Australia v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sydney, 3rd day

Australia tighten grip on Test

The Report by Siddhartha Talya

January 5, 2013

Comments: 169 | Text size: A | A

Sri Lanka 294 and 225 for 7 (Karunaratne 85, Jayawardene 60) lead Australia 432 for 9 dec (Wade 102*, Hughes 87, Herath 4-95) by 87 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Matthew Wade celebrates his century, Australia v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sydney, 3rd day, January 5, 2013
Matthew Wade struck his second Test ton and his first at home © Getty Images
Related Links
Players/Officials: Matthew Wade
Series/Tournaments: Sri Lanka tour of Australia

Australia tightened their hold on the Sydney Test on the third day and stand an excellent chance of sealing a clean sweep against Sri Lanka. Matthew Wade scored his second Test century in front of a raucous crowd engulfing the venue in a sea of pink on Jane McGrath day, and stretched his team's lead to 138 before Michael Clarke declared. Half-centuries from Dimuth Karunaratne and Mahela Jayawardene gave Sri Lanka hope, not just of recovery but even putting Australia under pressure in the fourth innings, but much of it was crushed by a middle-order implosion in good conditions for batting.

The opener Karunaratne and captain Jayawardene had taken Sri Lanka to within six runs of erasing the deficit, after the early loss of Tillakaratne Dilshan, but Australia wrested the control they had achieved at the end of their innings. Karunaratne, let off on 54 but solid for the bulk, drove at a fullish, reverse-swinging, delivery from Jackson Bird in the final session to feather one to the keeper. Hot Spot didn't capture any heat signature - Karunaratne did not call for a review after being given out - but Snicko later indicated there may have been a nick. Sri Lanka still had the batting to guide them to a competitive lead but much of the damage they suffered from then on was self-inflicted.

Lahiru Thirimanne impressed with 91 in the first innings but failed while trying to hook a quick, short ball from Mitchell Johnson, top-edging it to fine leg. Thilan Samaraweera, inexplicably and totally out of character, charged out to Nathan Lyon third ball, only to miscue it to Michael Hussey, who took a well-judged catch running back from mid-off. Angelo Mathews called and ran after playing one to midwicket but met an unresponsive Jayawardene, who stayed his ground as David Warner dived, collected and returned an accurate throw to Wade to catch the batsman short. When Jayawardene nicked a wide one from Peter Siddle to first slip, Sri Lanka had lost five for 46, leaving Dinesh Chandimal and the tail too much to achieve to test the hosts.

Smart stats

  • Matthew Wade's century is the tenth by a wicketkeeper in Tests against Sri Lanka and the second by an Australian wicketkeeper after Adam Gilchrist's 144 in 2004.
  • Wade's century is his second in Tests after his 106 in West Indies in 2012. It is also the third century scored by an Australian wicketkeeper in Sydney and the fifth overall by wicketkeepers at the venue.
  • The 77-run stand between Wade and Peter Siddle is the joint third-highest stand for the seventh wicket for Australia in Tests against Sri Lanka. The highest is 129 between Ian Healy and Greg Matthews in 1992.
  • Dimuth Karunaratne's 85 is the second-highest score by a Sri Lankan batsman in Tests at the SCG. The highest is Lahiru Thirimanne's 91 which was made in the first innings of this Test.
  • The century stand between Karunaratne and Mahela Jayawardene is the 11th for Sri Lanka in Tests in Australia and the first in Sydney. It is also the third-highest second-wicket stand for Sri Lanka against Australia.

Australia were largely disciplined when they bowled but that didn't prevent Karunaratne and Jayawardene from scoring fluently, both displaying ease and confidence in their century stand. The only threat of discomfort on the pitch for the batsmen was some uneven bounce, but Karunaratne set the tone for the stand as early as the first over. Karunaratne has a tall frame, doesn't have too much flourish in his shot-making, but showed he is especially strong on the off side while being an excellent timer of the ball. He dispatched Mitchell Starc for two boundaries in the first over, chopping him past point then driving a half-volley past mid-off.

The seamers tried to bowl tight lines but occasionally provided width, allowing Karunaratne to be expansive. He scored freely through cover and point, and drove well on the up against Starc, whom he took for four boundaries. He even stepped out to Nathan Lyon, launching him for a six and four past long-on. Jayawardene looked assured, worked the ball around for singles and twos despite the field being brought in and collected boundaries with ease. He scored off Starc on either side behind the wicket, and pulled well, cracking Starc and Bird for fours through square leg. But his own anxiety and frustration grew as he saw two of his partners throw their wickets away, and it wasn't long before he, too, made his way back.

The role played by Wade, who found able partners in Siddle and Bird, in extending the lead to 138 acquired greater significance once Sri Lanka's batting began to unravel after tea. The hundred was still a distant landmark for Wade when the day began, as the priority appeared to be improving Australia's position from one of a slight advantage to greater control. Wade was busy, running hard and occasionally attempting the aggressive shot, but also timed the ball superbly, his first four being just a punch past point off Suranga Lakmal. Siddle fell when he edged Nuwan Pradeep to the keeper - ending a 77-run stand for the seventh wicket - and Rangana Herath hit back with two wickets in quick succession.

Three men in the deep on the off side were not enough to prevent Wade from slicing Pradeep over point as he stepped up his attacking game further with just one wicket in hand; as he watched the field move back in, he picked up a boundary past gully by opening the face. He smashed Pradeep over extra cover, then neatly clipped him past midwicket for two more fours. Bird, at the other end, not only survived but scored during his short stay, long enough for Wade to reach his landmark. In what was to be the last over of the innings, Wade pierced a packed off-side field in the deep to cream Lakmal for two fours, the second of which brought up his century and sparked wild celebrations with an expectant SCG joining in.

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Test-is-the-best on (January 6, 2013, 3:57 GMT)

@ JAyzuz - Umpires and commentators are assigned for doing an impartial job. Thats why they are paid. They have code of ethics to be bounded for. Do you think there are impartial fans exists on this earth. Are you such a fan???. Stop making funny comments mate. If fans are impartial the organizers cannot make money out of these tournaments

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 6, 2013, 1:52 GMT)

DocVInny - Not sure what game you are watching that was a clear catch by Clarke, Mahela watched it go into his hands. Mahela was convinced it was out as was Clarke and you come on here and say that Clarke lacks integrity. I thought most Sri Lankan cricketers and fans were gentleman, not sure your comments reflect that.

Posted by EdwardTLogan on (January 6, 2013, 1:48 GMT)

Yet again Warner fails when he is required to play a patient innings. He will be found out in India and in the Ashes. Anyone want to wager he will still be opening in Tests at the end of next summer?

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 6, 2013, 1:48 GMT)

RandyOz - Dont get too carried away yes the Aussies have been clearly dominant but I would say this is one of the sloppiest games of cricket they have played for a long time. First mistake, putting the opposition in on a batting wicket and then poor bowling in those first couple of hours. Then batting there were many reckless dismissals and run outs like we were going to win in a canter. Followed up by a very average second innings bowling and fielding performance, particular Starc poor, Siddle going through the motions and thought Bird was over-confident attacking the stumps like every ball was going to be a wicket and an average keeping display by Wade. Think we need to switch back on before taking on India.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 6, 2013, 1:44 GMT)

Front-Foot-Lunge, Tommt Tucker Saffa nice of you to put the boot into Lyon again on his figures alone. I doubt you watch the game as he does turn the ball. He could easily have had Karunaratne out early in his spell but Wade dropped the catch through poor foot work, also same with Prasad another dropped by Wade. He also had Thirimane out LBW but somehow DRS showed that a ball that looked clearly to be hitting the stumps to be going over. If playing in India like Panesar, Swann recently he would have got this dismissal too - giving him 4 wickets for the innings and taking Australia to an innings victory. Sometimes when bowlers are out of luck they cop those figures yet clearly have performed better.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 6, 2013, 1:39 GMT)

Jayantha Weerasinghe - "cricket is a gentlemans game, hope more gentleman become umpires" - very ungentleman like that comment. Lets look at the game in whole the decisions that are incorrect or have been overturned, firstly Thirimane in the first innings to a full ball that just looked out, half the ball pitched on leg stump and I still believe it should have been given out. This was overturned but you cant blame the umpire for giving it. THe Clarke LBW - I have only seen a quick replay but he was down the pitch and to the naked eye it didnt look out, Clarke got the advantage of playing forward which Thirimane didnt. Same second innings Thirimane caught on the crease to Lyon, somehow miraculous saved by DRS showing that the ball was going over, watching it i still dont believe that was going over and Thirimane was saved. You know what is ungentlemanly, the way Dilshan appeals and him standing at the crease after being clearly out. THe umpires have had no effect on the game.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 6, 2013, 1:09 GMT)

Well played Chandi and Pradeep. Lakmal should have done better than that. You did really well to bring 141. Defending against the Aussie bowling is really hard, and you showed the commitment, and eager to stay alive in the match. Great work. Keep fighting, we have a chance. Don't give up. And don't give any run easily. Now, it's time for the bowlers!

Posted by one-eyed-but-keepinitreal on (January 6, 2013, 0:45 GMT)

Sri Lanka are building a score which may test Australia's arrogNce in this match. By arrogance I take issue with the following bewildering decisions (especially with the SCG in mind): Firstly taking one less batsman into the match (four fast bowlers in Sydned..please); Secondly, winning the toss and batting second against a side with good spinners(the SCG and Adelaide are the two tests where winning the toss and batting first significantly increase your chances of winning); Thirdly, declaring without squeezing as many runs out of the last wicket partnership (the test had not hit the halfway point).

