Australia v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI, Hobart

Hughes hundred ensures Australia draw series

The Report by Brydon Coverdale

January 23, 2013

Comments: 216 | Text size: A | A

Australia 5 for 247 (Hughes 138*) beat Sri Lanka 215 (Mathews 67, Doherty 3-21, Henriques 3-32) by 32 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Phillip Hughes pushes one through the off side, Australia v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI, Hobart, January 23, 2013
Phillip Hughes scored his second hundred of the series © Getty Images
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On debut, Phillip Hughes scored a century to give Australia a 1-0 lead in this series. In the final game, he made another hundred to save Australia from series defeat and salvage a 2-2 result. Set 248 to win the game and the five-match contest, Sri Lanka struggled early, staged a plucky fightback led by Angelo Mathews, and ultimately fell short as Australia's bowlers backed up the fine work of Hughes, whose unbeaten 138 was all the more important in a batting line-up missing Michael Clarke.

Australia's captain had been ruled out due to an ankle injury suffered at training on the day before the match and it left the Australians with a flimsy looking batting order that featured the allrounders Glenn Maxwell and Moises Henriques at Nos. 6 and 7. But Hughes ensured the heavy lifting was done by the time those men walked to the crease and having been sent in by Mahela Jayawardene, who backed his team's chasing form, the Australians were pleased with their 5 for 247.

Still, the pitch was good, and only last summer Sri Lanka had successfully chased down 281 to beat the Australians at the same venue. The visitors knew they were in with a good chance. But early wickets were costly, and ultimately fatal to their victory hopes. At the halfway point of the chase Sri Lanka were 4 for 85, with barely one-third of the runs they needed. For most of the final 15 overs, the required run-rate hovered above nine an over.

Smart stats

  • Phillip Hughes' 138 is the fifth-highest score by an Australian batsman against Sri Lanka and the fourth-highest against Sri Lanka in home ODIs.
  • Hughes' 138 is also the third-highest score (second-highest for an Australian batsman) in ODIs in Hobart. The highest is 172 by Adam Gilchrist against Zimbabwe in 2004.
  • The win is Australia's first against Sri Lanka in Hobart. On both previous occasions (1999 and 2012), they lost by three wickets.
  • For the first time since the New Zealand series in 2008-09, a bilateral series in Australia ended in a tie. In between, Australia won three series by margins of 5-0, 4-0 and 6-1.
  • The 79-run stand between Angelo Mathews and Jeevan Mendis is the second-highest sixth-wicket stand for Sri Lanka against Australia. The highest is 115 between Aravinda de Silva and Roshan Mahanama in Colombo in 1996.

Mathews and Jeevan Mendis caused Australia some jitters with a 79-run stand that in its latter stages kept up with the required rate, but when both men fell in consecutive overs with 61 runs still required, it was all but over. They had picked the gaps well and were finding the boundary regularly until Mendis (26) advanced to Moises Henriques, who sent the bull full and straight and rattled the stumps.

In the next over, Mathews fell for 67 from 79 balls when he tried to pull a slower-ball bouncer from Mitchell Johnson and succeeded only in lobbing a catch to midwicket. Henriques followed up by bowling Thisara Perera for 7 and he finished with 3 for 32 from his ten overs, an impressive performance from a man whose results so far in the series had been slim. Clint McKay finished the job with the final two wickets to secure the 32-run victory in the 49th over.

The problems had started for Sri Lanka through a somewhat unlikely source, the spinner Xavier Doherty, who had not taken a wicket in the series until this game. But his flight and subtle turn troubled the Sri Lankans and he ended a promising opening partnership of 57 when Mahela Jayawardene, who looked in crisp form for 38 from 39 balls, tried to drive Doherty over mid-off and instead lobbed a catch to mid-on.

In Doherty's next over he added the wicket of Lahiru Thirimanne, who with 1 from 10 balls had struggled to make a fluent start. The pressure of dot balls accounted for Thirimanne, who tried to smash Doherty over midwicket and was caught in the deep. Tillakaratne Dilshan followed for a scratchy 19 from 48 balls when he tickled a catch through to Matthew Wade off Henriques, who found just enough away movement.

The Sri Lankan chase was almost derailed when Dinesh Chandimal (6) played an ugly attempted flick through leg only to see Doherty's ball spin just enough to beat the bat and hit the stumps. At 4 for 77, Sri Lanka needed something special. It didn't come from Kushal Perera, who top-edged Johnson and was caught at midwicket for 14, leaving the score at 5 for 108.

Slowly, Mathews and Mendis worked Sri Lanka back into the contest and Mathews could dream of another come-from-behind chase, just like he orchestrated in his first match in Australia three years ago. But not this time. This time, the runs posted by Hughes early in the match proved the difference. His hundred was all the more important after Australia lost both their openers within the first ten overs of the game.

There were useful contributions from several batsmen, notably David Hussey with 34, but Hughes was the key man and finished unbeaten on 138 from 154 balls. While Hughes lifted his tempo in the final stages, some of his partners were unable to stick around. Hussey was run out when he slammed the ball into the ground and back to the bowler Thisara Perera and inexplicably took off for a run that wasn't there, giving Perera plenty of time to throw down the stumps.

Glenn Maxwell followed for 9 when he skied a catch to cover off Lasith Malinga, providing Maxwell with his third single-figure score from three ODIs in this series. That was Malinga's only wicket for the innings and while some of his yorkers in the middle overs were threatening, overall he was not quite as dangerous as during the previous few games. Nor was Nuwan Kulasekara, who collected 1 for 57 and couldn't find the same sort of swing he had displayed over the past week.

In fact, Sri Lanka's best bowler was arguably the part-timer Dilshan, who opened, sent down three maidens, and finished with 1 for 22 from seven overs. Dilshan broke the 31-run opening stand between David Warner and Matthew Wade, who was moved up from the middle order. On 10, Warner played for a straight ball but Dilshan, coming around the wicket, got the ball to straighten enough to beat the bat of Warner, who looked back to see his off stump disturbed.

Wade (23) was lbw to Kulasekara in the tenth over, his ill-judged attempted late cut to a straight ball matched only by his poor decision to have Richard Kettleborough's lbw call reviewed. That left the Australians at 2 for 37 and needing to prevent another collapse. Hughes and the stand-in captain George Bailey steadied the innings with a 60-run partnership which, although not brisk, was important. On 17, Bailey chipped a return catch to Thisara Perera but Australia had a platform.

Hughes, fresh from three single-figure scores, was initially cautious but started to pick off some boundaries as his innings moved on, including a couple of handsome drives through cover and mid-off when the Sri Lankan fast bowlers overpitched. His half-century came from 82 balls and gradually he became more and more confident, even opening his stance to crunch Malinga through wide mid-on for a boundary.

His hundred came with a cut for four off Perera from his 132nd delivery and he was keen to lift the scoring rate after that, slogging Kulasekara over midwicket for the only six of the innings. The Australians picked up 47 runs in the final five overs, 30 of which came from the bat of Hughes.

In the end, Hughes wasn't Player of the Series - that honour went to Kulasekara - but he was Man of the Match in Australia's two wins. Not bad for a first effort.

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

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Posted by We_Love_cricket on (January 26, 2013, 2:43 GMT)

The pitch is famous no seam moment and uneven bounce in the afternoon session. Bowling first is a critical mistake we made in that wicket. MJ played a nothing shot so as Thirimanne. Last final when chasing MJ played a nothing shot and got out to Clint Mackay on Adelaide oval. We lost that match in same circumstances. In this final our target was 247 + score board pressure. How nice if we could give that to Aus specially we are bowling well throughout the tournament. It is not sad to lose this match after batting first. Our weakness was batting in this tournament. (so fragile) MJ is not a good captain as everyone boasted. Adding to that he has not provided significant innings to win those finals. Class batsmen so frequently scores centuries to win important tournaments. (provide significant contributions)

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 25, 2013, 15:05 GMT)

@Meety, well I hope Hobart curator will not prepare a sluggish pitch like that hereafter. If Hughes was dismissed at 20 off Mathews, things would have been different. You can imagine the slowness of the pitch if the bails did not pop off right?? He was so lucky! We also failed to take adequate singles between the 20th and 30th overs. Angelo had way too much to score in the end. Our batsmen were dismissed by trying to clear the infield where the ball came 1/100th of a second slower than usual making the ball go up giving dolly catches to the fielders.

Even if Aussies put there U19 team to face us, it is Australia as it is their choice of XI whom they put to play.

Our thinktank is poor in making decisions in the leadup to the match. Good example is also last year how we won the toss in Cape Town test match & opted to field on a good batting pitch. Not just that. In June last year, against Pakistan at the SSC in Colombo we won the toss and opted to field on the flattest pitch of all!

Posted by gnanzcupid on (January 25, 2013, 14:40 GMT)

@htc_android. Do you know that chandimal and herath were staying back after the tests? I think lankan management was afraid to field herath that he may leak runs. We all know many better spinners in world have struggled in australia. I get a feeling that lankan board avoided fielding herath since it may dent his 'next best to murali' image which they are trying to create. But i think herath should have been fielded as he is a good spinner.

Posted by Htc-Android on (January 25, 2013, 13:54 GMT)

@gnanzcupid. We bowled out the full strength Australian side for 74 runs in the 3rd ODI. Clarke, wade, warner all of them playing in that game. Only watson was missing. Hussey has retired from international cricket. We too played without sanga, Herath and chandimal in the same ODI. http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia-v-sri-lanka-2012/engine/current/match/573016.html

Posted by Meety on (January 25, 2013, 11:38 GMT)

@TrueLankan on (January 25 2013, 05:13 AM GMT) - oops, forgot about the Champ Trophy! @We_Love_cricket on (January 25 2013, 06:37 AM GMT) - sorry but MJs decision to bowl first was only bad in retrospect. Everything else about the decision was sound. SL had beaten Oz last year chasing a score of 280-ish, they beat Oz twice chasing. MJ was banking on Kalusekara continuing his hold on Oz batsmen - it didn't happen. There is no point blaming the decision, nobody was to know for sure the pitch would get a bit harder to score on. If SL had rotated the strike a bit more, had more wickets in hand at the 30 over mark, they could of won. They let Oz get about 20 runs too many & they left Mathews with too much to do (he is not Dhoni yet). @Sinhaya on (January 25 2013, 10:30 AM GMT) - I agree, no way was Oz a B-team. It was minus some star quality at times (MHussey, Watto & Calrke), but the top 3 that debuted in Game 1 - all have pedigree in 50 over cricket & our attack was near full strength!

