by Sugath on (January 3, 2013, 15:56 GMT)

Test cricket is not about batting sensibly and well for a certain period and then throwing it away. That is exactly what Lankans did. With solid difence openers put 26 on board and the rush of blood Dimuth gave it away. Then mahela threw it away, followed by Lahiru, Prasad and Herath. All were guilty of rash strokes. It showed lack of proper study, no SWOT done for the match, strategies not designed on how to penetrate in to Aussies mindset, not using the own strengths, that patience and attack when it is due. No has a SPIN has been done on the different approaches to the game. A more sensible approach would have put Lanka at around 330 for 4 or thereabout and would have reached around 450. In test cricket it is about grinding down the opponents but Lanka had no idea about that. Also bowling unable to understand 4 seamers when our strength is spin and spinners hunt is pairs, Ajmal and Hafeez, Swan and Monty, Borde and Durrani, Valentine and Ramadin and many more. Suraj should be in.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 15:54 GMT)

I can't believe how loosely the term "Greentop" gets bandied about upon these pages. The truth is, Greentops really only appear in two places these days, namely in Capetown and secondly in the minds of Sri Lankan and Indian fans. Had it really been a greentop then there probably would have been an ambulance driving around the ground every time Mitch Johnson comes onto bowl, like they do at the horse races. Honestly, should the ball never get off the straight or bounce over the knee roll?..... @Elle, spot on, not too much need for discussion!

Posted by priceless1 on (January 3, 2013, 15:52 GMT)

They should have scored 300+ but as usual again their Tail enders ( Bowlers) didn't make any significant contribution for the team to help the cause , this i think the SL mangemt should look at seriously

Posted by Jaffa79 on (January 3, 2013, 15:47 GMT)

I rate this Bird. He looks a decent prospect and will do well in England. I think his emergence should see Hilfenhaus's Ashes chances diminish. Now, I know Aussies on here will harp on about his form in 2009 but he has been way too inconsistent and struggles with his action and his pace too often.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 15:45 GMT)

thirimanna is a better batsman than those so called test specialists!!

Posted by landl47 on (January 3, 2013, 15:18 GMT)

It's always rash to comment on the wicket before both teams have batted on it, but this one looks a really flat track to me. When Mahela and Thirimanne were batting there didn't seem to be any problems. The Aus bowlers, as always, worked hard and got everything they could out of it, but I didn't see any balls do odd things and neither was there any turn. We'll see how Aus goes tomorrow, but unless they self-destruct they should get a decent first-innings lead.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 15:07 GMT)

Well played Thirimanne. showed our senior batsman on how to bat positively without being reckless. If Mahela and Thiri continued it would have been a different story. unfortunately alll made starts but got out. now its difficult to stay in the game

Posted by Biggus on (January 3, 2013, 14:40 GMT)

@Herath-UK-This wicket is far to dry to be called a green top really. Everybody throws these terms around willy nilly but you'll hardly ever see a real green top in Aus, except sometimes at Bellerive or the Gabba. If anything this will take spin quite nicely, especially as the game goes on.

Posted by MrMojoRisin on (January 3, 2013, 14:13 GMT)

@lukeCannon, fully agree with your comments on Thirimane. However, I would'nt say a century was there for the taking, for Jayawardene! If anything, he was lucky to get to his first overseas fifty in yanks!

Posted by Mayan. on (January 3, 2013, 14:02 GMT)

lovely batting from thirimanna,

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 3, 2013, 13:45 GMT)

If Thirimanna was accompanied by an experienced batsman when he was in 90's, he could have not gone for such risky shots. It's a huge waste to throw away his wicket like that. He played like a very experienced batsman. Jayawardhena not only scored 60, he indirectly made Thirimanna going for a good score such as 90. This means, if Sri Lankans bat carefully, they can put up a good total. Just the frustration makes them reeling. Chandimal should have come at 1 down, in his usual position. If he did, it could have been his day, too. It's a silly decision to send a too attacking batsman like Mathews before Chandi. Chandi can bat really well in fast pitches. He went losing support from the other end. Anyway, I'm delighted to see Sri Lankans perform really well.

Posted by Prem2248 on (January 3, 2013, 13:38 GMT)

(one of the few that has never allowed his Test batting average to go below 40 at any stage of his career despite the ill treatment he received in the hands of J&Ps ) find it difficult to overcome the havoc created by reckless hitting front-liners. If No. 3 position had been given to S'weera like batter, we would have been well placed in the Test & ODI rankings by now. The J&PS are totally responsible for these batting debacles of SL of last 25 years due to their failure to employ batters that have total authority over their stroke play. SL very badly needs knowledgeable selectors and administrators, the kind, they have in England.