Posted by disco_bob on (January 6, 2013, 0:39 GMT)

@Moppa, don't forget FFL's alter ego TTS.

Posted by disco_bob on (January 6, 2013, 0:17 GMT)

@dunger.bob however on this occasion we are certain to have Mr Cricket himself opening the chase. Unless I have seriously misread Clarke's style.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 5, 2013, 23:55 GMT)

And to top it all Wade goes and makes one of the most hilarious mistakes ever to befell any wicket-keeper. Australia need a proper keeper and new blood in the spin department fast.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 23:42 GMT)

Those blaming Sri Lankan seniors note that Dilshan, Sanga & Mahela played some of the best innings played. Samaraweera was a total failure and Chandimal should replace him as a batsman at 5. Phil Hughes is making merry against SL bowling but how will he go against Finn & Tremlett bowling to his chest? We will see.

Posted by dunger.bob on (January 5, 2013, 22:53 GMT)

@ docvinnny on (January 05 2013, 17:52 PM GMT) : a couple of things to think about. 1] umpires are constantly under review and their performance in every game is assessed thoroughly. .. there already is a ranking system in place for them as well as on-going training. .. 2] as far as I know, snicko is not a part of the DRS suite of technologies. It was invented by Ch 9 in Au to enhance their coverage. I may be wrong about that, but I don't think so. .. re the Clarke catch. It's perfectly Ok to catch a ball with your hand touching the ground, as long as the ball itself doesn't make contact with the turf. It certainly was tight but no-one had any doubt that it was clean, including both batsmen.

Posted by Albert_cambell on (January 5, 2013, 22:43 GMT)

@Imsrk. Dhoni is an overrated player. Dont compare him with any wicket keeper batsmen. He is nothing when compared to our Gilchrist. 90% of Dhonis runs came in indias flat tracks and his glove work is below the international standard. I cant even compare dhoni to Tatenda taibu, since taibu has atleast scored runs overseas. And he is better than dhoni with the gloves too!!!!

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (January 5, 2013, 22:39 GMT)

See! If he doesn't have to bowl, he goes on and makes a ton instead. Wade is not being used properly by Clarke/Aus. at all. He needs to give up the gloves (bring back Haddin or try Paine), and play as a batsman only. Then when Hussey has retired, Wade can bowl his medium pacers in place... LOL at RandyOZ - before this series he was screaming at selectors to drop Wade, and now suddenly he's the best wicket-keeper batsman in the world!

Posted by Htc-Android on (January 5, 2013, 22:30 GMT)

@ gnanzcupid. yeah. I agree indians are playing good cricket. lost the home series to England 2-1. Now they are on the verge of a whitewash against Pak at home. . Whereas we beat the same pak team convincingly at home.

Posted by dunger.bob on (January 5, 2013, 21:52 GMT)

No-one has mentioned it, so I'll bite the bullet and say it. .. we (Au) don't exactly have a sparkling record chasing small targets in the 4th innings. .. I can recall a number of times in the past when we made very hard work of getting 120 odd. .. Herath is bowling well and the pitch is cracking up a touch. .. dangerous for our lads. ..

Posted by Moppa on (January 5, 2013, 21:49 GMT)

Nice to see the interaction between @Front-Foot-Lunge and @RandyOZ. It's like seeing two long lost brothers meet... true kindred spirits.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 21:41 GMT)

If Sri Lanka were able to choose an XI with Malinga, they might have been a chance. As it stands, it is hard to see how they will dismiss the Australians in the fourth innings. The series has been reminiscent of last year against the Indians: soft wins against a mediocre opponent. Am looking forward to see how we go against the Poms.

Posted by MadAboutLanka on (January 5, 2013, 21:38 GMT)

3. Why don't your fast bowlers keep a good line and length, rather than bleed runs so much? A classic example was when Wade thrashed you guys for his century hitting you all over the park... this should be stock-in-trade, surely? Take a lesson from Kulasekera or Vaas. 4. The seniors must now consider the rest of their tenure as being dedicated to moulding the talent that waits in the wings... there is huge potential in Karunaratne (the best of the lot so far, in terms of temperament and technique), Tisara Perera (a big-hearted man for all seasons), Tirimanne (who showed what he is capable of in the first innings, yet got out foolishly) and Chandimal (who can be a class act is he restrains himself and not play to the gallery)... test cricket is to be savoured not only by you who play the game, but by those like me who watch and wonder when you guys will realise that its not a adi-pudi game, but one that must me carefully planned and executed while displaying your considerable talents!

Posted by MadAboutLanka on (January 5, 2013, 21:30 GMT)

Disappointed to see Lanka continue to flounder. They should take a lesson from the Aussies (for the umpteenth time), i.e. 1. Your wicket is valuable; don't throw it away - it's better to stay there and graft the runs rather than play flamboyant strokes and perish (Samaraweera and Tirimanne are good examples in the second innings, and Tirimanne, why the heck couldn't you restrain yourself at 91 and get the 9 additional runs even a single at a time, so ou could celebrate your maiden century? Would that not have made you feel much better and also done your team proud?). 2. When your team is in difficulty, your priority is to STAY THERE rather than get out foolishly. You guys do this so often, it is not a joke! Dishan, you should be setting a better example... see the number of times you swished at the ball when Lanka was 138 runs behind, provoking Chappell and Benaud to make fun at you (they called you a 'yahoo' for flailing your bat at everything - check the meaning of that)..more next

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 21:13 GMT)

@Stormy16 Wade needed to stand up and be counted after his dismal display at keeping wicket. If he hadn't missed so many chances Oz wouldn't have needed his runs.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (January 5, 2013, 20:22 GMT)

I was watching this for a few hours and thought the bowling looked a little passive with poor shots seeming to lose it for SL, Starc/Johnson ordinary but Bird looks a good player. I have to completely disagree (somethings never change) with Randy0z/Jonesy2 (whichever name he/she is using today- Wade is an awful keeper he makes so many telling mistakes and against stronger oppositiion that would be costly. If SL could heave posted a 250 target it would have been interesting however it will be a procession. Adieu Huss.

Posted by wellrounded87 on (January 5, 2013, 20:12 GMT)

@RandyOZ let's not get carried away... he's good but his glovework up close to the stumps is pretty poor. IMO he's too green to even rank amongst the worlds keepers let alone at the top. Give him a year and if he's stall ranking mid-high 40's and stopped missing catches and stumpings he'd have a case for top keeper-batsmen. But at the moment i think it's AB devilliers or Matt prior

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 19:00 GMT)

inexperience cost dimuth K his wicket. Instead of looking at the blade if he had shaken his head the umpire wouldn't have given that one out. He will learn with experience. I am actually excited about the future potential atleast in the batting dept. SL has enough young talent to replace the seniors. They need to rest/drop all the senirors for Zimb & Bang tours and bring in more youngesters. As for bowlers, we need to bring akila D slowly in to test, he will be our best spinners in years to come. All in all thought this tour has been hard, the future looks good for SL cricket

Posted by gnanzcupid on (January 5, 2013, 18:39 GMT)

I would like to ask all my aus fans not to get carried away by this whitewash. India probably created an impression that they were playing good cricket by constantly beating this substandard team. But indians have some real problem which were not brought to light by this lankan team. We have some real challenge ahead. Certainly sl is not the yardstick

Posted by warneneverchuck on (January 5, 2013, 18:19 GMT)

@ Randy if wade is better keeper batsman than prior then I feel Dhoni is better keeper batsman than the great gilcrist

Posted by Htc-Android on (January 5, 2013, 18:11 GMT)

Dont they know there is such thing called taking singles and get the scoreboard ticking. All they were trying to do is to hit boundries. This cost us the series against india and now, 3 test matches in Australia. Ridiculous batting from our batsmen. Thilan needs to retire and make way for chandimal and thirimanne.

Posted by Htc-Android on (January 5, 2013, 18:05 GMT)

@gnanzcupid. Its quite hilarious, you are saying our youngsters dont have talent. Who top scored for SL in both innings? Thirimanne(who just arrived in Aus 2 days before the start of this test match) and Dimuth(who just started his International career). and dont forget chandimal who scored 2 half centuries in his debut test match in SA. All these runs they scored was against quality fast bowlers in bouncy wickets. Baring kohli how many youngsters in india have performed well, outside the subcontinent?

Posted by warneneverchuck on (January 5, 2013, 18:05 GMT)

@ randy if wade is best keeper in the world then kamran akmal must be second best keeper as per your theory. Your comments r really funny dude keep it up

Posted by Htc-Android on (January 5, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

I hardly see our team winning this test match even with a 200+ lead. Our fast bowlers couldnt even Australias tailendar batsmen. WIth this kind of bowling how can u expect our team to defend a 200+ score. Herath is a quality spinner, but he cant take all 10 wickets. other bowlers need to support him. This is why randiv should have played this test match. He will get a lot of bouce of this pitch and he can hang around and score some runs too.