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 25, 2013, 10:30 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, well I dont want to talk about England's performance in the ODIs against India. I did not have much time to watch them. I did see the debates between fans here on cricinfo however.

I wont call Australian ODI team for this series as a B team. It was their choice and we got the best XI all out for 74 and that was great. We got hammered in the 1st ODI due to our negligence as well. Three run outs is awful indeed and that was addressed by the time it was the 2nd ODI. England too is missing their best bowlers for the ODI series right now in India but that is England's choice to rest them and not a BCCI request.

We have to show a lot more commitment to win test matches in India and Australia. If we have won test matches in Pakistan, England, SA, NZ, WI etc nothing can stop us winning tests in India and Australia as well. We got thrashed 3-0 in tests when on paper we are better than that. Sad fact is that at home even we have played our worse test cricket against Aussies.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 25, 2013, 10:12 GMT)

@TrueLankan, well we must wait till December this year to see how we fair against Pakistan and the likely venue for that will be UAE where the pitches will be identically sluggish to the Hobart surface used for the 5th ODI. Thirimanne should be given chances as no.3 in ODIs against Bangladesh to boost his confidence. Our test record against Australia is awful both home and away. Something is radically wrong for that to happen. We have squadered winnable test matches 4 times against the Aussies to end up losing pathetically.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 25, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

@Meety, I did not see the post match ceremony. Well I have my negative views about the SCG washout but being diplomatic with you, I agree Australia had 2 atrocious umpiring errors and if not for that, another 30 runs would have been likely. Clarke better not be selfish by reviewing such plumb LBWs as he must accept the biggest share of the blame. Anyway, we too had a 50% chance of chasing and succeeding at the SCG. Our good ODI record in Australia is positive ahead of the 2015 world cup. Hopefully the 17th June Aust SL game at the Oval will be a thriller.

Posted by We_Love_cricket on (January 25, 2013, 6:37 GMT)

MJ is a good player and a gentleman without any argument. As a captain, he was taking very bad decisions on important games.That is why he couldn't win any of the finals so far. Having won the toss and ask to bat Aus is such a bad decision. Gabba (3rd ODI) match is a good example to measure up our batting ability. Batting is fragile even chasing small totals in pressure situation. We bowled really well throughout the tournament. There was no Clarke on the last game. The pitch is reputed on no seam moment and second session uneven bounce. Last time we scored 330 odd runs on batting first with Dilshan's 160. (we lost the game to Virat Kohli) All these facts are telling us to see batting first in this wicket. But MJ made a wrong decision. He must be fined by Cricket board of Sri Lanka!!!

Posted by gnanzcupid on (January 25, 2013, 6:22 GMT)

@sinhaya. I hope nz will put a decent show against the poms. Poms are getting battered by the indians in odi's which will dent their momentum and confidence,though they should try to carry their test form. I also have a question. Yourselves have claimed that our team is b team,but though your team did manage to pull 2 games,you should also remember to feel bad for losing 2 games to a b team(as you acknowledged me back with the same). Way to go lanka. Have to impove a lot if lankans even dream to beat australia and india at their home. I personally feel lankans dint win in these countries due to lack of technique and application by the lankan players.

Posted by TrueLankan on (January 25, 2013, 5:13 GMT)

@ Sinhaya : I was referring to Thirimanne's inability to bat in the middle order in ODI and not in Tests. I prefer him to play in Tests in the middle order and only play in ODI if he opens. But I hope I am wrong and he becomes one of the best no.3 batsmen in both formats. Our poor Test record in Australia reflects how we don't play Tests there often (and in India). We must beat Pakistan and boost our ranking so we can have this changed.

@Meety : I too hope for a Australia vs Sri Lanka 2015 WC final at the MCG.It would be the match of the century.But for now lets hope for a Australia vs Sri Lanka Champions Trophy final so we can settle our opinions over this drawn series. I wasn't surprised with Mahela's generosity with giving signed t-shirts. Mark Taylor's reaction was funny as well. He was pretty surprised. I doubt many captains are generous like Mahela.

Posted by Meety on (January 25, 2013, 4:41 GMT)

@Sinhaya on (January 24 2013, 02:56 AM GMT) - my previous reply didn't make it thru (darn cos it was a long one). Briefly, I wanted to say that Mahela & the SL Players/management deserve a big hearty "thank-you" for the gesture MJ made at the post-match ceremony. Apparantly he & the players signed a couple of shirts for fundraising for the Bushfire Appeal. Big thumbs up from me. I had been getting annoyed by some Lankan fans whinging about pitches & the SCG washout, but MJ & the Lankan team have erased all of that with that kind gesture. Top stuff! Australia v Sri Lanka for the 2015 W/Cup final!

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 25, 2013, 3:43 GMT)

@Gangnam_Gangsta, what do you mean by "A thrashing in South Africa is looming"? We toured South Africa already in Dec 2011 and we lost the tests 1-2 and ODIs 2-3 and it is now their turn to visit SL. They are coming to SL in July this year for 5 ODIs and 3 T20s with the tests to be played in June 2015. SL will tour SA again for a full tour only in Dec 2016 according to the ICC FTP.

@Harmony111, SJ is already a member of parliament and also a member of the current ruling party. I hope he quits politics as that would be better. I dont want to see MPs being in the selection panel! If you check the article, it says that SJ is a ruling party MP.

Posted by Test-is-the-best on (January 25, 2013, 3:31 GMT)

@ tdslbuwa - I agree with you. Angelo Perera deserve a chance instead of Jeevan Mendis

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 25, 2013, 3:06 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, you only started undermining our win in the Adelaide ODI. So because you boasted of NZ winning a test series in Australia in 1985 I wanted to bring the B team C team logic. Ok so if you are acknowledging our win in Adelaide no problem at all. It was Australia who chose the team at their choice as we never asked them to. England will have a walkover win against NZ this May in the first test as half their players will be playing IPL. No matter whether a weaker team is chosen, it will count as a win against Australian first XI.

For the sake of cricket I hope all nations can field their best XI at all times. I wish if West Indies managed to have Narine, Gayle and Samuels last year when Aussies went their for the tests but sadly that was not the case. I also wish if NZ can field their best XI for the 2 tests against England in England this May.

Posted by Gangnam_Gangsta on (January 24, 2013, 23:55 GMT)

A comprehensive loss to Australia in the last ODI leaves all Sri Lankan cricket fans with only "more of the same" to expect in the near future. A thrashing in South Africa is looming and they are no where as good at home post Murali and Sanga's departure. Dont forget this a team that has lost many finals including 2 WC and one t20 finals? Have invariably lost the series decider many times over, have never won a test, a test! in Australia and India and have lost many important ODI matches more importantly to india in the WC. It must be a mental thing as the team plays very well till they reach that knockout stage.

Posted by Harmony111 on (January 24, 2013, 20:05 GMT)

@Sinhaya: Why is it a bad news if SJ becomes a selector? I thought it would be good cos he retired only while back and would be more aware of the modern demands and would also have the respect of the players.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (January 24, 2013, 19:44 GMT)

@Htc_android. ill be a happy cricket fan if your young players show some promise.Lets wait and watch.At this point,from my personal point of view,i dont see many of those whom you people mention will stand long time in the international arena.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (January 24, 2013, 19:40 GMT)

@sinhaya mate.there should be some logic in your arguements.you argued that nz over the young aus team in 1985 should not be considered a measuring scale.If that is the case,we should apply the same to lankan win over the young aus team in these 2 odis,rite?

Posted by yorkslanka on (January 24, 2013, 17:10 GMT)

Someone needs to have a word with thirimanne and advise him to build his innings like he oes in tests..he is a player that gets outs easily trying to accelerate and one batsmen are accumulators whilst others are pinch hitters..he must play to his strength as 50 overs is a long time and if he played like Hughes did for Aus,we could have been in a better position(please note I am not saying the result would have been different just expressing my view on his batting style).guys like him, chandimal,Kushal , thisara , dimuth led by Mathews must be the core of our team for the future...

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 24, 2013, 16:26 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, (contd) We have failed to win tests in India and Australia because we have played poorly in those instances. Do you know that we beat Pakistan in tests in Pakistan well before India managed to record their first ever test win in Pakistan which was back in 2004?? We registered our first ever test win in England in 1998 in our 4th ever test match played in England! It was nothing to do with facilities. It was all because we played very well in that. From what you say, I have to mention that NZ has played 21 tests in Pakistan and won just 2 tests, but Sri Lanka has played 19 tests and won 6 tests there. It comes down to playing well and nothing to do with facilities. Fact is that we have registered test wins in overseas in some instances with less opportunities.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 24, 2013, 16:00 GMT)

@bhrangi, thanks a lot. India that was has a superb tendency to win when it matters the most. Their recent success rate in finals simply shows it. Had India made it to the CB series finals last year, they would have won it! Had India made it to the T20 world cup finals last year, I am 90% sure they would have won it at a crumbling pitch in Colombo. Well buddy I appreciate your good wishes but just have a look at the latest cricinfo article about Sanath Jayasuriya being in our selection panel and our sports minister appoints selectors. That is the AAAWEFUL part of Sri Lankan cricket. See this in case you did not see http://www.espncricinfo.com/srilanka/content/story/601960.html

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 24, 2013, 15:32 GMT)

@Chris_P, I heard about Australia's bush fire problems as I check BBC daily. I also heard about the Sydney heatwave. Thanks for your wishes mate. For tests are real test will be only this December when we meet Pakistan. As far as Aussies are concerned the bowling is beyond perfect but batting is the dicey area ahead of the Ashes IMO.