Posted by Prem2248 on (January 3, 2013, 13:37 GMT)

SL badly needs Amla, Cooke, Trott,… style clean stoke-makers that can offer full face of the bat and have all the time in the world to stroke the ball the way they want. This type batters only can demoralize and take the sting out of any threatening bowling attack, on any surface. Unfortunately, much to the disgust of SLan fans the J&Ps of SL are yet to understand this very fact but they never will, (learn in this present life). So the J&Ps will continue in employing risky stroke-makers as front-liners. The number of chances given, number of edgy strokes made by their babes are quite immaterial for these J&Ps. Though fleet-footed risky stroke maker can make some runs, 1 out of 10 times, but in doing so, the tendency for him to boost confidence of opposition bowlers is very high. Therefore sometimes even batter of S'weera's class(2 B CNTD)

Posted by PFEL on (January 3, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

@josephlangford, read more closely, having 5 bowlers is not a big advantage to having 4 bowlers IN ONE DAY. When the test match drags on and bowlers get tired, or the opposition bats for longer periods, it can be useful. Look at the match so far, Aus's 4th and 5th bowlers didn't really add anything . . . BTW, most teams, inc Aus go into tests with 5 bowlers these days. Aus had Watson for the alst few tests as a 5th, and the only rason Aus hasn't had 5 for most of the season has been unfortunate injuries suffered in the middle of tests

Posted by InsideHedge on (January 3, 2013, 13:23 GMT)

Wow, amazed at the number of SL fans who think 294 was a good effort batting on the 1st Day. Clarke inserted SL not because of any green tinge but because he's confident that Aus will only need to bat ONCE. MJ promoting himself to #3 made no difference, his problems outside off stump will never be solved, he was lucky to get past a single digit score.

From 222-4 to 294 all out should leave fans with disappointment but we see commenters predicting Aus failing to defend 200 batting last. I wonder what they've been watching the last couple of weeks. Here's my prediction: Warner will score at least half of SL's runs by himself and at a cracking rate. This game will never enter the 5th day. Come back and tell me if I'm wrong. Until then, watch and learn.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 12:58 GMT)

Mahela was given out off a no ball. You are very lucky Clarke..had jayawardene stayed clarke's ploy of fielding first would have backfired on AUS. Itl still backfire on AUS cause AUS will be batting last and SL have Rangana Herath.

Posted by Herath-UK on (January 3, 2013, 12:53 GMT)

It is a fighting total and if SL bowl well ,could make it to a winning position.Aussies should be more concerned getting five bowlers on a green top without the impact they expected and one less batsman,Sri Lanka can really make a game of it with a plan.MJ coming at one down rather than two down really helped him with less burden.My concern is Mathew's lack of resolve,the chap expected to be named as the next captain,will the selectors give him more time to mature. Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 12:41 GMT)

Thirimanne played great. Totally deserved 100.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 12:30 GMT)

@Moppa: Yeah I mean test matches only not the series, btw IND is the only Asian team to won two series in home against Aussies in the last decade, PAK has not won any series against AUS since 1994 and SL just won a solitary test (and the series) in 1999..

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 12:29 GMT)

Dear gsinghpoo I love your support for the sl team we love our big brother in mother India god bless hope Pakistan can do it right lol

Posted by AllahKeBande on (January 3, 2013, 12:17 GMT)

@Stat1977: Dude we got 6 Olympic medals from the population of 1200 million, and bowling was never our strength, it the batting which is our strength, and it will take some time to find replacement of Laxman,Dravid, Sourav and Sachin and its the SL fans who claimed they are better players of seam bowling and look they are going to be whitewashed again, and btw even this struggling team is too good for your team, in case if you are not tired of watching us hammered SL again and again and again..

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

@ PFEL. Why have 5-bowlers if you don't think it is an advantage when you are bowling??? When Clarke won the toss I think that he would have thought all of his Christmases had come at once ..... yep SL can bat first, we will bowl them out for less than 200 on a pitch that has a bit early, be in before tea ..... then we will have a feather bed for the next two days. WOW ...... just like India 2012!!! No wonder Khawaja was left out of the team. Would probably have been the case if Thirimanne was out LBW on his first ball.