Posted by docvinnny on (January 5, 2013, 17:52 GMT)

Cricket should bring on an umpiring penalty point scheme. The more wrongs they get and they should be in line to go down a slot from the elite panel. More research should go into hot spot, DRS and snicko. I am not sure even Mahela was out as Clarke looked like he took it off the ground. Well i will never expect Clarke to say he took it off the ground for that matter there is only one guy in the aus team who is a true gentleman- Great Hussey. He is holding his status high when all around him are losing theres. It would be interesting if we could put a metal or a chip to the cricket ball so that we can track it esp if it lands on the ground. One would say in any sport the chances even out according to law of probability but I don't feel like that at the moment.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (January 5, 2013, 17:31 GMT)

You know you've lost it when you start believing that the neutral umpires are cheating you. Next stop, the Laughing Academy :-)

Posted by EnglishCricket on (January 5, 2013, 17:28 GMT)

This has been a boring test series I must say. Instead of this 3 match test series happening, The Australian-South African test series should've been 5 matches because Australia dominated the first 2 and was such an exciting contest and could've easily been ranked world number 1. Sri Lanka in the meantime, should play more test series with teams like West Indies, Bangladesh, New Zealand and Zimbabwe just so that you are totally not out of control and take things easy a bit otherwise you may start turning like the out of form India.

Posted by landl47 on (January 5, 2013, 17:02 GMT)

A thoroughly entertaining day's play. Great atmosphere, lots of runs, lots of wickets, some changes in momentum, some terrific cricket and also some horrendous blunders- everything any spectator could want. Aus look to have a pretty tight grip on this one unless SL can score another hundred plus runs; the wicket is still playing well and I don't think Aus will be bowled out for much less than 200, especially by a team that really has only one top-class bowler. Wade batted brilliantly, but his keeping standing up is a problem; people are criticizing Lyon, but he can only produce the chances, he can't take the catches or make the stumpings.

Anyway, a great day all round- test cricket at its best.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 17:00 GMT)

cricket is a gentlemen' s game .Hope more gentlemen become umpires to preserve the value of the great game.

Posted by Dasarathy on (January 5, 2013, 16:59 GMT)

Magic should happen by SL taking a lead of 200+ and Aussies will really be tested in 4th innings in pressure. Win in down under will boost the morale of SL and we love to see SL win this test match against Aussies.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 5, 2013, 16:54 GMT)

@RandyOZ, Check this out:

You must be commenting on the wrong match, the second best team in the world, aka 'the old enemy', is still very much above and continues it's long dominance over the third ranked team, Australia.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 5, 2013, 16:46 GMT)

@RandyOZ, Your cricketing standards are so high. Wade has dropped 5 horror chances every innings he's played in. If that's your standard for best keeper Cricket Australia clearly have people of your expertise running Australian cricket at the moment. Now let's talk about Matt Prior... :)

Posted by RandyOZ on (January 5, 2013, 16:23 GMT)

Another utterly dominant display by the second best team in the world. Wade is now the best keeper batsman on earth!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 5, 2013, 16:02 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa, The entire cricketing world is waiting for Lyon to spin his first ball, he's more a seamer than a spinner. He is Lyon, the mystery seamer.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (January 5, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

SL just need 80-100 more to make this game interesting.I tsounds a lot but a mixture of watchfulness and daring is the key with the bat then let the spinners do the rest.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (January 5, 2013, 15:56 GMT)

@Herath Uk if u r comparing India's performance of last tour to the current SL tour and feeling happy . Then u shud compare their previos tours also when India under ganguly always used to compete well against one of the greatest test team of all time under Waugh and ponting. SL can never ever play like that bcoz they don't have likes of laxman dravid and tendulkar who always scored tons of runs against mighty AUS in their golden era

Posted by Baduruwan on (January 5, 2013, 15:51 GMT)

No one is talking about the shocking decisions made by Tony Hill and Nigel Llong throughout the series. They had a massive impact on the outcome of this series. The decision that was given to Thirimanne by Tony Hill was the best example for that. It was a double not out but Tony Had no hesitation in giving that out when Thimanne edged the ball on to his pad. Hawk-eye suggested that the ball was going over the stmps by some good six inches. No decent umpire would have given that out. Although DRS saved Thirimanne there poor Karunaratne was victimizes to another controversial decision by the same umpire when he was going on to score his maiden test century. These decsions reminded me the shocker of a decision Sanga received when he was on 192 last time SL was touring Australia.

Posted by stormy16 on (January 5, 2013, 15:46 GMT)

Wade stood up to be counted and single handedly has taken away the game from SL. When he came in to bat SL were still in the lead and soon he was batting with the bowlers - still behind SL! Amazingly he somehow manufactured a quality hundered and the all important lead to a 130+ as opposed to say 50. Then SL fought well and when the time came for SL to stand up and be counted, they hit the panic button with a luatnic like display of batting after tea and the game is all but lost. At tea all the hard work was done and SL were for the first time all summer, in a position to compete but were simply not good enough. All dismissals after tea were due to poor shot selection and crazy running between the wickets. The reality is this is not a surprise and at the begining of the series, SL would have done well to see a test reach the 5th day.

Posted by Herath-UK on (January 5, 2013, 15:21 GMT)

A part of the critical analysis is by comparing you with other similar teams in similar circumstances as there could be other factors that caused the problem.Therefore Sri Lanka can be proud of what it acheived under the reasons I pointed out earlier, mate. Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 5, 2013, 15:19 GMT)

SL have missed a great opportunity to win a test match with their depleated team against a weak ozzie teams. Its a real shame the Lankan middle order threw it away, they could have knocked a decent target and oz wouldve crumbled. I am still waiting in baited breath for Lyon to spin a ball or two....will keep waiting....

Posted by Karnain on (January 5, 2013, 15:14 GMT)

Thilan Samaraweera was disappointed that he was not picked for the limited overs matches & wanted to prove he belongs to ODIs too. Or he may have wanted to play in this years IPL. Thilan thanks for your services as a Test player & we remember the century made against SA j on the boxing day Test. Let's make way for Thirimanne & Chandimal.

Posted by DiamondSoul on (January 5, 2013, 15:12 GMT)

I guess the old men's time is now over.The new guyz must take those slots instead.And Mathews Should be given a chance at 4. I believe you all remmber his 1st or 2nd 1st clzz interprovincial 4 day season where he scored a brilliant 270 batting @ 4.The batting order must be changed and strike bowlers like Thisara perera must be brought in.Chandimal has proved he is worthy and we believe he is better than Paranawithana so after Dilly he must be brought into the openers slot instead of Parane and Mathews shoud be given a chance to bat in between Sanga and Mahela till both of them retire and Thirimanne to bat at 6.Thisara ,Eranga ans Wela (4 Pace tracks) Now we thorughly need a left arm quicky

Posted by The_Ashes on (January 5, 2013, 15:01 GMT)

Sri Lanka are a pathetic team that is on the decline. They were even knocked out in the first round of the under-19 world cup, their future is clear once their trio is gone.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (January 5, 2013, 14:58 GMT)

@sl fans. Expecting and yelling that your country will put up a fight is like expecting a omlette to hatch a chicken. Having a laugh when some people get satisfied with a 0-3 defeat which you feel is better than 0-4 defeat that your neighbours were given. I personally feel with your talentless young side your team is even prone to lose 0-30 against standards sides and also those who are ranked above windies.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 14:45 GMT)

Eagerly waiting for a Sri Lanka win over Aussies in down under, but the sub continent team is not playing to their potential. I expect at least 150+ lead which is really very difficult for them, but if they succeed in that lead, then Aussies will be tested in the 4th innings which will be a very good test match to enjoy.

Posted by Daanush on (January 5, 2013, 14:33 GMT)

Samaraweera and Dilshan should retire now, this is the time to give a chance like, Chandimal,thirimanne.It's good for the future. Sri lankan Test cricket close to deadline.

Posted by Herath-UK on (January 5, 2013, 14:31 GMT)

There are very good suggestions here which I hope the SL management consider well;to open bowling with Herath & that Herath should be the next Test captain as Samaraweera seems to be going out.No way they should put Mathews in charge who lacks resolve to say the least. Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 14:24 GMT)

@ Herath-UK-Don't you have anything positive to say for any team?.Your team has lost the Test series and you should accept it instead of comparing it with 4-0 series whitewash Aussies inflicted on India.What fun do you get by comparing the 2 series anyway?????Also stop blaming DRS and making lame excuses .Australia have beaten Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka also and this team deserves to lose the series when they play in such a pathetic manner.From a Proteas fan.

Posted by Jayzuz on (January 5, 2013, 14:15 GMT)

@Test-is-the-best, have you ever considered the possibility that it is you that is biased, not the umpires? Think about it logically. Who is most likely to distort reality: professional, neutral umpires brought in from overseas; or you, the fan?

Posted by endianuwagona on (January 5, 2013, 14:10 GMT)

If some Sri Lankans think that the rest of the three batters will give them a decent target tomorrow, sorry mates. You will again be dissapointed by the SL cricketers. Havent you learnt this lesson already? When ever you expect SL to do something special, they dont even come near to doing so. Let me give you a few examples. 1) In Kandy some years ago, after a century by Jayasuriya, SL were some 39 runs away from victory with a full day to spare with Vaas at the crease. Many expected a victory. First thing Vass did was to get out early. 2) World cup 2007 and 2011. 3) T20 Finals in 2010 and 2012. 4) Boxing day test. 5) Secind innings of this test when we were ell placed.

Dont ever put your money on this crap SL side. This is one of the worst tour parties ever to leave the SL shores. Money minded and petty issue priorities are on thier minds on how to divide money and not how to get Aussie tailenders out.