@TrueLankan, I disagree. Sanga's and Prasanna's injury only gave Chandimal and Thirimanne the chance to impress in Sydney. If not they would have been reserves. Mahela not choosing to bat was an awful decision as chasing was going to be tough. Mahela tookover captaincy last year due to pressure and no wonder he lacks the mojo he had during the previous stint. The way Mahela persisted with Malinga by giving him the bowling when Kohli and Samuels kept on clobbering him was simply unacceptable.

Posted by Htc-Android on (January 24, 2013, 15:25 GMT)

@tdslbuwa. I agree with you. Angelo perera should come in place of jeevan mendis. He is in great form and he is scoring at a strike of over 100. So this is the right time bring him into the side.

Posted by Htc-Android on (January 24, 2013, 15:22 GMT)

@ gnanzcupid. you dont get stars in overnight. murali took 50 ODIs and 20 test match to announce himself as a world class bowler. Jayasauriya took over 100 ODIs to announce himself as a devestating opener. Sanga too took some time. Noone thought that these players will become greats at the end of their career. So you need to show some patient with our youngsters. They will deliver their best.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 24, 2013, 15:06 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, you only started the argument about our win in Adelaide against an Aussie B team or C team. From what you say then a win is a win like what Bangladesh managed in West Indies in 2009 when the whole top XI went on strike. If you are questioning our win in Adelaide last week, then Australia winning the tests in West Indies last year 2-0 must be questioned too cos Narine, Samuels and Gayle being absent hit West Indies badly. So just stop talking nonsense and accept that a win is a win and no such B team logic.

Thirimanne is a very good player and stop playing him down. His knock at the SCG test was very good as many Aussie fans here like Chris_P said. He batted very well in the Adelaide ODI too. No doubt Kushal Perera, Chandimal, Mathews and Karunaratne are good talents too.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (January 24, 2013, 14:47 GMT)

@sinhaya. Nz has beaten aus at home in test match in less than 13 years. What has lanka done?If you ask not to consider the victory of nz over young aus team in 1985,will the lankan fans readily accepty these two odi victories of lankan team over the young aus side null and void.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (January 24, 2013, 14:38 GMT)

@sinhaya. Nz may have taken years to beat australia at home,but my point is that they have done it successfully.Have the lankans beaten the aus and india teams at their home?This is like saying mahela and thirimanne are equally talented or even the latter is more talented.Mahela has proved beyond doubts that he is a quality player. Has the latter?Any cricket follower will know that what cricket was before a decade(an era of dominance) is entirely different that the current era with the emergence of technologies and improvement in training and facilities. So with the current trend advancements in technology(like videos,drs,programs and softwares for planning and development) and improvement in training facilites, are you so down in confidence that your team take 60 years to defeat australia and your neighbours at their home.(as you claim that it is a great achievement if your team wins a test in lesser number of years than the other teams had done it in the past). fellas,grow up

Posted by tdslbuwa on (January 24, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

Jeevan Mendis should go...there is no reson to keep him in the team...he didn't ball a single ball in last two matches and cant handle the fast bowlers..at the age of 30(yes he is 30 years old) he cant improve his weaknesses as well...There is a SUPER TALENTED middle order batsmen named Angelo Perera waiting for an opertunity....he is an allrounder as well..can bowl decent leg spinners...has an average close to 40 and astonishing strike rate of 105...he can bat long as well..has a good first class record with 6 or 7 centuries...he is the middle order batsman SL is looking for years..come on selectors...give him a chance..he is in a red hot form now...I also saw some people asking to include Dimuth in one day team...but he has a modest list a record...Niroshan Dikwella should be the long term ODI opener..he has a real hunger for runs and can score them quickly too..So please give these two young guns a chance...rotate 3 seniors and play 1 of them at time...

Posted by buncers on (January 24, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

Shame about the match. Sri Lanka had a chance and blew it. Dilly seems really out of sorts. A slight glimpse of Dilly of old would have raised our game. Mahela did a great job as opener apart from that shot.

Chandi needs to take more responsibility now. Kushal needs more chances (he looks good). Not sure why Jeevan was picked - he didn't bowl and is out of form with the bat. Thiri should open in ODI's or not play.

I'm surprised that Perera's bowling hasn't improved with the BB and his coach hasn't taught him any new tricks. Malinga's bowling has got even better since BB and his new found vicious bouncer.

Perera should be playing tests to improve his temperament. He has great ability but little chance to show it.

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (January 24, 2013, 11:02 GMT)

In retrospect there isn't much to write home about regarding this ODI series. Both sides were missing their best player (Watson & Sangakkara). Aside from Hughes' two centuries and Kulasekara hooping the ball into the stumps from 2 metres outside off it really was pretty ordinary stuff. Hope the T20 is more entertaining.

Posted by siri12345 on (January 24, 2013, 10:59 GMT)

@truelankan completely agreed with u.mahela decision to open the batting was a bad one.especially with our young and inexperience middle order.it would have been okay for mahela to open the batting had sanga would have been there but without sanga noway mahela should have open the game.he should have taken the responsibility of finishing the game along with matthews and chandimal should have opened.anyway we need to groom dimuth karunaratne as the opener for now and may be dimuth and chandimal once dilshan retires

Posted by siri12345 on (January 24, 2013, 10:25 GMT)

It was an absolute nothing shot from thirimanne.fair enough u were 1 from 10 balls but u should have just rotated your strike and looked for singles rather than trying to play that over ambitious shot and the way chandimal missed that doherty ball through his gate tells us why he struggles more often in asia than in aus or sa

Posted by siri12345 on (January 24, 2013, 10:18 GMT)

4-this is the most turning point of the match and our biggest problem this series.the period from where we were 57 for 0 to when we became 77 for 4 lost it the match for us.as someone has said earlier both thirimanne and chandimal needs to be more tough and have to learn to build long innings

Posted by TrueLankan on (January 24, 2013, 9:51 GMT)

@Sinhaya and @SRI LANKAN FANS : The team needs Mahela and Sanga to be in the ODI and Test team to guide the young players. Mahela's decision to open the batting was worse than his decision to bowl first. Once he got out the very young and inexperienced batting line up was exposed and they all collapsed just like I predicted many times before. Thirimanne is a big problem.He should open the batting in ODI or just focus on Tests since he can't play aggressively when needed. But Karunaratne is the better option to open in ODI. Thirimanne's 100 in Adelaide was ugly and full of edges. He could of easily gotten out. We saw how he got out in Brisbane and this match. PLEASE don't blame Mahela. He is greatly affected by the way the SLC is handling the team and so it will affect the team performance as well.

Posted by siri12345 on (January 24, 2013, 9:20 GMT)

Anyways this series is done and dusted lets hope for a fresh start.by the way plz someone tell me who is our new odi and test captain?have it been already announced or yet to be announced?am i the only one living in a fluke that it will be angelo?

Posted by siri12345 on (January 24, 2013, 9:10 GMT)

The most worrysome part for us this series has been our batting.actually being 77-4 from 57-0 has lost the match for us.as someone has said earlier both thirimanne and chandimal needs more mental toughness and they have to learn to build big innings.it was a absolute nothing short from thirimanne.fair enough u were 1 from 10 balls but u could have easily rotated the strike and could have dealt in singles by finding gaps.no need to go for that big shot.and the way chandimal missed the ball from doherty tells us that why he struggle in asia though he plays well in aus and sa.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (January 24, 2013, 8:53 GMT)

SL fans and s few other critics are being harsh saying SL choked. That's not what I saw. The fact is chasing any decent score on that track was going to be hard. I fully expected Australia to win defending 250 odd. But nobody probably expected the pitch to play like that before the game, and they sent AUS in based on previous three games. But the track was not the more lively ones of the previous games, and it wasn't do humid. So I understand why SL sent them in. I have no idea why Clarke batted first in the previous games. I can only guess he wanted practice in such conditions for the ENG tour. For game 4, the weather forecast was dicey, and Jayawardne said he would have made AUS bat, so Clarke must also have known the forecast. Strange indeed. I had the impression at times that winning this series was not the main priority for these ODI games.

Posted by Massz on (January 24, 2013, 8:21 GMT)

I think the Australian batsmen are going to have a tough time in both India and England judging by the way they have handled swing and spin this series against Sri Lanka. The only way Australia will have any chance to beat England on their home turf and swing friendly conditions is if our bowlers all play to the level they have shown in patches throughout this summer. Clarke and Warner will have to have big series with the bat though to help the bowlers out.

Posted by siri12345 on (January 24, 2013, 8:03 GMT)

3-third reason for our loss it seems is selection of our playing 11.looking at the way doherty,herath and dilshan bowled i think we certainly missed a trick by not playing our 2nd spinner which could have been handful.the problem with us is that at the moment 2 from 3 of our allrounders i.e jeevan and perera are not contributing even in a single department(though i agree perera has been asked to perform from unfair and difficult situation) yet his bowling was not too impressive this series.

Posted by yorkslanka on (January 24, 2013, 7:59 GMT)

@ Chris P,Posted by Chris_P on (January 23 2013, 20:45 PM GMT):thanks for your sensible unbiased comments mate. You are right, Mathews needs to step up but I hint he will once he becomes captain and has more of "his" team around him..he has always had a difficult role as the finisher in the innings at such a young age but he will improve with time and I honestly feel he has the skill. We look forward to meeting you guys here in England in the champs trophy and good luck in India...

Posted by landl47 on (January 24, 2013, 7:56 GMT)

@Chris_P: Yes, your view is realistic as far as the batting goes. The available batsmen look somewhat short of test class and there aren't many younger players who are pressing for selection. No doubt, though, this will be temporary and exciting new talents will come along soon. In the meantime, Aus has a crop of good young bowlers, which will keep the side competitive. Ask me whether I'd rather have good bowling or good batting (assuming I can't have both) and I'll take bowling every time.

Besides, this is Australia. What I admire about Australians is that they never give up. Aus has won or saved a lot of games on sheer determination and I see no sign of that changing.

Posted by bhrangi on (January 24, 2013, 7:33 GMT)

I always felt that SL is good team some with some really great players., But somehow they choke in big matches. I hardly remember any series win by SL, but they are talented., Feel pity for Mahe., Best wishes for future series.