I do hope the SL seamers work as hard tomorrow as some oftheir batsmen worked today and they take all their catches ..... the Australian batting line up is not as strong as some people make out.

Clarke has been a very lucky captain ..... not a very good captain. Lucky in SA 2011, out-captained against NZ 2011, very lucky in WI and pathetic against SA. This test is the first test where I have seen him captain on the field.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 11:52 GMT)

worrying for Oz that Johnson has reverted back to type! IE spraying it everywhere!!

Posted by disco_bob on (January 3, 2013, 11:41 GMT)

Wasn't able to watch most of the match but looking at the figures Mitch not getting any wickets and going for nearly 5 an over does not bode well for his comeback, he is going to have to be consistently dangerous if he expects to stay in contention. On the other hand, Bird looks to be right at home.

Posted by gsingh7 on (January 3, 2013, 11:40 GMT)

sl got what they deserve, a whitewash for sending weakest attack to australia shores , hope that clarke score big and declare early on day 3 so bird and starc can complete the job by end of day 3

Posted by MrKricket on (January 3, 2013, 11:36 GMT)

I'd like to see Aus bat through the second day and into the third as I"m attending day 3! May take some doing but at least SL has completed the first day unlike Melbourne. Aus openers must have had a hand in SL lasting until stumps so they didn't have to face a couple of nasty overs!

Posted by lukecannon on (January 3, 2013, 11:07 GMT)

Well played Mahela.. I said once SL won't win unless Jayawardene fires.. Well he's firing now. Shame he couldn't get a ton it was there for the taking. And hats off What a brilliant youngster Thirimanne. Hopefully he and jayawardene can do the bulk of the scoring in the 2nd innings and push for a win. Need some quick wickets the 1st thing tomorow and shouldn't let them get past 400. Goodluck SL . Happy for Mahela.

Posted by masterclass81 on (January 3, 2013, 11:01 GMT)

I swear some people have no idea about cricket. Sure, the articles on the website are just the views of someone else but I certainly question the viability of some of the comments made. Such as the choice by clarke to send SL in today. Geez, if people haven't worked out that he is an innovative captain by now they never will. The problem is people (public) expect miracles all the time just because that has been the trend since he took over the captaincy. Today was a good day for OZ, and for ppl to say the OZ 'expected' to bowl SL out cheaply is naive. SL have a lot of potential, even without Kumar, and it's great some of that potential was on show today.

Posted by PFEL on (January 3, 2013, 10:57 GMT)

@ JosephLangford, Aus have just as many, if not more, frontline injuries than Sri Lanka. And having 5 bowlers is hardly a real advantage to having 4 bowlers in 1 day of cricket. In 2 days time when Aus declare on 700+, we'll see how good the days play was for Aus

Posted by Jayzuz on (January 3, 2013, 10:54 GMT)

A disappointing ending for SL, but they are still in the game. It's a pretty dry pitch, so I imagine it will spin a lot by day 5. Australia won't want to be chasing more than 200, and there's a pretty good chance they will be. One other thing: we saw a new problem with the rotation policy - four in form fastbowlers, and not knowing what to do with them all. Starc was promised this game, and they didn't want to drop the other guys. It would have made more sense to play Khawaja, or even Maxwell. Khawaja will definitely be going to India and England (as long as he doesn't flop badly in India), and Maxwell is a possibility. We already know what Johnson and Siddle can do, so one of them should have been rested. Being one batsman short may come back to haunt Australia in this game. I wouldn't want to be relying on Johnson to score the winning runs, that's for sure!

Posted by elle119 on (January 3, 2013, 10:52 GMT)

Unfortunately this first day's play reaffirms a few concerns which were temporarily dispelled by the aberration of the MCG 3 day test. 1) Johnson unfortunately probably hasn't rectified his problems with inconsistency and unless he performs for at least 5-6 tests in a row, will not convince me otherwise and probably should only be picked if conditions suit. 2) Starc and Johnson probably should never play in the same team together, given that both have the potential to be expensive. The difference is that Starc has a good yorker and can extract some swing whilst Johnson only has the short ball (and Starc is younger) which when mis-directed equals 4 runs or leg byes. 3) Someone really should actually "coach" Lyon about his bowling. Spearing them in at 88-90kph whilst getting zero drift, turn or bounce makes him very ineffective. A lot of his wickets are miscued aggressive strokes from batsmen looking to dispatch him out of the attack. Thoughts?