Tomorrow they will be rolled over and Aus will canter to a victory. Amen SL. RIP.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 5, 2013, 14:08 GMT)

@Jayzuz, That's a good idea: Some random poster from the internet plucked from obscurity and made Australian cricket captain would no doubt do a much better job than Michael Clarke. :) How have the Aussies let Sri Lanka get a lead of almost 100? A hapless captain setting in/out fields from the 1st over, and a 'spinner' who hasn't ever turned a ball in his career, and can't pose a threat even on a spinner's paradise of a track. There's two reasons for starters.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 5, 2013, 14:05 GMT)

Lyon again the worst spin bowler in the world. On a spinner's paradise of a track he bowled with no turn again. Australia need new blood and fast, they've got the India tour coming up and yet another spinner needs to be given a try.

Posted by miles100 on (January 5, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

The match is still not over for SL.If they want to, they can fight back from here onwards.Both batsmen in the middle are real fighters. However I don't think our SL cricket authorities have done enough to develop our fast bowlers in the country ever since 1982.This is also why our batsmen sometimes struggle with real fast bowlers. For that I'm impressed with the Indian cricket how they have produced many aggressive fast bowlers in the last 8 years. There was always a big difference between the Aussie, SA, Pak, NZ & Indian fast bowlers and SL bowlers. SLC had millions of dollars and what did they do with that money? They should have easily developed our fast bowling unit.It is a little better than Arjuna's Era. But still a long way to go with our fast bowling when you compare them with many other countries.I also think they make a mistake by bringing players to the national side after playing club cricket rather than from school cricket. They should debut at 19 yrs.Not 23 or 24.

Posted by Potatis on (January 5, 2013, 13:48 GMT)

Probably Sri Lanka will look to introduce spin when Aus bat again, either at the start or early in the Aus innings. It might be their best hope if Aus only have a small target to chase. Perhaps Hussey could open with Cowan? Food for thought. An early wicket might send nerves to the Aus dressing room. Then again Warner may well just belt Herath around the park, who really knows? :) Not sure what is up with Starc, I've been a big fan of his, but he bowls a lot of ordinary deliveries amongst his near unplayable ones. It doesn't help he missed the MCG game after he was getting things together at the end of Hobart. He really should go to England, he played well for Yorkshire there. Bird should go too, he should be permanently in the side, and forget the rotations.

Posted by Herath-UK on (January 5, 2013, 13:43 GMT)

Several umpiring & DRS decisions unfortunately have gone against the Sri Lankans when they fighting to overcome injuries and playing with possibly a third string team.However they can take heart from the fact there are rising stars who can replace the old guard in future.They may lose 3-0 but better than 4-0 loss last year suffered by indians who had a full compliment of stars.I'm sure ODI & T20, where they are the team will be a different ball altogether. Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

@ Jayzuz ..... and first thing I would do would be recall Khawaja but Clarke would probably run him out too!!!

Posted by Test-is-the-best on (January 5, 2013, 13:20 GMT)

@ docvinnny you are absolutely correct mate. Although the story would not be that different Sri Lanka could have been in a better position had that review system equally treated . Unbiased umpiring , TV commentary & TV replays is a must for betterment cricket in future.

Posted by Jayzuz on (January 5, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

Great knock by Wade. But I reckon Lyon has a mug shot of him on his wall, and is throwing darts at it after every day in the field. How many wickets has Wade cost Lyon this series!? At least six that I can recall. Hope Wade can get his act together. Great knock too by FDM Karunaratne (had to cut and paste that one!). Looks like SL might have a future star there.

Posted by Test-is-the-best on (January 5, 2013, 13:10 GMT)

Unfortunately Sri Lanka does not have players like Faf du Plesis or AB De Villers with higher level of self belief to stand when the pressure is building up. Many Sri Lankan fans keep on praising Matthews has got such characteristic to handle that sort of tough situations. Neither his bowling, fielding or batting performances ( Though he has got few fifties ) are impressive to succeed the test captaincy after Mahela J. The way he thrown out his wicket in 3 out of last 5 innings clearly indicates his inability in tougher situations .Sri Lanka could not find a good player after Hasan Thilakaratne who had such ability and mentality to do what WADE did Australia for its 1st inning.Anyway the score is no way near to threaten the Australian batting line up with poor fielding and bowling attack.

Posted by Jayzuz on (January 5, 2013, 13:03 GMT)

@Joseph Langford, I'm putting forward your name to the Chairman of Selectors as we 'speak'. With your vastly superior cricket brain, I'm sure you'll be a show-in for the AUS captain's job as soon as Clarke's win/loss ratio falls below its current abysmal 4:1.

Posted by docvinnny on (January 5, 2013, 12:29 GMT)

This is a great opportunity for chandimal and the tail. If they can put 20 run partnerships for the remaining wickets there will be a game. Mahela should start with lakmal and herath. Bring in the guns with pradeep after the fall of warner. Using herath n dilshan will keep the quicks fresh for short bursts. Dilshan should make sure he doesn't ball short. All quicks should be bang on target and get their act together. Think ausies will get bowled out for below 50 on this crumbling cookie!

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 12:25 GMT)

@ person (January 05 2013, 09:23 AM) .... it's all been stated here.

Clarke became Captain when his average over his previous 17 innings was 24 ..... over the same period Ponting's average was 27. As a Captain he was lucky in SA, out-captained against NZ, India came and went, lucky in WI and threw away the series against SA.

Just look at his field settings -

1st Test SA 2nd Inning, Australia was bowling to an unbeatable lead Clarke sets 2xSl & G.

2nd Test SA 2nd Inning, Australia was bowling to an unbeatable lead Clarke sets a field of 2xSl & G. It's 4/45 ... 2xSl & G. Clarke loses his head ... everyone gets a bowl ... Test is thrown away!!!

3rd Test SA ..... he gave up!!! Have a look at the reaction when he caught F du Plessis and the way he got out.

1st Test SL 2nd Inning, Australia was bowling to an unbeatable lead Clarke sets 2xSl & G.

The list goes on!!!

Posted by dunger.bob on (January 5, 2013, 12:23 GMT)

I don't think there was anything wrong with the declaration. It's just that there was a lot right about the young openers attitude and execution. .. he played really well I thought. .. That's the luck of the draw. I reckon Clarke weighed it up and figured a couple of quick wickets b4 tea would be worth more than a few extra runs. .. If Sl had gone 2/10 he would have looked like a genius. .. on Mat Wade. Looks pretty good with the bat but he has cost Lyon quite a few wickets this summer. 2 dropped catches today off Lyon and I can also remember more than 1 missed stumping. .. he seems all right standing back to the quicks but I think he struggles with the slow bowlers. .. could be very costly in the year to come. .. maybe I'm being too harsh on the young fella but it is a concern.

Posted by dan1234 on (January 5, 2013, 12:16 GMT)

@Macca_mat who bats a 6 depends a lot on Watson. Khawaja will come in for Hussey so is going to get a go regardless, who would bat at 6 if not for an injury to Watson. I don't see Johnson as an all-rounder any more then Starc or Siddle who have shown they can make a few runs. I'd have Warner/Cowan(if he can pull his finger out)/Hughes/Clarke/Khawaja/a 'genuine' all rounder such as Watson/Wade so on...

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (January 5, 2013, 12:03 GMT)

@ Mervo on (January 05 2013, 04:16 AM GMT) No not arrogance, Wade was stuggling out there, not sure what problem was but you could see him bending over in pain at times, I chappell thought it was breathing problems.

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (January 5, 2013, 11:58 GMT)

I will be going to the game tmr to see of Hussey, so sad to see the great man retire. I heard that Watson wants to open and not bowl anymore. I like Watson, but he should come in at 6 or 7. And using Wade as No 6 won't be the right step as pointed by Lewis. He's a good wicket keeper=batsman. But you need six solid batsmen in this side especially now that Ponting and Hussey have retired. Khawaja is a must as a replacement for Hussey as we need a solid young batsman taking over his spot as our batting will be the key to win the ashes.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

maybe SL should opt for rotation of senior players like dilshan, sanga, mahela, prasanna and samaraweera....not because of anything, then new players can be given more chances.....

Posted by docvinnny on (January 5, 2013, 11:55 GMT)

Fact- when Wade was caught at short fine leg yesterday(2nd day) the review did not show a hot spot on his bat and the Sri Lankan's were confident. Interestingly that hot spot view was very dark grey compared to other views I have seen in this match (normal white/hot areas of fielders and objects in the vicinity were not picked up). Further to that they only showed a side on view of it. It would have been useful if they showed the stright-on view.....we could have atleast seen the hot spot on his pads. Today Karunaratne walked off as a true gentleman when he was given out for a presumed thin edge that was not picked up by hot spot! Then they brought in the snicko to prove the edge but it was not a convincing snicko wave (normal bat-ball contact gives a tall wave wearas this one was small wave which could have been bat hitting ground). Now why wasn't snicko used in Wades decision review especially now that we have seen the inconsistency of hot spot? Neutral tv technicians for future?