Posted by Stat1977 on (January 24, 2013, 7:30 GMT)

@ Mahanama-A good leader should be able to execute his plans with minimum resources.Arjuna didn't have superstars at his time except few.He brought us the world cup because he had enough courage,fighting spirit, counter attack and being a strategist. Mahela & Sanga had the best outfit, world class players compared to Arjuna's time.But They always choke when it come to big games and matters most.How many world cups we lost? 04 is too much.If a captain can't get his team to give it the final touch,he is not a good leader. Sanga & Mahela are the worst captains we had but statically brilliant with their records!

Posted by MrKricket on (January 24, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

So what did we learn about Australia in this series? Starc and Johnson looked better than I expected. No batsman apart from Hughes (twice) shone. Aus really misses M.Hussey. None of the all rounders are. Henriques seems a bowler, Maxwell is a fieldsman - he hardly bowls and gets out for nothing. Not sure of the rest - D. Hussey may be past it. Roll on the next series I guess.

Posted by maddy20 on (January 24, 2013, 5:55 GMT)

@gsingh One would expect that we have learnt our lesson not to shoot our mouth off before a major series. Remember we no longer have the likes of Laxman, Dravid to win/save us games nor spinners like Bhajji and Kumble to spin out the opposition on helpful tracks.

Posted by Htc-Android on (January 24, 2013, 5:51 GMT)

@Gangnam_Gangsta. I agree with you. SSC is a flat pitch, but not premadasa stadium. Premadasa stadium is a slow wicket. Except india(only in one match) no other team has chased more than 250 and won an ODI in sri lankan wickets. You dont see many 300 plus ODI scores in sri lankan wickets.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 24, 2013, 5:33 GMT)

@landl47. I think we will be massively on the back foot over there (& in India as well), simply because there aren't enough quality batsmen putting their hands up, so unless someone bursts out of the pack (& I've been around long enough to expect anything), or the bowlers really bowl out of their skins, the climb back will be that tad longe.,Just a realistic take on how things looks from my pov. Cheers.

Posted by Gangnam_Gangsta on (January 24, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

@Sinhaya, you may be right about distance from pitch to fence but not for no reason Premdasa and SSC is known as one of, if not, the flattest pitch in the world so that is not a good counter-point from cricketing perspective. Mahela averages close to 100 or more over there and in 30s in Australia and SouthAfrica. What may account for such differences if not the batting conditions?

Posted by PFEL on (January 24, 2013, 4:43 GMT)

in hindsight can't help but laugh at the first comment on this article!

Posted by Mahaanama on (January 24, 2013, 4:17 GMT)

@We_Love_cricket: It's not only Mahela's decision choosing to bat first. Before a match all captains discuss with team management & senior players what to do if wins the toss. Dilshan was the most economical SL bowler yesterday so it shows the decision of going with Dilshan was correct. This SL team is not a young team at all because except Sangakkara SL don't have any other good senior batsmen to include in this team to make this a matured team. Except Kushal Perera all the other players have been around the team for more than 2 years so SL should be able to chase whatever the target Australia set. Arjuna was a good captain and he won a world cup (since legend Aravinda was there) but the same team couldn't even reach super six in 1999 WC where as we reached 4 world cup finals in last 5 years. Mahela has won best ICC captain award twice. According to world cricket experts Mahela is one of the best captains cricket has ever produced & undoubtedly the best captain SL have ever produced.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 24, 2013, 4:10 GMT)

@Sinhaya. This is a very harsh country, weather wise. Tasmania has been experiencing extreme bush fires recently, it has been fairly dry down there. Sydney, as you know had a 46C day last Friday (117 in the old scale) hottest ever recorded day, last season was the wettest for the past 60 years, so it must affect pitches in some shape or manner. The harsh heat has to impact the preparation, not even the locals know what the pitch will do on occasions, so it is hard to judge, that said batting first in Brisbane & Sydney is always dicey. But overall, plenty of positives for your team to take away, the future, for ODI's at least looks reassuring.

Posted by Prem2248 on (January 24, 2013, 3:52 GMT)

AngeloPerera,Chandimal,Bhanuka,AshenSilva,Paranawithana,GayanManeshan,JehanJayasuriya, Kithruwan Withanage, Thirimanne,Dimuth Karunarathna, Romesh Buddhika, Niroshan Dickwella… It was so unfortunate that names of some of these brilliant School & Domestic Cricketers were not included even in Inter Provincial squads though one could find relatives & other henchmen of seniors and J&Ps having done nothing, given prominent positions in those teams as well.

Posted by Prem2248 on (January 24, 2013, 3:51 GMT)

They did the same to most unfortunate, Ajantha (this time, as well) and lost the series purposely as in the case of last WC 2011(having bowled brilliantly prior to the Final). They certainly could have picked him in place of a quickie. Though Ajantha has become a leading wkt taker in ODI Cricket, he has been given scant respect and unceremoniously removed from the Team making him to underperform (with the help of 2 seniors) in calling him to bowl at wrong times just to make an aging babe of J&Ps as the main spinner of the Team after the retirement of Muralitharan. An Interested person could go to any good Cricket website such as Cricinfo & Cricket Archives and seek for leading consistent performers in Domestic Cricket in SL , I'm 100% sure he doesn't find names of these babes of J&Ps in that list. However these under mentioned names could be found in every list, Senanayake, Malinda Pushpakumara, Dulanjana Mendis, Umesh Karunarathna,(Spinners); KhausalSilva,RoshenSilva(2 B CNTD),

Posted by   on (January 24, 2013, 3:51 GMT)

Now that the ODI series is over, do not make the same mistakes both strategic and tactical in T20. Firstly take Akila and Mendis in to the team to partner Malinga, Kula and Mathews. Let Kusal keep wickets. In the ODI series through some flawed thinking Lanka took Kusal off the gloves in the last two games. That was most unfortunate, because when someone is doing well you encourage that person and not discourage him. Whoever thought of that action is off his head.Do not take Lahiru who is not a T20 or ODI material. Good luck

Posted by Prem2248 on (January 24, 2013, 3:51 GMT)

Though they are average performers in the Domestic scene, their names come 1st in the list of each touring party. Though everybody knows, but the J&Ps, this spinner, that can't spin the ball nor extract any bounce off the pitch (while moving around the field like a wounded soldier), has no effect on fresh pitches (6'4" tall Nuwan Zoysa was dropped, from National duties, labelling him as a weak fielder but they don't apply same rule for their henchmen), since he is a just a 5th day bowler like many other left armers. There's nothing special about him. Last year too they did same to S'nayake what they did to Ajantha (were compelled to pick since they're the highest wicket takers in Domestic scene), but the puppet on tour on both occasions never allowed them to bowl on pitches conducive to spin instead they picked the same babe for all matches, played in spin friendly pitches (Doherty & Dilshan a wkt keeper in most of his career bowled better). (2 B CNTD)

Posted by Prem2248 on (January 24, 2013, 3:50 GMT)

We have hardly won a series since 2007 due to the ignorance of J&Ps and their reluctance to drop 3 seniors & non-spinning spinner, despite their poor performances out of the Country. Even if they score few runs here & there, they aren't in a position to demoralize confidence of opposition bowlers with their reckless approach to batting. There is no way one could take the sting out of a bowler, when he starts missing, edging & lofting with no control from the very 1st ball, as in the case of all front-liners of SL of last 20 years. Their mind too is reckless & impatient as in the case of their batting, have no clue how to plan their innings. The puppet on tour too acts like a non SLan as far as the Country is concerned. He has always preferred henchmen not the best available, apart from loose limbed extremely talented Ajantha (the highest wicket taker in Domestic scene, this year LO), all other spinners on tour are pilgrims rather henchmen of J&Ps. (2 B CNTD)

Posted by siri12345 on (January 24, 2013, 3:26 GMT)

2-mahela could have certainly given more overs to the likes of jeevan mendis and thirimanne on that slow wickets instead of perera who has been expensive throughout this series.he couldhave also given 3 more overs to dilshan cutting a over each from kula.matthews and perera in the middle over and could have save say 10 runs which may have changed the game.also playing players like jeevan mendis only as a batsman is not a good idea.cricinfo plz publish

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (January 24, 2013, 3:15 GMT)

You think about the batting and our last Ashes defeat, we're in for real trouble.In our 3 innings defeats, our batting crumbled badly - Clarke averaged 20 for the series, Ponting had a fizzer, as did Watson. Hussey was the only batsman to stand up.Clarke is undoubtedly a one of the best now, but if he has an ordinary series - who's our next best? With Ponting and Hussey no longer, Watson. I have been an unabashed Watson fan for a long time, but he clearly has no confidence in the test arena currently. He really needs an extended injury free run and a couple of big scores to get his confidence up - unlikely in England when it seems balls swinging in are his biggest problem.Cowan will have to lift his game, and the rejuvenated Hughes, who can score on flat decks but can't score against the moving ball as we saw in Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane. I hope he proves me wrong as he is a fine talent. Khawjaa is the best among the young brigade and needs a full series to show what he can do.

Posted by Biggus on (January 24, 2013, 3:14 GMT)

@ landl47-Cheers mate, but we'd all be a lot happier had the fourth game been played out. I still think you guys are going to cane us in England. For a while I thought we'd be a real shot in the return series down under but I'm starting to have my doubts about that. Still much work to do.

Posted by siri12345 on (January 24, 2013, 3:10 GMT)

I think following are some of the mistake which cost us the game-1-obviously mahela decision to bowl first has to be first of them.what looks more shocking is he started with dilshan after electing to bowl first indicating that he already knew that the pitch will not assist seamers early on and it is a spinner friendly wicket where the ideal norm is bat first score 240 odd and defend.sad thing is that he hadnot misread the pitch.infact he read the pitch correctly but decided to gamble on it by bowling first.cricinfo plz publish

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 24, 2013, 2:56 GMT)

@Chris_P, Meety, landl47 and other warm Aussie fans, I hope you all enjoyed the ODI series against us. I know we could have done far better in the test series. Looking forward to seeing you all in the Champions trophy later this year. Australia's next tour of Sri Lanka will be in July 2016 as per the ICC FTP.