Posted by crzcric on (January 3, 2013, 10:50 GMT)

This is so called MDS test record aginst all teams in alll venues.Lot of indian call other players flat track bully. What should i call him?????????? AVG in Australia 2007-2012 7 243 57* 18.69 0 - - - - 18 3 in Bangladesh 2007-2010 3 193 89 96.50 0 - - - - 12 3 in England 2007-2011 7 429 92 39.00 0 0 - - 0 19 0 in India 2005-2012 36 2008 144 43.65 4 0 - - 0 89 19 in New Zealand 2009-2009 2 155 56* 77.50 0 - - - - 11 in Pakistan 2006-2006 3 179 148 59.66 1 0 - - 0 7 1 in South Africa 2006-2011 5 283 90 31.44 0 - - - - 16 in Sri Lanka 2010-2010 3 128 76 32.00 0 - - - - 6 0 in West Indies 2006-2011 7 265 74 22.08 0 - - - - 25 4

Posted by Test-is-the-best on (January 3, 2013, 10:47 GMT)

The scorecard at the end of day 1 is not favorable for Sri Lanka as lower middle order could not capitalize on the fine effort by Dilshan, Mahela & Thirimanne at the early stage of the Sri Lankan inning. I would say this is the best effort by the top order after the test series against Pakistan earlier last year. It will be a tough challenge for the inexperienced Sri Lankan fast bowling attack to penetrate the top & middle order of the Australian team on day 2 and day 3.

Posted by PFEL on (January 3, 2013, 10:45 GMT)

@ lyl67, yes, you have interpreted the rule COMPLETELY wrong. That is not a no-ball. I've just noticed that are lot of these comments don't actualy know the rules. Starc's delivery was legal by the laws of cricket, it's where he lands that matters, not where his foot slides to.

Posted by PFEL on (January 3, 2013, 10:41 GMT)

@ FFL, "another terrible piece of captaincy from him" . . . he is without a doubt the best captain in the last 2 decades of international cricket, by a huge margin, and has shown that time and again

Posted by Stat1977 on (January 3, 2013, 10:04 GMT)

@Spiritwithin..You are so called world champs right? so you can't compare India & Sri Lanka..Anyone expect world champ team to be much better than this .We don't mind loosing any final.We accept defeat humbly.But you just tell me any major tournament you could pass preliminary first round after WC 2011? 1200 million nation expect to be compared with 20 million nation? Find at least one good fast bowler from 1200 million? India is the most over rated team in the world! Now getting hammered by everyone else!

Posted by Chris_P on (January 3, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

No a positive note, the Lankans showed some good old fashoined grit out there, a huge improvement on their previous effort. It wasn't the greentop it promised but our quicks did a tradesmanlike job with the ball. In Thirimanne, the Lankans have someone who can fill their batting for the future. He was very, very fortunate first ball he recieved, but after that his confidence grew. Starc's yorkers are fantastic to watch! Really impressed with Bird, Siddle was bustling as usual. MJ, well his spell right after lunch was sensational, but the rest left you wondering what the point was? Lyon got some turn which will get more as the match goes on so the Aussies need a big lead.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (January 3, 2013, 9:58 GMT)

@158notout on (January 03 2013, 08:29 AM GMT) you really have impressed me with your plead for fairness that i have to post again, in 50 plus years on this earth it has not happened before, because it does not matter what the sport, football, cricket, rugby England are good enough to get to number 1 but they really struggle to stay there, so revenge trolling is inevitable it is sad isn't it mate.

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (January 3, 2013, 9:53 GMT)

Mahatma Ghandi said " A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people". I wonder, with some of the comments made by my fellow England supporters, exactly what culture they're representing? Maybe they should think a bit more before hitting the 'send' button. For all our sakes. Sri Lanka, as expected, came out fighting, Australia,with their burgeoning and scarily impressive attack lacked consistency but won through in the end. That's cricket.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 3, 2013, 9:51 GMT)

@dimpu303. Mate what game were you watching? Starc's intial heel contact landed behind the line, then slid over it, which is legal. Learn the rules & show some thought in your posts. @VGiddy. Same for you, his intial landing was fractionally behind the line(I now it was too close) but it was clearly behind. @James Pettifer. Spot on! I cant believe this whinging, not typical of the usual thoughtful posts by the Lankans.