Posted by Mary_786 on (January 5, 2013, 11:46 GMT)

Agree with Lewis, it was a great knock by Wade but he is not our number 6. Khawaja deserves a go, he is the number 6 for the ashes as it won't be good enough to have Wade coming in at 6 againt their bowling attack. Players at the end of their careers having developed into champion players dont just happen. They take years of experience and training and commitment. Hussey was an excellent batsman and fielder and we'll miss him. But in a couple of years we may have players who we also laud coming through. Warner, Hughes, Khawaja, Burns,maybe even one or two of the outstanding Junior World Cup winning side (there were a few batsmen there who is a few years could be stand outs). Khawaja especially has the technique and is developing aggression through a few good T20 games. If he keeps developing as he is, he could be the next champion batsman. And we must open with Hussey tmr, he has to hit the winning runs, he deserves that.

Posted by Test-is-the-best on (January 5, 2013, 11:42 GMT)

Tomorrow will the last day of this test for sure as there is no much work left for the Australian bowlers & batsmen . Sri Lankan middle order has thrown out the foundation laid by the top order yet again. So this is the destiny of Sri Lanka as when Top order fires middle order sinks. Credit should go to Dimuth Karunarathne for batting positively after five poor innings in this series. To me Dimuth is the only finding of this series though Thirimanne scored 91 in the first inning. On other hand I have a question on umpiring of this test series except ALEEM DAR. Aleem Dar showed how good & impartial he is despite poor umpiring by the other guys. However Australia had the upper hand throughout this series in fielding , batting and bowling to ensure a clean sweep.

Posted by Perera32 on (January 5, 2013, 11:42 GMT)

Oh dear Samaraweera has done an Ian Bell. What was he thinking playing a shot like that so early in his innings. After Samaraweera got those 2 hundreds vs SA, I thought he would do well in Australia but he hasn't even come close to the way he played in South Africa last year. I don't think 175 is enough, atleast 225 is required if Sri lanka want to win.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 11:32 GMT)

To me, the turning point of our inning was thirimannas rash shot . I was stunt with that shot even after having a chance with DRS

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (January 5, 2013, 11:24 GMT)

@FearWarner and PELS are correct, Wade played a fantastic innings, but this was against Sri Lanka and we can't make him 6 for the ashes based on this we need 6 specialist batsman in the ashes and Khawaja has to be the man to come in at 6. Wade would be a very good batsman to come in at 7 similar to what Gilly did. Remember Gilly was better then Wade and never came in at 6 because against the top teams you need 6 specialist batsman.

Posted by Marko12 on (January 5, 2013, 11:20 GMT)

eyballfallenout - I'd replace Watson with Johnson.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (January 5, 2013, 11:17 GMT)

Wade has certainly proved what a batting talent he is and I would keep him at no 6 as a specialist bat but surely the Aussies have to get a proper keeper. Wade's glovework is as woeful as it is hillarious; the man shouldn't keep at grade level let alone state level. Wade at 6 and Haddin at 7.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 5, 2013, 11:15 GMT)

@gnanzcupid : In MCG on 3/11/10, even Tony who admired our team said in his commentory that it's a miracle if Sri Lanka pull back the game when 8 wickets were gone. Sri Lanka not only pulled it back, they won it amazingly. Sri Lanka is capable of doing wonders. They did it, and they might do it tomorrow. We trust our team, and we love our team... Admire the game.

Posted by RoJayao on (January 5, 2013, 11:13 GMT)

I know there's been a lot of criticism of Lyon this season though I didn't believe he was going too badly for this stage of his career. Maybe that is still the case but what has disappointed me is the general lack of progression in his bowling over the six tests. I'm sick to death of hearing commentators whine about him bowling too fast but after watching Herath closely, something Lyon doesn't do is vary his pace enough. Herath bowls between 78 and about 90 km/h and mixes it well. Lyon needs to emulate that to be more successful. Mind you Herath has had 16 first class seasons to perfect his skill and you can't buy that kind of experience.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 5, 2013, 10:43 GMT)

Cant believe anyone is having a crack at the declaration you would always back your team to win with a 140 run lead and to have two cracks with the new ball is worth the crack. THe bowlers initially didnt back up the declaration but bounced back. Im a bit surprised with the under bowling of Johnson in this innings has always looked dangerous and Siddle looked a bit crook. Wade needs to work on his keeping to spin as he has dropped 3 of Lyon this game.

Posted by SSJG on (January 5, 2013, 10:31 GMT)

SL lack quality fast bowlers who can keep a good line and length which is why taking 20 wickets a challenge! May be the bowling coach is training them to bowl like him when he played to SL! Bird may be a better coach. Samarweera and Dilshan should retire from test and give the youngster the chance to gain experience and take things forward! Mathews may not be the right person to captain the side and seems in a hurry to rush out from the match to do his own planning! SL should give test contract to players who can fully commit to that without any other commitments to IPL. If SL set a target of 250 plus it will not make any difference to Aus

Posted by Sugath on (January 5, 2013, 10:30 GMT)

Sri Lanka can still win this game provided they, 1) Herath give support to Chandimal to build a good partnership. Herath has made 84 highest score in tests and it is time opportune to repeat that 2)They must stay till after tea to frustrate Aussies who normally are very reactive and under pressure tend to wilt 3)For SL to build lead Herath in particular should not try to hit balls that are 3 feet away as he did late today and gift the wicket just like 5 batsmen did earlier when they gave their wickets on a platter to Aussies 4) Aussie second innings Dilshan and Herath should open bowling and with hard ball and slight turn and bounce should make inroads to the Aussie batsmen Overall it is about thinking wisely, being proactive and not act in any rash manner. If they do the above SL can emerge as victors. Good luck on Sunday and Monday. Hope SL team will read this before tomorrow on the way forward for last two days

Posted by gnanzcupid on (January 5, 2013, 10:28 GMT)

@Lankan fans. Don dream too much dear. You are not having someone like mj or ks at the crease to create wonders. Sl tail wont last more that 20 overs in the morning. Match will be over in 3 and half days

Posted by SamRoy on (January 5, 2013, 10:25 GMT)

Bird looks like a nice bowler to have especially for Ashes in England. He and Siddle will give control over opposition run rate. One out of Pattinson and Starc should be the third pacer though both have much more future potential.

Posted by SarathW on (January 5, 2013, 10:07 GMT)

I certainly believe Samaraweera played his last test in his career. The selectors should have dropped him after the first test when he tried to play that stupid cut shot against Lyon. Even Randiv could have scored more than Thilan did and kept the Aussie total well below the 400 mark. Thirimanna too played a loose shot when we had all the time to set a reasonable target.It is time for Samaraweera and the selectors to do the honourable thing and quit.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (January 5, 2013, 10:06 GMT)

Some sl fans were boiling at the starting of this tour for a commentator's view that this sl team landed in australia has the worst bowling attack. Its proved now guys. But not only the worst bowling but also the worst batting barring mj and ks.

Posted by eyballfallenout on (January 5, 2013, 9:56 GMT)

After watching every fast bolwer this year i am think of the ashes bowling line up. im thinking Patterson-siddle-bird- lyon- watson. johnson can replace bird or watson for injuries. hmmmm what do you think.

kawaja in for huss... rest left alone, but a bit more from cowen would be nice.

Posted by Pablo23 on (January 5, 2013, 9:54 GMT)

Why do captains care so much about their team members' batting averages when there are potentially crucial runs to be made? That declaration was more rediculous and arrogant than the decision to bat 4th. You cant afford to go into any international match complacent and expecting to only have to bat once and with a shortened batting lineup, the prospect of having to chase something competitive on day 5 against last years number 1 spin bowling wicket taker is surely something forseeably worth avoiding. Ive never had any criticism of Clarkes captaincy before but what is he trying to prove in this test match? He better not go trying to protect batting averages against india & england. Cricket is just a game but its not a joke

Posted by colombo_SL on (January 5, 2013, 9:53 GMT)

This was the best chance to beat Australia on their home soil. I have been watching cricket from 1992. This is their worst team according to my knowledge. Our team is very weak. Although, we have some feeling that we could beat Australia if we handle tough situations well.

Posted by brusselslion on (January 5, 2013, 9:53 GMT)

Generally speaking, Australia's batting and seam bowling seem to be developing nicely, however, surely the spin department must be a concern with a tour to India coming up? Can't say that I've seen anything of Lyon lately but his figures this summer aren't stunning to say the least. Is he unlucky or just not very good?

Posted by gnanzcupid on (January 5, 2013, 9:45 GMT)

I agree with some of your views that herath should succeed mj as captain. Other youngsters in the team have not even proved their places worth in the team. How can they lead a test team? Sl should play more tests with countries like zim,bangla and develop a test team before they compete against higher oppositions. Else humiliations will become day to day affair for the lankan cricket.

Posted by colombo_SL on (January 5, 2013, 9:37 GMT)

It is better if we can get another 80+ runs. But i don't know how Herath going to face for Jhonson. Only innocent hope is the uncertainity of the game.