Looking forward to an exciting ODI series between Australia and West Indies. But I am afraid I am supporting West Indies because Darren Sammy is my favorite cricketer of all.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (January 24, 2013, 2:56 GMT)

Far to much doom and gloom here, I don't agree that our batting depth is low at the moment especially for test cricket. Firstly, Smith and Maxwell are not ready for test cricket, let him spend time in shield. Our batting depth is good, we have Khawaja who has 450 runs and same with Ferguson and both are only 50 runs behind Hughes who was deemed good enough to take Punters's spot. So for me those 2 deserve a spot in the Indian tour. That aside, the English have always struggled against quality bowling, if we get out best three quicks on the park these guys are going to struggle, so I think our bowling could well win us the ashes.If Clarke, Warner and Khawaja fire as well, that's a pretty handy batting line up, we all know Watson will open in England and Hughes will need to learn how to combat swing bowling. will That gives us a top order of Warner, Watson, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Wade.

Posted by siri12345 on (January 24, 2013, 2:53 GMT)

It was a really really dissapointed effort from us.like the last year once again we had a great chance of beating aus in aus but yet again we failed to do so.now it has become a habit for us loosing the big games and i beleive our team is messing up somewhere in the mind rather than ability.i completely agree with u mark.time has come when we should replace our bowling and batting coach with a psychologist may be two psychologist.cricinfo plz publish

Posted by TengaZool on (January 24, 2013, 2:40 GMT)

To be perfectly honest, Channel 9 commentators aside, there is no point in talking up the Sri Lankan team. They never were a complete package to threaten Australia, especially in Australia. Yes, Kula bowled brilliantly in helpful conditions and it didn't help that Aussies had flawed selections. But overall, Sri Lanka should be happy with those two wins - that was the closest they were ever going to get to a full strength Aussie side.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2013, 2:33 GMT)

Congratulations Australia ..... you drew the series against a country where most of the cricketing population play with tennis balls.

Well done PH great century .... but it was very lucky!!! Not every batsman gets to allow the ball to hit their stumps and remain to face the next ball. Looks like a bit of Clarke's and Wade's luck is rubbing off. If a bail fell you would have been out on 20 ... another fail ... but it didn't and you went from zero to hero. Luckily for Australia because the others didn't fair to well. Maybe all the others were hoping that Starc was going to hit another 50.

Another good bit of captaincy in the field by Bailey who finished the series 2-1. Good control of the bowlers the occasional support of a slip .... excellent pressure!!!

SL .... all you have to do is not throw your wickets away. The team bowled very well for most of the innings.

Posted by MinusZero on (January 24, 2013, 2:12 GMT)

Overall, it was a pretty ordinary series for both teams. Apart from Hughes, Kula and Malinga, the rest were poor.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 24, 2013, 2:05 GMT)

@Gangnam_Gangsta, you are wrong buddy Boundaries in Sri Lanka are the longest in the world. R Premadasa in Colombo has an 85 m boundary, Hambantota is 100m, Dambulla is 85m too. Never has any commentator said that our boundaries are short.

Posted by We_Love_cricket on (January 24, 2013, 1:48 GMT)

Mahela let us down again. I am glad to see him step down as a captain. He has not provided us important and tough victories like playing in Aus, WC and T20 finals.I don't know why he bowled first yesterday. He might over confidence with a young team to chase. We had a good bowling attack to defend from depleted Australian batting. (With out Clarke in chasing) Why he is choose Dilshan to bowl first if he expected to swing/seam on the first session pitch. All history now and who says MJ is a good captain. He is a captain who takes very bad critical decisions on the past.

Posted by landl47 on (January 24, 2013, 1:44 GMT)

Good performance by Australia in this game- Hughes' luck was in (I don't think I've ever seen the stumps hit that hard and the bails not fall off), but he took his chance brilliantly; without him Australia was nowhere near a good score. The bowlers did well, too.

Good performance by Sri Lanka in the series; after the first game I thought they were in deep trouble, but they fought back very well to end the series level. On the balance of play, that was a fair result.

It's been a good series, entertaining to watch. Well done to both sides.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 24, 2013, 1:29 GMT)

Well this delivery when the Aussies batted was the moment of the game! Hughes added another 118 runs as a result. Well played Hughes but that luck too is a part of success.

20.3 Mathews to Hughes, no run, It's hit the stumps! But the bails didn't come off. Short again, and Hughes attempts a pull. The ball gets an under edge, dribbles onto the stumps, but not with enough force to dislodge the bails.

On a sluggish pitch this is what happens and such pitches are so alien to Australia which produces lively ones.

Well I mostly feel disappointed cos India won the ODI series after losing tests to England just like how NZ managed to do the same in SA in the ODIs. We too should have managed to achieve the same feet after getting Aussies all out for 74. We simply choke when it matters the most.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 24, 2013, 1:23 GMT)

@Meety. I really wish Wade wasn't in the T20 side, let him do the shield for experience. He will be having some long days in India coming up and 20 over games do little to improve his general keeping. His batting is fine, certainly well up to test standard, but we have a few other options for T20 at least. Same for Starc & Warner too, but that's probably me, don't want our test players picking up T20 bad habits.

Posted by Gangnam_Gangsta on (January 24, 2013, 1:21 GMT)

Srilankans are the new chokers of the world cricket. They freeze in all important games. Angelo Matthews only plays well when all is lost and never when something is truly at stake. Mahela scores pretty 30s and 40s but his game is more suited for smaller grounds where he can work his angles. SL's one true world class batsman was injured as he could not avoid a short ball from Johnson earlier in the test series. Overall it looks pretty bleak for the islanders.

Posted by Prem2248 on (January 24, 2013, 1:16 GMT)

AngelovPerera,Chandimal,Bhanuka,AshenSilva,Paranawithana,GayanManeshan,JehanJayasuriya, Kithruwan Withanage, Thirimanne,Dimuth Karunarathna, Romesh Buddhika, Niroshan Dickwella… It was so unfortunate that names of some of these brilliant School & Domestic Cricketers were not included even in Inter Provincial squads though one could find relatives & other henchmen of seniors and J&Ps having done nothing, given prominent positions in those teams as well.

Posted by Prem2248 on (January 24, 2013, 1:15 GMT)

They did the same to most unfortunate, Ajantha (this time, as well) and lost the series purposely as in the case of last WC 2011(having bowled brilliantly prior to the Final). They certainly could have picked him in place of a quickie. Though Ajantha has become a leading taker in ODI Cricket, he has been given scant respect and unceremoniously removed from the Team making him to under-perform (with the help of 2 seniors) in calling him to bowl at wrong times just to make an aging babe of J&Ps as the main spinner of the Team after the retirement of Muralitharan. An Interested person could go to any good Cricket website such as Cricinfo & Cricket Archives and seek for leading consistent performers in Domestic Cricket in SL , I'm 100% sure he doesn't find names of these babes of J&Ps in that list. However these under mentioned names could be found in every list, Senanayake, Malinda Pushpakumara, Dulanjana Mendis, Umesh Karunarathna,(Spinners); KhausalSilva,RoshenSilva(2 B CNTD),

Posted by Prem2248 on (January 24, 2013, 1:14 GMT)

Though they are average performers in the Domestic scene, their names come 1st in the list of each touring party. Though everybody knows, but the J&Ps, this spinner, that can't spin the ball nor extract any bounce off the pitch (while moving around the field like a wounded soldier), has no effect on fresh pitches (6'4" tall Nuwan Zoysa was dropped, from National duties, labelling him as a weak fielder but they don't apply same rule for their henchmen), since he is a just a 5th day bowler like many other left armers. There's nothing special about him. Last year too they did same to S'nayake what they did to Ajantha (were compelled to pick since they're the highest wicket takers in Domestic scene), but the puppet on tour on both occasions never allowed them to bowl on pitches conducive to spin instead they picked the same babe for all matches, played in spin friendly pitches (Doherty & Dilshan a wkt keeper in most of his career bowled better). (2 B CNTD)

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 24, 2013, 1:10 GMT)

@Chris_P, Hogg was spot on about our test bowling attack. ODI cricket is light years different. Our bowling attack is excellent for ODI cricket and that was why Hogg did not say anything. None of our pace bowlers will get a place in an Aussie state side for 4 day games but yes we will for one dayers.

He did not say anything about Rangana Herath because he was very good and obviously Hogg knew that Herath alone cant make an impact in a test match.

Posted by Meety on (January 24, 2013, 1:10 GMT)

@Freak7820 on (January 23 2013, 22:32 PM GMT) - re: Finch, no dramas but why do you think he would do anything at #5 or 6? All his damage is being done as an opener. BTW - great choice at #9 in the order, he is in really good form & am glad the NSP & yourself are keen to give him a go! LOL!

Posted by Meety on (January 24, 2013, 1:07 GMT)

@Chris_P on (January 23 2013, 21:06 PM GMT) - I didn't see this when I first commented about Mo to you. I have a feeling that like Symonds, he needed one game where things went right for him, & suddenly he would blossom. His bowling was excellent, & it was a very good call from Matthews to take him on one of those occassions, there was two any other day of the week, but would of had him cold! As far as rotating the strike is concerned, I think the unsung hero of the match was David Hussey & his partnership with Hughes. The first 15 balls he faced was the PERFECT way to start an innings with a set batsmen at the other end. Hughes basically doubled Hussey's score in that partnership thru great strike rotation. == == == Forgot to mention Mahela's great gesture at the presentation ceremony. I had been starting to get a bit annoyed with some whining from SL fans, but because of MJ, all is forgiven. (The gesture was a couple of signed shirts for the Bushfire appeal) Big thumbs up Sri Lanka

Posted by Mahaanama on (January 24, 2013, 0:58 GMT)

Congrats Australia!! SL don't deserve to win this match since they batted so badly. SL always waste Thisara Perera's batting talent. We have seen how well he can hit the ball once he settles down in the middle. He has won matches with the bat when he got the opportunity to bat 15 -20 overs. But always SL send him to bat at No 8 even after unless Jeevan Mendis so Thisara gets only 5 overs to bat. In that stage of the inning he has to go for big shots from the first ball so can easily gets out cheaply. I don't understand Jeevan Mendis's role in the team. He's not a good batsman, bowler or a fielder so I feel like he's in the team because any team isn't allowed to play a match with 10 players. Every time he bats he eats too many balls at the start of his inning then he hits couple of boundaries. After everything he scores 25 runs in 45 balls and gives away his wicket when SL still need 50 runs to win in 25 balls. The pressure he builds always ends up SL in the losing side.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 24, 2013, 0:47 GMT)

@gnanzcupid, where were you during the 3rd ODI? I never see you comment in NZ articles at all after impostering as an NZ fan. Look at the number of tests NZ has played in Australia from 1973. Dont talk up the victory in that 1985 tour of Australia because it was an inexperienced Aussie side after the whole team got kicked out for touring SA back then! So the real meaningful test win was in Hobart in 2011. So that way NZ achieved their real test win in Australia only after 60 years of getting test status. No one will bother about a troll like you.