Posted by stormy16 on (January 3, 2013, 9:37 GMT)

A collective sigh of relief for SL putting up a score. Its still not even a score to fight for a draw with but its a whole lot better than the MCG. The big plus is a young batter showing some promise for SL but they are still looking down the barrel. I reckon Clark will be happy but only marginally as I am sure he expected a lower score from SL in winning the toss and inviting them to bat. The real problems start on how to get a few Aussie wickets tomorrow morning while Aus will be looking to bat only once in the game. There should be no excuses for Aus - the SL bowling unit is as thin as one would want in a test team and look out for Warner, think he is due something special this summer and this could be the game.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

Jackson Bird, pretty good, still room for improvement. Peter Siddle, looking fantastic, should be taking the new ball. Mitchell Starc, should not be anywhere near the new ball, high quality with the old ball. Mitchell Johnson, nothing doing when there's no assistance.

Posted by Beertjie on (January 3, 2013, 9:19 GMT)

by 158notout on (January 03 2013, 08:29 AM GMT) F-F-L - as England fans we should be able to rise above the tripe spouted by such posters as jonesy2, RandyOz and that electric loco chap. Don't let the side down with your continued snipes that are not really accurate nor relevant.

@158 not out, You usually make perceptive comments, but perhaps your relief that Hussey has retired has caused some hubris. If the NSP adopted a horses for courses approach this "wafer thin batting line-up or their empty spin cupboard" in England might read (fitness providing, which applies to both teams): Rogers, Warner, Hughes/Khawaja, Clarke, Watson, D Hussey, Paine/Wade with Holland alongside Lyon. Australia's "decent pace attack is not enough to beat England in England"? Cf Anderson, Finn, Broad, Onions, Meaker with Harris, Starc, Pattinson, Siddle, Bird. NB. I left Cummins out so that he builds up fitness to replace the inevitable breakdowns and play on the A tour. Johnson and Holland likewise.

Posted by Moppa on (January 3, 2013, 9:16 GMT)

Sadly, this match is so interesting the comments here seem to be mostly Sri Lankan and Indian fans comparing which of their teams travel worse, and a bit of pre-Ashes banter (some less informed than others). My only comment on this game is that SL are well below par, the outfield is lightning and so their score is really equivalent to, say, 250. I'm confident Australia will compile a healthy first innings lead, even with only five specialist batsmen. In terms of the SL/India comparisons, @Vivek Sharma, I assume you mean India beat Aust in Aust twice in a Test *match*, not a series? There was the 1-1 draw in 2003-04 and 1-2 Indian loss in 2007-08. But India have never won a Test series here. @158notout, although your comment ended up being something of a back-handed compliment, I generally agree with both the sentiment (I wish commenters would rise above the more purile stuff, from all nationalities, and not get into tit-for-tat trolling), and, sadly, the likely Ashes result.

Posted by pat_one_back on (January 3, 2013, 9:11 GMT)

If you don't send a team in on a green tinged deck when you've picked 4 seam bowlers, when exactly do you @FFL???? Aust had momentum and Clarke took a clever gamble they could be skittled, news from SA on everyone's minds.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 8:56 GMT)

That Bird is starting to be a problem to so batsmen

Posted by bayth on (January 3, 2013, 8:51 GMT)

SL may be reasonably pleased with their score. I don't think it's necessarily been Australia's day. Putting SL in, playing five bowlers on a green top, they would have expected to bowl out SL earlier. Even so, I still expect Aus to win!

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (January 3, 2013, 8:47 GMT)

@ 158notout on (January 03 2013, 08:29 AM GMT) you are right there mate, but i think randyoz and front foot are one in the same, we knowledgeable Aussie cricket supporters do not bag England for having the worst 12 months in a few years, only beating the Windies and the worst performing team for the last 12 months in India, while getting demolished by the Saffers and Pakistan and a very early T20 wc exit.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 8:44 GMT)

Sri Lanka scored 294. Now please tell me why anyone should be happy??

1) The Aust Team was stacked with bowlers while SL are fielding a 2nd's team with 5 of their 11 injured.

2) With 5 of their 11 out, SL scored their second highest innings total of the series and more than the combined runs of both innings in Melbourne, and this was against an Aust Team with 5 bowlers

3) With 5 of their11 out injured, SL scored more runs in this innings than any of their four innings that were played against NZ in SL in November 2012, but this time they played against an Australian Team with 5 bowlers.


Hats off to Jayawardhane. A courageous knock by a great Captain. Well done Thirimanne. It would have been great if you scored a 100. Well done SL Team for coming back after Melbourne and not folding like India last year.