Posted by caromball on (January 5, 2013, 9:27 GMT)

SL batters doesn't have any courage and enough self confidence.They are not believing them self.Their bating technique is no where near when compared to the oposition.SL players are have no idea how to play in the Australian conditions.I wonder what is our all the head coaches are doing.Our fast bowlers does not know how to and where to bowl at Australians.That is why Johnson and Siddle were able to had a good knock with the bat.I think Samaraweera's time is over.He need to go.Youngsters must give the chance to prove them self.Nuwan Kulasekara is not a Test bowler.Nuwan Pradeep,Lakmal,Prasad must give more chances.As a all rounder can't depend only on Mathews.Thisara Perera,Jeewan Mendis must give some chances.Our lower order players must give fare chance of bating practice too to improve their bating skills.Prasanna Jayawardena must be the wicket keeper as his bating is ok.So far generaly we have failed almost in all three departments.I think Marvan and Kalpage must remove as coaches.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 5, 2013, 9:24 GMT)

@John Worley, I think our test captain should be Rangana Herath, ODI captain should be Dinesh Chandimal. No way should Mathews be captain. He simply shows an inability to last long. The way he got out in all the test innings in Australia were due to his sheer rashness. @lukecannon, thanks for your wishes. Hope Chandimal and Herath will do all they can to drag on. Herath must be made to be patient. He seems craving to slash all wayward balls and will be prone to edging. Yes wicket will start spinning tomorrow.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

@TheBigBoodha have just checked out Joseph Langford Fbook page and his likes include a page call Clarke cant Captain. That should shed some light on his constant bagging out of Clarke. I didnt like the Declaration myself but it seems typical of Clarkes aggresive style. He has only lost one series since becoming captain (which must kill Joseph Langford ) so his decisions seem to work out dont you think Joseph.

Posted by Ruban_Varathan on (January 5, 2013, 9:17 GMT)

Mahela please open the bowling with Herath and Dilshan......So that warner struck with the defence.....No use of giving the ball to pradeep and prasad.....They wont produce any wickets.......If Herath and the remaining batsmen can hang on with chandimal for another 80 or 90 runs then surely aussies will be under pressure.....STILL GAME IS NOT OVER.......Its very difficult for the last batting team to survive in this PITCH......Gd Luck LANKA.....

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 9:14 GMT)

To win a team must have bowlers who can take 20 wickets. I don't think SL selectors picked wicket taking bowlers for the Australian tour. Our bowlers have managed only 29 wickets so far with best being 9 by Hearth @ average of 40! Australian bowlers have taken almost 50 SL wickets so far.

I wonder why Dilhara Fernando, Ajantha Mendis were not selected. Even Jeevan Mendis would have been a better option.

So far its been one of the worst tours by a Sri Lankan team. Lets hope the limited overs version will yield better results for SL.

Posted by Ramansilva on (January 5, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

@John Worley, Well said John. This is my question too. A 50 here, 2 wickets there and some occassional 6s and catches keep him in the team. He is mediocre in every department but the selectors not only keep him in the team but also ready to give him the captaincy on a platter.

Posted by joeyinoz on (January 5, 2013, 8:59 GMT)

Wade's runs won't count for a great deal if he doesn't excel at his primary function - wicket keeping. Just ask Jason Gillespie, his double century meant nothing because he had lost form as a bowler. Healy reckoned that Wade would get better, as Gilchrist did. But he made three noticeable blunders today, and with 4 tests against India and then ten against England, Australia doesn't have time to wait for Wade to improve. There are two or three better keepers who can bat just as well as Wade - Paine and Haddin spring to mind.

Posted by fear_warner on (January 5, 2013, 8:58 GMT)

Hey Joseph Langford, don't underestimate matthew wade. If he can beat cancer improving his glove work to spinners probably won't be too hard. Importantly he seems to have a stout heart for the cricket battle, a quality all the aus cricket champs have...

Posted by MrKricket on (January 5, 2013, 8:56 GMT)

Great day out there today. What a crowd (except for the idiots in front of me who had to get more beers every second over and never once waited until the end of the over!) - all pretty in pink. Sydney can really put on a Test match. Crowd was really behind Bird - had his own cheer squad "The Bird's Nest" nearby. Huss could have been elected president today too! Fantastic to see Wade get his ton, surprised at the declaration but I guess Bird wasn't going to last much longer. SL looked solid for a long while but threw it away. I think if Clarke would give MJ more bowling they might clean up the tail a bit faster. Johnson looked the best of the bowlers. It's still open but let's hope Huss scores the winning runs!

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 5, 2013, 8:55 GMT)

Hope we can draw inspiration from our 2001 November test match in South Africa where we gave a 110 run lead and had we managed another 25 or 30 more runs, who knows we may have won it but we lost it cos 120 was too small. After all SA lost 7 wickets as shown here. I am dreaming that Chandimal will strive for a fifty. Cricinfo please publish.

Posted by PFEL on (January 5, 2013, 8:54 GMT)

I'm also very worried about Wade's keeping. It's no where near up to standard and will only get harder for him in India. It might sound crazy, but a good option might be to bring in another keeper and Play Wade as a bat, perhaps an opening bat instead of Cowan. I doubt it will happen but it seems like a decent plan. Warner, Wade, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Watson, Haddin, Siddle, Starc, Lyon, Bird. Now that looks better.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 8:54 GMT)

Dinesh Chandimal & Rangana .you guys can do more than australian think maybe this time show some good partnership guys do it

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 8:51 GMT)

We can get them out 150 in this dusty pitch ( if we start bowling with dila n rangana) , the problem is can we give them a target of 150???

Posted by PFEL on (January 5, 2013, 8:49 GMT)

BigBoodha, the fact that Australia are in a winning position now in no way changes the fact that the decision was nonsensical. Throwing the opportunity to score quick runs with Wade at the crease in a game where Aus are certain to have to bat again, in tougher conditions, for the sake of possibly getting a wicket in a short pre-lunch burst is a fool's bargain. If anything hindsight shows even more how bad of a decision the decleration was.

Posted by TeamRocker on (January 5, 2013, 8:45 GMT)

Wow! Incredible innings from Wade! Aussies will look to wrap up Lankans early tomorrow. SL will have to try and last as long as they can, and maybe get something going in the last innings. However, it looks like an Aussie win now. At 132-1. SL could well have got back in, but they threw away their wickets, and quite possibly, the match.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (January 5, 2013, 8:38 GMT)

Sl should not only advertise for a vacant captaincy in a standard website,but also need to advertise seeking for 5 young men who know to bat and 5 more who know to bowl.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 5, 2013, 8:34 GMT)

@Prabash1985, hope Chandimal will try his best to drag on tomorrow. Problem is Herath is swinging his bat at all wayward balls and gifting his wicket. Chandimal should try to get a fifty plus score to at least cement his place in the test side. Our only hope is the 2001 test match we played against England where the test comprised of woeful umpiring and in the 2nd innings after we were trailing, tail fought well. I am dreaming for that to happen tomorrow. See this link Cricinfo please publish.

Posted by Alexk400 on (January 5, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

I know mathews going to be next captain but why he is in the team. he can't bowl or bat. Samraweera atleast can bat against pakistan. I think srilanka betting on wrong horse mathews. Good luck

Posted by warnerbasher on (January 5, 2013, 8:23 GMT)

What a fantastic day. Magnificent Sydney weather, the ground bathed in pink and the incredible noise close to stumps calling for Hussey to bowl just to top off the day. Have not missed a ball of the test so far and I will be there tomorrow to hopefully cheer the Aussies home.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (January 5, 2013, 8:22 GMT)

Playing and winning a country of srilankan standard only creates a mirage that the team is doing well. World should look up to india and learn this. So aus players should not be carried away by this whitewash.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 5, 2013, 8:18 GMT)

@John Worley, YOU ARE TOTALLY RIGHT! That is exactly why too I am baffled. With our poor bowling attack, we need good scores from our batsmen.

Posted by johntycodes on (January 5, 2013, 8:15 GMT)

Not only lyon is still not getting wickets unless they are trying to hit him for 6 and is still never turning a ball now he is also the most expensive of the bowlers.

Posted by postandrail on (January 5, 2013, 8:14 GMT)

Joseph Langford & PFEL Thanks for your insightful comments re Clarke's captaincy. I'm sure he searches this site and the web generally for comments and precious tips by you both about how to become a competent Test captain compared to the abject failure he currently is. I'm sure he bows to your personal experience, wisdom and superior knowledge and eagerly adopts your thoughts with a view to one day becoming the World's most successful Captain! I just wish I knew half as much as you both do!

Posted by Meety on (January 5, 2013, 8:14 GMT)

IMO - SL have blown a dead certainty to win. At 1/130, they had their noses in front. As it is, Oz will be batting on a 4th day pitch (as opposed to a 5th day). As others have said, historically, anything over 150 is not easy batting 4th at the SCG. Sri Lanka NEED another 80 runs to make a match of this. 170 target doesn't sound much, but IF Herath bowls well - it will seem like 350!!!!

Posted by lukecannon on (January 5, 2013, 8:14 GMT)

Game isn't over yet.Come on Chandimal .. Bat with the tail and get as many as you can.. Battle for as long you can. The more you delay the game the more spinner friendly the pitch will become.. Mahela please open the bowling with Herath and Dilshan. Samaraweera can bowl spin too. Warner will wall-up Pradeep,Prasad and Lakmal.They are useless now. Having a go with the Spinners will give SL a chance and an attacking field must be set.. No point in using a defensive field because there's isn't much to defend.. AND PLEASE HOLD ON TO THE CATCHES.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

How can SL consider Angelo Matthews as captain? He is neither good enough to command a place in the side as a batsman, a bowler, or an all rounder. I know there are a truckload of fantastic young promising cricketers in the country. Maybe someone like Herath could lead the side in the meantime until the likes of Thirimanne or Chandimal are ready ...