If we made a sensible choice of batting first we would have won yesterday and you would not be posting comments here at all. Hughes was so lucky not to be out due to the bail not falling. Had it happened we would have seen a different result.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 24, 2013, 0:42 GMT)

@kc69, we dont rely on Sanga and Mahela. We did far better in the SCG test sans Sanga though in a losing cause. Our 3 youngsters Thiri, Chandimal and Karunaratne clicked. Sooner Sanga and Mahela quits, the better!

@matchfixerpkn, Hughes was the luckiest after being bowled but the bails not coming off! Did you watch the match??

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 24, 2013, 0:28 GMT)

Why did n't Mahela choose to bat on a awfully slow sluggish surface? I never expected such a surface in a place like Australia where the pitches are so famous for being lively. If we batted first, we would have won with a 200 plus total. The way the ball did not come on to the bat when Aussies batted clearly showed how much we will struggle chasing. Angelo's efforts were too little too late. We just choked when it mattered the most and re affirmed as to why are we chokers.

Posted by ScoreField on (January 24, 2013, 0:18 GMT)

Mehela and Sanga leaves the SL team nowhere near Arjuna and Aravinda left, that is mainly due to,

1. experienced Mathews (90 ODI's) and youngsters not good enough to step in like mahela and Sanga stepped in early in their careers, still new members does not have right chemistry to manure game to right end. After some time they might get it but its mostly experience less talent.

2. very bad cricket administration in Sri Lanka

just takeout Dilshan,Sanga, Mahela and Malinga from the equation where would SL will stand?

Posted by hycIass on (January 23, 2013, 23:48 GMT)

@Freak7820 i don't think Khawaja is far from a call up, his big test will come in India where i think he will do great and I like your batting linup. @BigMaxyWalker i agree with you 100%

Posted by Chris_P on (January 23, 2013, 22:48 GMT)

@Jermaine007. Mate, Don't forget the adage, don't cheer at the half time score, wait till the final whistle blows. "Hughes doesn't deserve it"? I think that has even outdione every Indian, Sri Lankan, Pommy or Saffa post about their own players! Way to go, kid.

Posted by Freak7820 on (January 23, 2013, 22:32 GMT)

Good series for both teams.

Will never understand why Australia don't give Khawaja or Finch the chance to bat at No. 5 or No. 6.

The batting lineup should be: Warner, Wade, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja/Finch, D.Hussey, Henriques, Johnson/Starc, someone, McKay, Doherty

Posted by Meety on (January 23, 2013, 22:30 GMT)

@Chris_P on (January 23 2013, 20:45 PM GMT) - really happy to see Mo finally deliver on some of his potential. I think it will be an interesting battle amongst the allrounders for the Champ Trophy. @pat_one_back on (January 23 2013, 20:46 PM GMT) - I agree with what you say, but atm, I don't think we are any closer to any sort of stability. Assuming Watto has not given up bowling, in ODIs, he offers so much balance to the team. I tend to feel a bit sorry for Wade in terms of ODI batting. He certainly hasn't found a slot in the batting line up - being yo-yo'd up & down every 2nd game!

Posted by maf17 on (January 23, 2013, 22:08 GMT)

Australia wins, England loses. Couldnt ask for a better day than that.

Posted by Test-is-the-best on (January 23, 2013, 21:55 GMT)

Its not a Surprising outcome in the final match for Sri Lanka as Sri Lanka has got a history of loosing the crucial match after making a decent effort in earlier encounters. Yesterday too Mahela did a mistake by opting to field even though he realised there is much assistance for slow bowlers like Dilshan & Herath. Sri Lanakan team could not win 2 ODI world cups, 2 T20 World Cups/ Common Wealth Bank ODI Series last year & This year/ Test series against England & New Zealand in 2012 under the captaincy of Mahela & Sangakkara. Sri Lankan team has got a poor middle order which cannot turn the things round if the top order goes out very cheaply. Experienced playes like Matthews can not rotate the strike when the team desperately need to build a partnership. He can strike only when the power play is opted. On the other hand three youngsters ( Chandimal,Thirimaanne, Kusal Janith) too failed to make a good contribution which makes the target unreachable for the lower middle order.

Posted by Cricket_theBestGame on (January 23, 2013, 21:52 GMT)

jaywardne made the biggest mistake by bowling first. all morning the commentators were mystified as to why he would bowl first no sunny day with good batting wicket? esp when he knew the ball won't do much and started with dilshan?

last time SL played here they score over 300 admittidly on losing cause.dilshan made 160! but against aust who were struggling, a score fo 250+ with world class spinners like herath and dilshan, SL would've won easily. could've been an easy series win for SL but incompetent jaywardne made the mistake of bowling first.

Posted by OzWally on (January 23, 2013, 21:45 GMT)

Between injuries and the rotation policy, I think we can safely say we saw (at most) 6 players at any one time that will be in consideration for the WC in 2015.

And if you thought we saw a lot of players this series, just wait until the WI series starts.

Posted by one-eyed-but-keepinitreal on (January 23, 2013, 21:17 GMT)

A realistic appraisal of SL's efforts in the one day series would take into account that their two wins came in the matches which were heavily influenced by the toss of the coin, and Sl won the toss in both of those. A tacky Adelaide wicket turned hard and a Brisbane wicket which ensured that the side batting second would be chasing a low target (always easier). On the two wickets where conditions were even they were beaten easily in both matches. Now down to Sydney, where, winning the toss and batting first in a D/N is a significant advantage. Australia batted first in that match and, although they were robbed a 250+ score by some very poor umpiring (which would have been easily defended) they still scored a thoroughly defendable 222 (esp against the current SL line up). Rain did not rob SL a win, however, it almost put them in a better position. You cannot complain about being robbed by the same conditions which almost gave you an advantage.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 23, 2013, 21:06 GMT)

@Meety. Henriques looks to be finally delivering on his promise (with the ball at least). Batting wise, well, he got a beauty in Brisbane, got dudded in Sydney & rotated the strike well to feed Hughes for that final assault, all in all, very promising for the future. He is finally delivering, & after watching him for the past 5 or so years with total frustration on not delivering on his obvious talent, it feels good to see him do well. How about those flat throws from the boundary? Gold!

Posted by wellrounded87 on (January 23, 2013, 20:53 GMT)

Not sure why some people seem to think AUS would have won game 4 if not for rain. The rain saved us for sure. We posted a small score and D/L would have made it very easy for Sri Lanka to chase. Personally i'm not a fan of the D/L system, always gives an advantage to the team that plays after the rain.

@Jermaine007 questionable? he's averaging 90 in the ryobi cup this year, he top scored this series with two hundreds. What exactly is questionable about any of that?

Australia have a lot of problems with their ODI side. Maxwell, Henriques, and Bailey probably shouldn't be there. Pomersbach, Finch and Cutting are much better options, Playing 2 all rounders was stupid. neither Maxwell or Henriques have gotten runs in this series.

Posted by Htc-Android on (January 23, 2013, 20:51 GMT)

@gnanzcupid. welcome back mate. By the way, did u enjoy watching the third ODI?

Posted by Htc-Android on (January 23, 2013, 20:48 GMT)

@colombo_SL. One common weakness i identified from our batsmen is the lack of ability to rotate the strike. The made the same mistake in the test series and the ODI series against india. Today they played too many dot balls and in the end they looked for boundaries and gave their wickets away. This has been becoming a trend in our side. I hope our batsman improve this weakness in the upcoming series.

Posted by pat_one_back on (January 23, 2013, 20:46 GMT)

For all the sharing of opportunities Aust have really learned little concerning who their best ODI or fringe test team players are. Pleased to see Moises getting involved, he & Watson can be rotated in the test team 6 for Watson 7 for Moises with the keeper batting up 1, finally we can have some stability in 1-7 and a genuine change bowler to back up the frontline!

Posted by Chris_P on (January 23, 2013, 20:45 GMT)

@yorkslanka. You can also be proud of your boys efforts, there is plenty that I saw that would be comforting for the future of Sri Lankan cricket. I like Mathews, but if he only hung in there a little, he could really take the next step up to elite level, rather than a promising youngster, but all in all, there is plenty to feel good about your team. I think, not sure (re:SL), but both teams were tinkering with selections with a view for the future, especially WC2015, which should be the ultimate aim for all teams.

Posted by TrueLankan on (January 23, 2013, 20:44 GMT)

Australia out smarted us this time. Well played. Seems like the Champions Trophy group match is nicely set up now. We shall settle our scores then and there. With Sanga's return and a couple of changes to the order I am confident we will do well.I will give the Mighty Lankans a 6.5/10 rating for the tour due to the couple of talented players we found in the Tests and great bowling performances in the ODI. But could of been much better if we selected the team right and won a Test and this match. Go Lanka Go.