Unfortunately it looks like a long 2-days in the field. But prove me wrong, hold the catches and make Australia earn every run. GOOD LUCK

Posted by spiritwithin on (January 3, 2013, 8:39 GMT)

@Stat1977 >>4-0 In Endland? 4-0 in Aus, 2-1 in India, Now Ongoing ODI 1-0, Gutted? walloped in Tri Series Aus, Aisa Cup and T20 World Cup>>u seems to forget that in asia cup,CB series or in T20WC SL did'nt won any of the events and apart from T20WC SL struggled in other two,talking about india's test series loss but u forgot to mention that SL has won just one test series in almost 3yrs and even struggling to win against NZ and WI at home..talking about india's ongoing 0-1 against Pak in odi's but u forgot that same indian team wallopped SL 4-1 that too at ur home...the reason y indian fans r supporting Aus to thrash SL is simple,most SL fans were mocking indian team when they lost in aus and eng and cxalling them flat track bully forgetting the fact that SL has the worst test record away from subcontinent

Posted by 158notout on (January 3, 2013, 8:29 GMT)

F-F-L - as England fans we should be able to rise above the tripe spouted by such posters as jonesy2, RandyOz and that electric loco chap. Don't let the side down with your continued snipes that are not really accurate nor relevant.

If you want to make a comment about the Aussies it is better to mention their wafer thin batting line-up or their empty spin cupboard rather than try to criticise a guy that has turned the Aussies around from losing a Test against NZ to whitewashing India at home and climbing back up the rankings through captaincy and the fact that he scores more runs even than Alistair Cook. Australia have a decent pace attack now and a good captain. It is not enough to beat England in England but it may be enough to scare us a little in the return series next winter.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 8:26 GMT)

All those Sri Lankan fans who were making merry of IND dismal performance down under and boasts of being better players in seamer friendly conditions, might have got the taste of their own medicine, anyway with another whitewash beckons down under for SL, make sure to return home without any more casualty. P.S-Btw IND is the only team from ASIA to beat AUS in AUS (twice) in the last decade.

Posted by CRICSL on (January 3, 2013, 8:21 GMT)

@ Rajasekaran Paramasivam, Narbavi & Bruisers- The humiliation the Indian team received at the hands of AUS & ENG you guys seems to have forgotten, Considerably during the same period SL have done much better than IND home and Away. But how can you forget the humiliation received at home at the hand of ENG last month? And IND in the verge of getting humiliated at the hand of their Arch-rival PAKISTAN in the ongoing ODI series. Hence I suggest, you should comment negatively on your own team rather trying to release the same being a sore loser on SL. Appreciate what is due for appreciation and it's a game of cricket and the better team will win at the end. Accepting the win or loss and support your team all the way is way to go my friend.

Posted by yohandf1984 on (January 3, 2013, 8:14 GMT)

Again a sub-standard performance . better than MCG but it is our low point not benchmark . pitch was good & we could have scored 400 had we played sensibly . This inning has shown the requirement of persisting with twin youngsters Thirimanne & Chandimal . Once Sanga and Parsanna are back batting line has to be Dilshan , Thirimanne , Sanga , Mahela ,Chandimal , Angelo & Prasanna . Samaraweera is to be dropped or should be given a match to retire.He is severely out of form . Hope Herath and Co would bowl well .

Posted by Stat1977 on (January 3, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

@ Rajasekaran..4-0 In Endland? 4-0 in Aus, 2-1 in India, Now Ongoing ODI 1-0, Gutted? walloped in Tri Series Aus, Aisa Cup and T20 World Cup..ooops..Toomuch for Indian fans ha..So you cheer Aus to beat SL!

Posted by gagagaga on (January 3, 2013, 8:09 GMT)

@ Front-Foot-Lunge. A green top and you have 4 quicks, of course you bat first how dumb is Clarke. Thanks for showing you knowledge of the game Front-Foot-Lunge. So when does the school holidays finish. Back to finger painting for you.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

Thirimanne just needed a bit more composure to get the century. He looks a classy batsman in the making. He should of been in the original test squad instead of Samaraweera who has been woeful against Australia.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 7:44 GMT)

Good first day of Test Cricket in a Bouncing Track, Tomorrow will be the decider of a Result.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 7:42 GMT)

Though Wade is yet to fire he is definitely in form and with Johnson's recent batting performance, and the confidence he has instilled in the selectors by being chosen at no. 7 I can't help but feel that Australia's "shortened" batting line up is being overstated. Not to mention with the way the pitch is flowing, the changes to the Sri Lankan attack and the way Clarke is batting, we could very well see a repeat of his innings against India this time last year.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (January 3, 2013, 7:40 GMT)

@Meety he is looking the goods and he looks fit enough to bowl for a few tests in a row, now that is what we are looking for @ Jimmyrob83 on (January 03 2013, 07:17 AM GMT) agreed the guy needs a new girlfriend.