Posted by gnanzcupid on (January 5, 2013, 8:10 GMT)

Some standard world teams like sa,aus,eng should reconsider playing test matches with sub standard country like sl. It may boost up the former's ranking and confidence but wont fine tune the skills of the youngsters. If at all they wanna play test matches with lanka,they can use it as an opportunity to test the new comers.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 5, 2013, 8:10 GMT)

Simply pathetic batting. Barring the wicket of Karunaratne, all the other 6 wickets we lost today were GIFTED! Samaraweera is playing in a disinterested manner. I am baffled as to how did he score 2 test tons in our last tour of SA. Problem here will only get worse as our cricket board culling off 5 tests scheduled for next year is the biggest attack on cricket by our useless incompetent cricket board. This is the only test match where we could have registered our elusive test win in Australia. Our next test tour of Australia is in January 2019 as per the ICC FTP.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 8:06 GMT)

What has happened to Sri Lanka's batting - why can they no longer score centuries?!!

Posted by colombo_SL on (January 5, 2013, 8:05 GMT)

No need to worry about the past. Just take lessons from it. We want a strong 8th wicket partnership. It is better to see the batting performance of Siddle, Bird & Starc. Hope Herath, Lakmal & Pradeep could show some resistance. Anything can happen.

Posted by fear_warner on (January 5, 2013, 8:05 GMT)

@ rickyvoncaterbury a great days test match cricket indeed, less so if a sri lankan fan. To the pommie trolls taking a shot at warner - I can smell your fear, bring on the ashes. "20/20 hack", you must have water on the brain. An evolving player who offers and delivers much - simply thrilling to watch, great for the game and a game changer to boot. So glad he plays for Aus. Brilliant warner/wade runout today, I suspect we are going to see a lot more of that. Wades century brought a tear to my eye and sidds and birdy good on you for your support. Gee Birdys looking good, his bowling has brought a big smile to my face. A nice catch and an over from huss to boot, brilliant! Hope huss opens tomorrow. Exciting australian cricket. A young team developing. A fantastic opportunity to witness young players develop and the team grow on the world stage. Ups and downs, its all good. Again Clarkes declaration is spot on and shows great confidence in the team which is repaid. Bring on Khawaja!

Posted by gnanzcupid on (January 5, 2013, 8:04 GMT)

Better performance by sl considering their lack of any young talent in their side. Mahela becomes the saviour again. Cricket fans would have to give credit to the sl team for having managed to drag the match to day 4 atleast and also for not getting innings defeated again.

Posted by colombo_SL on (January 5, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

Completely disappointed with the performance of Sri Lankan middle order. Feel sorry for Samaraweera. What a way to give up the match away.

Posted by QingdaoXI on (January 5, 2013, 7:58 GMT)

Why on earth Sri Lankan management plays Chandimal so down the order, he is one of the brightest spot for world cricket along with Kohli and Young Bravo, who will end as the better batsmen of this decade. As srilankan team will not be playing so many matches this year and whever they play they will play vs Weak teams like bangladesh or Zimbabwe. So they have good chance to test youngsters For Bangladesh series only one from Sanga and Mahela should play on rotation basis from senior group with Dimuth, Angeo Perera, Thirrimane, Mattews, Chandimal and Rajapakse getting chance to adjust the team batting line up for future and slowly removing fading out seniors. With Dilly, samarverra should also retire after this test and make way for youngsters.

Posted by lukecannon on (January 5, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

I hope Samaraweera is not anywhere near Mahela Jayawardene today.. I really do. What a pathetic shot to get out when your team is in need of a partnership. They should have played Randiv instead of him. He can bat and the wicket is getting spinner friendly.. would have been a handful. Poor Mahela ..just watching at the non-strikers end his men falling like a pack of cards..You must feel for him.. The man for the job isn't here when required. Kumar sangakkara.

Posted by SamRoy on (January 5, 2013, 7:48 GMT)

electric_loco_WAP4 Bird is a fantastic find but Wade's keeping puts Kamran Akmal in the shade. Paine needs to keep in India with Wade as specialist batsman otherwise Australia have lost the series even before going there.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 7:46 GMT)

@ TheBigBoodha ..... admit what?? It was another bad decision by Clarke. Did he get a wicket??? No. Wade could have easily put on another 30-50 runs in a final wicket stand with Bird. He had his eye in and was scoring at a very fast tempo. With Australia having last use of the pitch no one would want to be chasing much more than 150.

At 2/132 it was a different story wasn't it ... then two batsmen gave away their wicket and there was an awful run out ... Australia didn't earn these wickets through great bowling or brilliant tactical work by the captain. If Clarke takes these woeful tactics to England I doubt that they will be as kind.

Remember, the SL Team has 5 of their 11 out.

Ps . Are they going to take Wade to India?? Because he cannot keep wickets for spinners. He dropped two today and appealed for a stumping where he couldn't even hold onto the ball. Add to this the Clarke's left hand catch that Wade should have taken all adds up to a big problem during the touring season.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (January 5, 2013, 7:38 GMT)

@ rickyvoncanterbury - mate the trolls let the comic relief coming for a change . Some good fun and a laugh is no harm....the Poms and esp. one famous on here is the best at his comic talent that manages a few laughs on here. Hope the sense of humour remains after England are dished out b2b Ashes hammerings....

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 7:26 GMT)

Well Jane McGrath Day went off beautifully. Wadie scored a ton SL up to their necks in trouble Could you ask for anything more?

Posted by Slysta on (January 5, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

You Clarke-bashers are clueless... the declaration was so that Sri Lanka had 20 minutes to bat before lunch, essentially forcing the openers to start twice. And it worked, because although Dilshan survived his first start, he didn't survive his second. I would suggest his was a very valuable wicket in the circumstances, with the wicket still playing well, because if anyone was going to carry Sri Lanka quickly to the vicinity of a challenging 350, it was him. And how many runs did Australia leave out on the pitch? Maybe 10, 20, 30... and maybe 0. Bird doesn't bat 11 because he's shy. Presumably both batsmen would have looked for quick runs after Wade reached 100 which, counter-intuitively, is usually not a good way to actually score too many...

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 5, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

Chandi really needs to hide his partner, whoever it's going to be. Herath will do the blunders he used to do, just like Dhammika Prasad. I think Mahela got confused with that dismissal. He was lamenting that he created a run out. Seemed like he lost his concentration a bit. First thing Sri Lankans need to do, they need to trust themselves. Chandi could have done much better if he come after Thirimanna or before Thirimanna. I don't know why team is giving more priority to Mathews. If the batsmen just throw away their wickets, they will never do it. Even the New Zealand victory was not because our players batted well, the New Zealanders couldn't handle the spin of Herath. When will they stop putting their bat to the moving aways? Ever since I remember, Sri Lankans got out in this same fashion. I remember McGrath doing this for a long time. We can give a good fight, just keep fighting. Trust, and don't go for rash shots. If Chandi gets for a hundred somehow, we get some chance. Who knows!

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 7:11 GMT)

As Mahela has already declared that he will step down as skipper its time now for SLC to post an ad in news paper for a new Cricket captain for team becuase there is no body in the present side who can be fit for the job.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (January 5, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

Aussies on top, beautifull day 30 to 50 degrees wherever you live in Oz, hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for charity, celebration of greggies life, celebration of Husseys career, now watch some pommie troll think they can ruin that.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (January 5, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

@PFEL and @Joseph Langford, is it really beyond your cricketing wisdom to realise that Clarke wanted to pick up a wicket before the break? It amazes me that even despite the incredible success of Clarke's innovative and courageous captaincy, we still have people bashing him at the earliest sign of a setback! @JL, you area solute lay the worst for this. There seems to be little you post about except to bash Clarke. Are you now going to admit your error and praise him, given Australia's winning position? No, I didn't think so.

Posted by Solid_Snake on (January 5, 2013, 6:46 GMT)

It means it's not only Pakistan who gets defeated like that in Australia :)

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (January 5, 2013, 6:40 GMT)

@Master_Mihil- Sorry mate....big disappointment for you!! But the new 'Mcgrath' had different plans and sent DK on his way with a peach of a ball without a 100 in his 80sl... I'd say the great man himself would be happy with that!! During the glory days of Aus dominance many a batsman felt just like DK.... play the best you ever did against the best bowling in the world and go back with an 80 odd ... 100s vs that lot was like gold dust!! What a talent this Bird is... and Aus pace battery grows even more powerful... And Wade ...take a bow!! splendid 100 there....keep it up and more to come from another fine young Aussie talent !!

Posted by disco_bob on (January 5, 2013, 6:28 GMT)

@BatsmanWhoBowls, yes I hear what you are saying and I somewhat agree, my take at the time was that having won the series he really wanted to ram home the horror by forcing India to keep playing in a pointless match. However having said that, and with consideration for the ever present possibility of even more humiliation being heaped on India, and the however remote glory of a whitewash, I think that in the same situation, our Clarkey would have declared and gone for the win, if for no other reason that if it was possible, then do it.

I hope that this attitude of Clarke is what makes the difference in the next Ashes. With both captains playing so well but only one having had enough time to establish himself as a thinking mans captain, we may be able to sneak an Ashes win against the odds. This is why I support Clarke's declaration in this match, he took a chance, it put pressure on the bowlers, and it looked like it was going to hurt Australia, but in the end it forced a response.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 5, 2013, 6:15 GMT)

Come on Chandi, you can do it. Don't give up... You can do it.

Posted by Biggus on (January 5, 2013, 6:15 GMT)

@Sugath-If the commentators are out to confuse people then they've succeeded with you.