Posted by Hatedaarmchaircritic on (January 23, 2013, 20:42 GMT)

@colombo_SL, did you even watch any of the games...... If SL continue to play like this they do not stand a chance in the 2015WC, they bearly made it to 200 yesterday, and of the two wins you managed only one was convincing. Not bad against a second string bowling and batting line up. I think you will see that by 2015 when aus has their player fatigue management in full order, and they can field a full strength bowiling attack with the young guard (Cummins, Hazelwood, Pattinson) batting lineups around the world will be struggling to reach 200-250. Thank god for Nuwan Kulasakera otherwise this may well have been a whitewash also. Great series and close through out, Hughes was stiffed for Man of the Series, converting two innings out of five into tons when batting 1,2 or three is excellent.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 23, 2013, 20:40 GMT)

@@herath-uk. Mate, Hogg was commenting on the test lineup, and I think he was just about spot on, wasn't he? Herath was the standout Lankan bowler in tests, the quicks, to be blunt, wouldn't get a start for any state team in the Shield based on what I saw over 3 tests.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 23, 2013, 20:35 GMT)

Mate, get a grip grip on reality. It was RAINING in Sydney, ergo the water wasn't draining. What part of that don't you understand? Believe me, I was there getting soaked at the time! And btw, the SCG is far & away one one of the top 3 grounds in the world for cricket, & by a fair distance from the rest.

Posted by TrueLankan on (January 23, 2013, 20:23 GMT)

As I always say, Mahela should not open. He needs to play at no.5 especially after Sanga's return and the rule changes. He exposed the very young and inexperienced middle order by getting out even if it was a run a ball 30 odd. There is nobody there to guide them and as predicted they fell like dominoes. 248 was really gettable if we played with some brains. What was Thirimanne thinking? He needs to open the batting or get dropped from ODI for Tharanga to play in the middle order.

Posted by colombo_SL on (January 23, 2013, 20:02 GMT)

@ScoreField; Nice comment agree with you 100%.

Posted by colombo_SL on (January 23, 2013, 19:58 GMT)

I thought Sydney as a best ground in the world. But 4th match helped me to realize that I was wrong. Is this the situation of major ground which is going to take part in 2015 WC. Not only Australian Cricket quality but also their ground conditions are not in good condition.

Posted by   on (January 23, 2013, 19:58 GMT)

It is good Jayawardene no more captain after this Australia series. He cant score runs. Mathew shine in only one out of five one days. Good luck for Srilanka.

Posted by Harmony111 on (January 23, 2013, 19:55 GMT)

I saw the match for a while when SL were chasing and thought they had a pretty good chance of doing it. And when I checked the score at the end I was kind of disappointed that SL were not able to chase 248 - which by no means was an impossible target (though not a trivial one either).

SL fans must be disappointed cos they had a great chance of winning the series here and also in the prev match. Such chances don't come often.

Posted by disco_bob on (January 23, 2013, 19:50 GMT)

This could very well be the innings that 'makes' Hughes. An absolute edge of the seat classic ton, it had everything, including a bit of chewing gums sneakily slipped under the bails.

Posted by colombo_SL on (January 23, 2013, 19:50 GMT)

@gsingh7; You make us smile. I really like if you can beat Australia in India. No doubt about it. But you also commented on England, before they come in to your country for test matches. We love India than you. So I don't try to criticize your comments on Sri Lanka since it automatically affects to your esteem country. Giving comments to attack you may attack your country. Since, we love India than you do, never try to reply you. Anyway, wish you all the best for Australian series.

Posted by colombo_SL on (January 23, 2013, 19:47 GMT)

@gnanscupid; Nice to see you back. At the end of first match, we found your comments. In between 1st & 5th matches, we found no comments of you. After fifth match you are like a hero. Better to have a back bone check up. We are always with our team, even at the losses.

Posted by colombo_SL on (January 23, 2013, 19:45 GMT)

Both Australia & Sri Lanka have lots of areas to be improved in ODI format before the 2015 WC. Australia is not a tough competitor at present in ODI format. Sri Lanka won't find it difficult to play with them in shorter format.

Australia was unable to achieve an ODI series victory over Sri Lanka in last two bilateral series played in Australia. They lost one series.

Nice to see the way Australians rotate players & injuries.

Posted by colombo_SL on (January 23, 2013, 19:32 GMT)

Both Australia & Sri Lanka have lots of areas to be improved in ODI format before the 2015 WC. Australia is not a tough competitor at present in ODI format. Sri Lanka won't find it difficult to play with them in shorter format.

Australia was unable to achieve an ODI series victory over Sri Lanka in last two bilateral series played in Australia. They lost one series.

Nice to see the way Australians rotate players & injuries.

Posted by colombo_SL on (January 23, 2013, 19:13 GMT)

I'm happy with SL's ODI performance in Australia. There are lots of areas to be improved. Hope, they can improve these areas & compete well in 2015 WC. I'm very positive about the 2015 WC. Kulasekara's performance is a good sign & he won the Man of the Series Award over Australian bowlers.

Posted by colombo_SL on (January 23, 2013, 18:57 GMT)

Brilliant performance by Hughes. Nice to watch. Well played sir.

Posted by colombo_SL on (January 23, 2013, 18:54 GMT)

Like to see improved performance from both Sri Lanka & Australia teams in the coming ODI matches. Both teams have a long way to go to be consistent.

Posted by colombo_SL on (January 23, 2013, 18:51 GMT)

Australia & Sri Lanka proved that they are suitable for 3rd & 4th places of ODI rankings & not for 1st & 2nd places yet.

Posted by LegB4wkt on (January 23, 2013, 18:33 GMT)

@Posted by PkZindabaad ; you are a very delusional individual. You are telling that SL should take an example of Pakistan, the very team who lost both Test n ODI series to SL 6 months ago ??? And not to mentioned Pakistan lost to SL at T20 WC semi as well, Furthermore SL won a Test and 2 ODI's against SA in SA last year. I hope you will manage to draw at least one test. Don't make a fool outta yourself.

Posted by PkZindabaad on (January 23, 2013, 18:08 GMT)

I think Srilanka took the chase pretty ordinarily, just shows how ineffective they are from their comfort zones and that could point out the cogent argument of being an ordinary side. Phil Hughes was fantastic , single-handedly took the game away from the srilankans.However, they need to comprehend how to win a game on sporting wicket by just observing from the up-coming series of Pakistan against South Africans as we are going to win the series with the talent players like Nasir and Junaid. Anyway cheers to both sides as at the end of the study its just a game!!

Posted by SL_Boy on (January 23, 2013, 17:52 GMT)

I am really happy Mahelas was done …last game as Capton SL, I never like his cricket and leadership, just few ... 1.) Wining the toss and not batting 2.) Changing Malinga after the 3rd Over (3 over 3 runs and he was bowling excellent at that time) 3.) Changing Perera after getting the wicket, he was bowing in the first over around 125, after getting the wicket he was around 135 just get going and Mahala kill it. 4.) not trying Jeeven (slow wicket)

Just few … He can t bat under pressure has to open the inning, He was push in to the team by Arjuna ….

Hope Mathew's era will be a good one … good luck Sl ...

Posted by Apocalypse_EX on (January 23, 2013, 17:23 GMT)

@herath-uk rod hogg said that about the sl new-ball bowlers in tests,not the odi attack & I believe he was 100% right

Posted by ScoreField on (January 23, 2013, 17:15 GMT)

Dear Young Lankan's - Still I'm not convinced that Mathews is true leader, he always, ( i mean always) starts very slow creates a unnecessary pressure on batting order triggers a loss, he should give chance open batting and still creates an unnecessary pressure axed him for a while.

Posted by gsingh7 on (January 23, 2013, 16:26 GMT)

sl got lucky in 4th on same hand aus will be thrashed in india in coming tests if they dont recall their old guard as cupboards are bare for batting and spin bowling, also wk is average only plus is fast bowling but apart from stark no one can swing the ball big ala praveen kumar, so next test tour to india wud be disappointing to say the least

Posted by kc69 on (January 23, 2013, 16:11 GMT)

I feel sorry for Sri Lanka Cricket as it heavily relies on Sanga and Malinga and None of the youngsters stood up to perform when it matters.And Mahela stated that they would have chased down 223 in previous match under tough conditions and won the series.

Posted by Divinetouch on (January 23, 2013, 15:53 GMT)

Sri Lanka is quietly glad that the 4th ODI was called off or else they would have lost the series 3 to 2. The only comfort they can take is that they would have lost the 4th ODI by only 7 runs as compared to 32 runs in the 5 th ODI. Their highest score in the series was 215.

Posted by mark2011 on (January 23, 2013, 15:45 GMT)

@matchfixerpkn : which player has scored runs without edging the ball? hav uever watched a cricket match ? atleat today?.. Mahela edges,

what about Phil Highes today, ball hit the stump & fortunately bails didnt come out..otherwise we wud have seen how they gonna make 247.

rememver this wicket is not the type of wiket for ODI, and it was slow bowling show. commentators was surprised to see how slow some were bowlling?...

Posted by Meety on (January 23, 2013, 15:32 GMT)

@Jayzuz on (January 23 2013, 12:23 PM GMT) - I think SLs first win at Adelaide was the better win, at the end of the day, whilst you did say SLs win was 4 wickets - it did involve bundling us up for 74! Anyways - only my opinion, I believe we would of won the SCG match - depending on the D/L, but that is a thin contention!

Posted by RoJayao on (January 23, 2013, 15:25 GMT)

Yeah looks a lot like Australia were the ones robbed by rain at the SCG the other night and I reckon SL knew it too, hence wanting the D/L result! Did anyone else find comments by channel 9 commentators Taylor and Slater today regarding the discussion between captains and umpires at the SCG offensive? Taylor clearly was trying to assign blame to Clarke for not going back out by saying the umpires had asked the captains if they wanted to play. Benaud's response was unequivocal in stating, NO, the umpires DID NOT ask the captains! And Slats also, wondering aloud about whether if it'd been to Australia's advantage they might've wanted to keep playing. Quite frankly their comments just seemed designed to insight more ill feeling from SL fans and were very unfair on Clarke. Considering the shocker those umpires had had that night, maybe some criticism going their way would've been more appropriate.