Posted by Jimmyrob83 on (January 3, 2013, 7:17 GMT)

front-Foot-Lunge is the most pathetic troll I've ever seen.

Posted by ajithabey on (January 3, 2013, 7:14 GMT)

disappointing batting again by SL despite good batting by Mahela & Tirimanne. 8 batsmen were out for catches which indicates how they have played against the moving ball. Thankfully,SL have managed to last a day and hopefully they will come back fresh to give the Aussies a torrid time tomorrow.

Posted by Narbavi on (January 3, 2013, 7:13 GMT)

Jayawardena's first 50 plus score outside the subcontinent since 2008, that tells you the story, barring Sanga to an extent none of the lankan batsmen are even decent enough in overseas conditions!!

Posted by Bruisers on (January 3, 2013, 7:13 GMT)

First away 50 for J'wardene in 3 years! Good job flat track bully.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 6:48 GMT)

Again Srilanka just 300 runs. Come on Australia make it 3-0. Go go go Australia.

From Indian fan

Posted by lukecannon on (January 3, 2013, 6:44 GMT)

@Buddhika- You can watch it on FoxSports.

Posted by rajcan on (January 3, 2013, 6:42 GMT)

Thirimenne and chandimal was not given a chance in a meaningful test. Chandimal has already proved he can play pace and bounce. Today thirimanne proved the same. They were only given a chance in dead rubber. If these youngsters would have give opportunity in the first or second test, they would have performed even better. When Srilanka selectors will select performers without giving importance to seniors who are not performing. Of course you cannot drop captain, Mahela's overseas performance are continuously being so poor. Today also he would have got out embarrassingly, thanks to Hussy for dropping the catch. May be when he leaves the captain role.... Srilankan selectors dropped chaminda vas and maravan while they were still contributing to the team.

Posted by valleypf on (January 3, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

Front-Foot-Lunge Give us all the benefit of your wisdom and knowledge again now that SL are all out inside the first day? Don't be shy! Tell us again what a woeful captain Clarke is? As Mark Twain said it's better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

Posted by A_HTIMAN on (January 3, 2013, 6:16 GMT)

Regarding Mahela's dismissal. It was out because teh bowler landed his foot behind the crease. That is what is important. Not where the foot is at the point of delivery. Or else Sohail Tanvir would have no way of getting no-ball becasue his foot is in air when the ball is delivered

Posted by Sugath on (January 3, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

Heavens, absolute insipid shot selection by Sri Lankans and they are sliding not because of any good bowling. Thirimanne should have known better than that silly shot being just 9 away from century. And then Prasad tries someting that is not in the text. Spineless batting barring Mahela and Tirimanne and gifting Aussies the match on a platter. Shows that the coaaching should not be limited to just batting, bowling and fielding practices, but also class room work like building team SWOT, Match SWOT, strategic and strategic tactical ploys, working on your SPIN on if what scenarios. I do not see any of that being done with Lankan boys. Poor show

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 5:46 GMT)

@ ESPN STAR TEAM Why you Stop Live Broad cast of Match. Without prior notice. It should broadcast on ESPN.

Posted by Moppa on (January 3, 2013, 5:38 GMT)

@dimpu303, Australia had to work hard to doctor DRS to remove India's star batsmen last summer... they batted so poorly it was hard to work out which ones were the supposed stars... oh, and there was no DRS. Anyway, clearly Australians are a bunch of cheats and India would have won if not for the umpires. And God will teach them. Or something.

Posted by Htc-Android on (January 3, 2013, 5:13 GMT)

Randiv shoud have been included for this test match. I saw lyon getting turn and bounce of the pitch. Randiv with his height would be a definite threat for the Aussies. Specially when Aussies are playing with a batsmen short.