Posted by Sugath on (January 5, 2013, 6:11 GMT)

As I watch can see the debacle unfolding. from 130/1 now 178/5 and two stupid shots and a crazy run out. Were they thinking that this is 50 over game. This is what happens when you do not do the match SWOT, have team talk not about shots or type of deliveries but about how to create one pointed concentration, knowing that it is the next ball only that you need to deal with, your own psychographics and the lot. It is evident that not one of these have been done nor a SPIN done for each situation based on assumptions. From a position of strength now Lanka has slipped to the bottom of hopelessness. What a sad state of affairs

Posted by partyanimal on (January 5, 2013, 5:45 GMT)

small amendment of my previous comment (on that time 1/130), Srilanka will all out today . Australia should choose comparable team for test match other wise it's ruined like that boxing day test match.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 5, 2013, 5:39 GMT)

Never expected that sort of a shot for Samaraweera. I thought he will stand there like Dravid. I thought, if this pair is gone, it opens the gates for Aussies. Now, it's very hard to close the opened gates. I have no hope for Mathews. Mathews is an attacking batsman. He will not last for long. Only hope is Chandi. Need a really good innings to pull it back. What a folly!

Posted by PFEL on (January 5, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

disco_bob, that's the only reason i can think of, wanting to give Hussey another Bat? either way it's ridiculous

Posted by Moppa on (January 5, 2013, 5:21 GMT)

@Meety, spot on. It was all about putting the openers in for a tricky spell before lunch. If we'd taken an early wicket, he'd be a genius. It's not Clarke's fault that Starc in particular failed to back him up.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 4:52 GMT)

herewego again when a aussie is out richie or slater is dead silent (clark;s lbw) and when a srilankan is out they are discussing it for 4 overs without commenting what is happening live,, we miss you Tony Greg

Posted by disco_bob on (January 5, 2013, 4:50 GMT)

On the declaration: Perhaps Clarkey just wanted to make sure that Hussey goes out a hero saving the match.

Posted by Master_Mihil on (January 5, 2013, 4:46 GMT)

on yaa.. DK!! :) score a century.. What i realized in this match was Aussies always win from home advantage. They can flourish in a feather bed with no pacy bowlers on the other side. Give them a side with equal strength in pace attack(proteas) or a decent batting track, they fail. This may be premature.. i got this watching how Dimuth and Mahela bat. Any way if that's so SA will take 2015 world cup. Or Pakistan..

Posted by PFEL on (January 5, 2013, 4:37 GMT)

@Joseph Langford,i've generally been very impressed with Clarke's decisions, although i feel he is often far too hasty to declare for the sake of being agressive, which often leads to a disadvantage for Australia. forget about 2012, a terrible start to 2013 for Michael Clarke. As Captain, strangely decides to bowl first on a pitch likely to be very hard to bat on later on, then this terrible declaration. As Batsman: runs out Mike Hussey in his last test who looked set to make a big one, then throws his own wicket away with a ridiculous shot . . . not looking good

Posted by partyanimal on (January 5, 2013, 4:32 GMT)

Any how Srilanka will loose there 5 wickets today and match will be finished by Australia before the lunch tomorrow- According to Srilanka's batting performance. but good things is Srilankan team encouraging the young talents.

Posted by BatsmanWhoBowls on (January 5, 2013, 4:29 GMT)

@disco_bob I don't think that England's non-declaration against India in the last test was like that at all. The only way that there was ever going to be a result on that absolute hole of a pitch was if every man in both teams batted like Warner and Gayle hopped up on roids. I think Cook was sick of Dhoni having the pitches fixed exactly the way he wanted them (regardless of how that bit him in the arse) and sick of the way the test was going. There was no point at all in sending India back in to bat, with the strip doing little-to-nothing for the bowlers and the field slowing down for the batsmen. I think he thought his team had earned a rest and shouldn't have been forced back into the field for no discernible purpose.

Posted by dan1234 on (January 5, 2013, 4:21 GMT)

I don't know about Lyon. He creates one maybe 2 chances an innings, other then that, he seems incapable of building any pressure on the batsmen let alone look like taking a wicket. It's a severe handicap for the Aussies and I can see him really struggle in the Ashes. Are there any other spin options at the moment?

Posted by Mervo on (January 5, 2013, 4:16 GMT)

Can someone tell me why Clarke declared? Was it arrogance?

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (January 5, 2013, 4:06 GMT)

I think we need a good fast bowler. Sri Lanka cricket must look at the under 19 team, and choose good quick bowlers, bring them to the side, let him play for a long time. After a few more years, they will at least gain experience. See the inexperience in the Sri Lankan pace bowlers, once the good two are gone, namely Kulasekara and Malinga. You really have to do something to this. Good that you brought Karunaratne, Chandi, and Lahiru. Just like that, you need to do something for the fast bowlers. A fast bowler won't last in the age of 30's. So, use them before they expire. What you do is, you get them in, when they are in the latter part of their game. Build good bouncy pitches like P Sara oval to support quickies. What's the point of playing cricket without good fast bowlers? If somebody asks what's my favorite thing in cricket, that's fast bowling.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 3:55 GMT)

I guess Clarke thought that Wade had scored too many ... especially when Clarke only scored 50. Wade was very lucky ... being dropped twice ... but his batting with the tail was top class.

Now all he needs to do is learn how to keep wickets

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 3:49 GMT)

@PFEL ..... absolutely agree but for me it was just ANOTHER bad decision by Clarke.

Wade has just dropped another. It won't matter how many times he calls out "On ya Gazza!!!" With so much criticism directed at Lyon, Wade dropping another opportunity ..... this one an important breakthrough opportunity ..... will not be soon forgotten by the spinner.

Posted by owlseye on (January 5, 2013, 3:35 GMT)

@ Sugath;I appreciate what you try to say and teach SLC Pundits, Yet I know they will never listen to us.. They will always try to immitate what the other international teams do and listen to other critics. As you said Suraj Randiv is just a waste in the team for being 12th man. He has the batting Fielding an bowling.. while we go for inexperienced pace attack and finally end up with Dilshan's bowling. Good that we have Dilshan in all departments.. even with gloves if required.. what when Dishan retires? SLC has no application of what they possess Vas was never appreciated, Watmore now doing magic with Pakistan, Murali will go somewhere else in future. Roy Dias is not in visinity..what a classy batsman and a fielder.Why not SLC put everything together and bring up a world wonder?

Posted by disco_bob on (January 5, 2013, 3:34 GMT)

This declaration may yet come back to bite Clarke, yet it is still a good declaration nevertheless because, fortune follows the brave, and he should not cop any flack especially considering some of the cowardly non declarations we have seen in the last few years, England's final innings against India being a good example.

Posted by PFEL on (January 5, 2013, 3:29 GMT)

Michael Clarke's declaration was pointless and completely nonsensical, unless he was overwhelmingly confident of bowling SL out for less than 138. Which he shouldn't have been. Otherwise a baffling decision with No conceivable advantage. To declare with Wade batting so well, and potential to make who know's how many more runs, just means Australia will have MORE runs to make in the second innings on a much more difficult pitch against Sri Lanka's spinners. With batsmen who will have to play themselves in . . . Baffling and very disappointing decision from a captain who is usually spot on.

Posted by Meety on (January 5, 2013, 3:15 GMT)

@dan1234 - valid points, but I think whilst there was no success before Lunch, Clarke as a batsmen knows that there is even less to gain for an opening batsmen in a 20 minute interval. Most of Pups declarations have come within 20 minutes of Tea. It is a chance to pick up a fatigued cheap wicket whilst batsmen are looking just to survive.

Posted by dan1234 on (January 5, 2013, 2:41 GMT)

Clarke has made some good aggressive declarations before, but I feel this one was a little too hasty. Every run Wade scored (and he was scoring them quick) is one less the Aussies will need in their second innings, that on a trickier pitch. With 2 1/2 days to bowl out SL, what's an extra 20 mins before lunch?

Posted by Jayzuz on (January 5, 2013, 2:16 GMT)

Clarke likes to back his players, so the declaration is in line with his prior captaincy. He's backing the bowlers here. Also, Wade was looking distressed, probably due to his back. I predict Lyon will take a bag of wickets on this surface, as SL won't simply be able to shut up shop like they did in Hobart. Certainly, however, 300+ runs would put SL in a winning position.

Posted by Sugath on (January 5, 2013, 1:56 GMT)

Sri Lanka brought Lakmal in a hurry to Australia and just as he did earlier was totally ineffective and so was Prasad. Yet Suraj who was in the initial selection is languishing in the dressing room. Did selectors think Lanka should do just what Australia do take four fast men and one spinner? Do they really know what our strengths and weaknesses and that of Aussies? My assessment is they have no idea. Lanka since 1982 when the first test was played in Oval Colombo has been known for spin strength, and why in the world did they not send Mendis or Akila instead of Suranga, and the idea is baffling. As they say, spinners hunt in pairs and had at least Suraj being their to support Herath Aussies would have fallen for less than 250, and Suraj is also economical not like those seamers who bleed runs. Nothing against Lakmal or Prasad but the fact is you need to know your strengths and use them and not just listen to what the Australian Commentators are saying, who are out to confuse others

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Australia v Sri Lanka at Melbourne - Jan 28, 2013
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Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets (with 7 balls remaining)
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Australia won by 32 runs
Australia v Sri Lanka at Sydney - Jan 20, 2013
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