Posted by Sugath on (January 3, 2013, 4:27 GMT)

So difficult to understand the mentality of Lankans. Once again they were planted inside popping crease where there is uneven bounce. Mahela is not out but given out through doctoring of the DRS in Aussie favour. Dilshan and Tilan guilty of being planted inside and groping instead of playing the ball. Also we saw how Lyon was turning the ball and yet Lanka whose strength is spin goes with 4 medium pacers. Spinners hunt in pairs and had Suraj being selected would have done well with his action and height. Overall another disastrous selection and flawed strategy done without doing a match SWOT

Posted by disco_bob on (January 3, 2013, 4:17 GMT)

@lyl67, yes you have interpreted incorrectly, a part of the foot must be behind the line WHEN IT LANDS, not as the ball is delivered, which is a short while later by which time the foot can easily be 6 inches or more over.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 4:16 GMT)

Clark was expecting to get sl out within 2hours, it was a bad misunderstanding the skill of sl batsman . if we can make 400++ we have a chance

Posted by ShehanJ on (January 3, 2013, 4:09 GMT)

Sri Lanka are 167 for 4 just before tea on day one with Dilshan, Dimuth, Mahela and Samaraweera back in the hutch...and some SL fans are already predicting a Sri Lankan victory. This is just wishful thinking. Maybe if SL gets up to 450 you could give Australia a fight. But for that to happen Thirimanne, Angelo and Chandimal have to score some big runs.

Posted by valleypf on (January 3, 2013, 4:04 GMT)

dimpu303 Mate, what on earth are you whingeing about? The third umpire is English not Australian!

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 4:01 GMT)

No ball law "For a delivery to be fair in respect of the feet, in the delivery stride (a) the bowler's back foot must land within and not touching the return crease appertaining to his stated mode of delivery."

A no ball is based on where the foot lands. Any dragging afterwards is irrelevant.

Posted by VGiddy on (January 3, 2013, 3:53 GMT)

I am surprised they gave Mahela J out when the bowler's foot was on the line at the point of entry but was off the line at the time of delivery.

It has always been checked to see if his foot has slid off the line at the point of delivery. His hand was way behind his head and at the time of delivery his foot had slid out of the line.

I am really surprised at this decision. I have seen decision to the contrary in the past.

Posted by dimpu303 on (January 3, 2013, 3:51 GMT)

Once again it is proved that how Australians doctor the DRS. Starc has clearly overstepped as shown in replays - it was a clear No_Ball, still umpires uphold the decision sending MJ to pavilion.... This is how Australians do to star batsman of opposition every summer and win!!! poor ethics... doctoring/misinterpreting use of technology to down opposition. May God teach them good.... Dhiren Patel - India

Posted by lyl67 on (January 3, 2013, 3:45 GMT)

The third umpire is a joke, jaywardene was definetly out from a no ball, unless I have interpreted the no ball rulling wrong. Strac's foot was slightly behind the line in his delivery stride, but as the ball was delivered, there was nothing behind the line.

Posted by   on (January 3, 2013, 2:52 GMT)

I can't believe Dimuth Karunaratne played that shot (the one he got out): that's a 20/20 shot. If you are fighting for a place in the team, you have to do better than that. Please develop the mental qualities of concentration and self-discipline for long time of periods.

Posted by valleypf on (January 3, 2013, 2:39 GMT)

Front-Foot-Lunge And if they get bowled out today it will be another piece of outstanding captaincy from the World's best and make for an embarrassing and hopefully last comment from yourself.

Posted by Meety on (January 3, 2013, 2:06 GMT)

I would love to know how Bird bowls with an old ball, until this innings he really hasn't had a chance. I like what he has done with the newish ball so far!

Posted by HatsforBats on (January 3, 2013, 1:58 GMT)

Once again we see the DRS needs work. Thirimanne should be out LBW and Bird should have been on a hat-trick. The LBW laws state that the ball must pitch in line; they do not state that the entirety of the ball must pitch in line. On an LBW referral if the umpire deems the ball is hitting the stumps then the umpire gets the benefit of the doubt, even if the ball is only clipping 1mm of the bails. Why should the umpire not get that benefit of doubt with the ball pitching in line?

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 3, 2013, 0:58 GMT)

Clarke's decision to send Sri Lanka in is another terrible piece of captaincy from him. If Sri Lanka bat two days here this could make for an embarrassing last test for Hussey.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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Australia v Sri Lanka at Melbourne - Jan 28, 2013
Sri Lanka won by 2 runs (D/L method)
Australia v Sri Lanka at Sydney - Jan 26, 2013
Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets (with 7 balls remaining)
Australia v Sri Lanka at Hobart - Jan 23, 2013
Australia won by 32 runs
Australia v Sri Lanka at Sydney - Jan 20, 2013
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Sri Lanka won by 4 wickets (with 180 balls remaining)
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