Posted by ramesh_rocks on (January 23, 2013, 15:24 GMT)

Srilanka had great oopurtunity to win this series, still I'll say that they played well in alien condition and made it tough for AUS in their home condition..Good luck to SL for T20..From India

Posted by Herath-UK on (January 23, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

Sri Lanka will be disappointed not to have won though one of their quicks to be chosen as MOS is rewarding specially when consider what the 'expert' Rod Hogg said at the beginnig.SL underutilise Thisara and playing Jeewan just as a batter is surprising as there are many better batsmen who could have filled that role.However they could be satisfied with what they got to plan for 2015 WC. Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by gnanzcupid on (January 23, 2013, 14:51 GMT)

Atlast my prediction at the start of the series is spot on. Sl won 2 games and are lucky to have drawn the series. Lankan fans should thank the rain gods. Lankan fans should not overrate and sing songs on their young players. They are yet to prove themselves. The previous game would have been the same story like this one had the rain not interfered. Lankan fans who made funny comments that they missed out a series win. Also lankan fans who abused the kiwis were answered by the team's own performances. I can very well say that lanka is far worse than the kiwis in tests and as good as the kiwis(may be less)than the kiwis in odis. Kiwis have won at hobart in test and now they have won an odi series in saff,both of which are not achieved by the lankans. So lankan fans should stop day dreaming and accept their status.

Posted by LegB4wkt on (January 23, 2013, 14:49 GMT)

@Posted by matchfixerpkn ; if you had seen the match, you would have realized who got lucky the most. It was Hughes. The ball hit the stumps n failed to dislodge the bails even b4 he reached double figures. And he was the anchor of the oz innings. So who got lucky the most ???

Posted by LegB4wkt on (January 23, 2013, 14:42 GMT)

I think that the lack of a game plan cost us the win. If we could convert at least 25% of those dot balls into singles, we wouldn't have had such a big task at the end. Anyway series was drawn, not lost. What we have achieved thru out all these years are more than enough for our tiny Island nation as well as for a relatively new team. We have even managed to win the WC that SA,ENG,NZ yet to achieve. Hope things will be better once the young lads settled down. Proud be a Sri Lankan !!!!

Posted by Big_Maxy_Walker on (January 23, 2013, 14:42 GMT)

@Pras_Punter i agree with those changes, clarke and khawaja in with maxwell definitely gone, and i would keep d hussey because of his big hitting skills and part time spin and lose bailey. my side would be warner, hughes, khawaja, clarke, d hussey, henriques, wade, johnson, starc, mckay, doherty

Posted by mark2011 on (January 23, 2013, 14:42 GMT)

After loosing 1st wicket either early in the innings or after 30-40 runs, if next batsman no.3 going to play a test inning in these ODIs, SL will hardly post 250+ score and chase such total to win matches, if we have someone like Thirimanna.He totally wast balls and can't find gaps. we saw in the 2nd match how he played like that, fortunately since target was 170 odd, he just managed to save the game, had it been 220 Sl would have lost the game for sure.Thirimanna is not suitable for ODIs or T20 but surprisingly he plays both games and do nothing!!. he can be developed into a good test player without doubt. SL need total change in their batting order. ofen 1st wiket goes very early, within 1st ten overs and whole innings struggle then. Also some talented players are realy wasted without giving them in correct batting position.Kushal,Mathew,Thisara all wasted, what impact they had on these 5 matches, even today Mathew just played selfserving inning for his position.

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (January 23, 2013, 14:34 GMT)

SO SAD...australian allowed super star jayavardane to cross more than 5 runs in htis series..remember that also after getting lucky edge >>>

Posted by   on (January 23, 2013, 14:32 GMT)

Another squandered opportunity by Lanka, not because of inability but poor strategic planning. I cannot for once see the reason for sending Jeevan before Thisara and that poor SPIN was the turning point in the game. Jeevan was throwing the bat all over the place without connecting and by the time Thisara came hardly any overs left to secure a win. Mahela in this tour has shown that he has lost touch with strategic thinking, and that was one of the main reasons for faring so poorly.

Overall, Lanka drew the ODI and lost the test series because they had no wisdom in their planning

Posted by yorkslanka on (January 23, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

@meety- agree with you mate,sensble comments as always.. @all sensible indian fans- i apologise for my earlier potshot at India in response to a troll..i should have known better... @discobob-good prediction mate..at least about the result ;-) We are clearly a team in transition and as long as we keep improving and ty our hardest to win, what more can a fan ask?Always proud to be a Sri Lankan..

Posted by KingOwl on (January 23, 2013, 13:48 GMT)

Isn't it a bit ironic that Australia now needs spinning tracks to beat SL at home?!! Offer a seaming track and get crushed, and offer a spinning track and win!

Posted by   on (January 23, 2013, 13:47 GMT)

@Sulaimaan91 the general consensus is that DL favours the side batting second, that is the usual source of angst. I see now that we have some bizzarists who favour this. Or are the majority of these bizzarists just pragmatists and prefer a DL result when it favours their team only? I also happened to hear the commentators today comment (as is their want) about how odd the drizzle was at the SCG - that is, it wasn't a downpour, but a windless drizzle that seemed to just stick to the outfield and not sink into the drainage system. Perhaps we all just hear what we want to hear? Also, before it is mentioned again, the 2007 WC final was already won by Aus before rain intervened - SL were already beaten and the only people who wanted the game to continue were the umpires.

Posted by Sinhabahu on (January 23, 2013, 13:10 GMT)

Yet another CHOKE in a title match! Mahela was a great captain but his decision to bowl first in those conditions was unbelievably daft! Oh Mahela, what did you do?

Posted by mark2011 on (January 23, 2013, 13:10 GMT)

MJ read the game wrongly. he made decision not on the pitche and condition, he simply expected Aus batsmen to be poor as previous matches.So he went on assumption rather than facts and got the same poor results, Failing in decisive matches.

Posted by Mary_786 on (January 23, 2013, 13:04 GMT)

For those saying we were lucky to win i disagree. I think Jayawardina stuffed up with the toss decision, should have batted first, that gave us the edge and we took it thanks to Hughes. Still can't get my head around why Khawaja or Finch were not bought in for Clarke, had we chased this selection blunder would have backfired, luckily Mahela made it easier on us. Looking forward to the Indian tour and in particular how Khawaja and Hughes do in foreign conditions.

Posted by Sulaimaan91 on (January 23, 2013, 13:04 GMT)

SL lost due to not respecting the opposition, what made MJ think he could run through the Aussie batting lineup on that pitch. To everyone suggesting that Aus would have won the 4th ODI because of this performance, it just shows your lack of knowledge on cricket.SL fans complained that the match hadnt restarted after the rain where D/L+the conditions would have made the target much easier than what it was today.As I said on that, SL were deprived of a series win due to that decision and also those who suggest to the contrary, you should know that Clark,Russel Arnold,Ian Healy and then today Mark Taylor,Micheal Slater agreed that the situation after the rain would have favored SL.I think they do know a thing or two more about cricket than others.

Posted by mark2011 on (January 23, 2013, 12:58 GMT)

Sl team needs overhauling, chase this olde coach out now, Champaka Ramanayke, ruwna kalpage have not been able to give anything better or to correct continuous mistakes happening from SL seniiors as well as young players. What is the use of their experience and knowledge, if they cant turn things up. These 2 are doing nothing and just staying for the sake of being there and no body has really challenged their position. Kalpage should be really shamed with the standrad of SL fielding specially younger player, no reall new player to be named as good fielder in SL side except Dilshan and MJ (in slip) all others are very ordinary.what these coaches are doing??...even Ramanayake couldn't do anything to uplift the SL young fast bowlers, even Malinga is often expensive although he gets wicked sometimes.More importanlt SL team need a sport psychologist to change thier mental approach to game and winning matches.remove those non performing coaches and replace with results oriented persons.

Posted by abhiyog on (January 23, 2013, 12:55 GMT)

Good win for the aussies missing Clarke.......gotta say SL choked again in a decisive match........

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (January 23, 2013, 12:54 GMT)

Hughes great innings didn't expose the failures of David Hussey and Bailey today. If they couldn't capitalise on today's conditions then i am not sure they will in India. Doherty looked good. How good was Warner's celeberation when he took the catches, shooter Mcgavin.

Posted by mark2011 on (January 23, 2013, 12:41 GMT)

What a chance we had to win this and give Aus a real hiding, pushing Aus into real shame, beating 2 series which had never happnd before. But unfortunately again same loosing performance in crucial matches by SL. Really dissapointing and MJ can only talk about positive things which never gonna win instead keep loosing like this. i dont understand why this Kushal guy can't be used to open the inning, today he was struck in the middle of slow and low pitch and good bowlling. when the 4th match was abandoned MJ was happy because he thought SL not gonna lose the series, but allowiing Aus to win this mean it was almost like loosing, because what you had in ur hand u let opposition to grab. That's poor thinking and approach by SL captain. That not a sign of a fighting cpt and who wants to really win matches. MJ often shows this negative/conservative attitude which deprived lots of winning chances from SL. its beter now MJ,Dili,should leave international criket and allow youngerster prosper

Posted by SherjilIslam on (January 23, 2013, 12:39 GMT)

So all the Sinhayas now went for the hiding...........SL could not use the conditions more suited to their style of play and that too against a Clarke-less Aussies. I wonder, what would happened if SL have to chase the full score in the last match.I think, rain has actually saved SL from a 3-2 loss.

Posted by NZLankanBoy on (January 23, 2013, 12:36 GMT)

absolutely devastating :( cannot believe we slipped up AGAIN when it came to the final hurdle! drawn test series against an underpar NZ team, four finals in world cups, no denying it we are the new chokers :(!! Might be wise to get a good psychologist into the team, this fluffing up in the finals has become a mental thing. So so disappointed...

Posted by pradeep_dealwis on (January 23, 2013, 12:35 GMT)

Mahela is usually great at reading situations...but he made mistakes right from the start today....sending Aus in wasn't smart on this sort of wicket....if they batted last and chased even a 200 + total they would have struggles against SL spinners. Anyways best of luck to Mahela and new skipper Mattews!

Posted by PrasPunter on (January 23, 2013, 12:33 GMT)

Given the way Henriques bowled today, can well be a long-term replacement for Watto, given Watto's fitness. And Maxwell must have to go. Max and D Huss out and Clarke and Khawaja in - that should be a very good lineup for the ODIs to boot with. Shaun Marsh shall be on standby. And Luke can also be in contention if we need someone who can score very quickly.

Posted by mark2011 on (January 23, 2013, 12:29 GMT)

Today MJ got out playing a Golf shot.. he has been playing similar shots and scoring runs, but against the spinner and the damn slownes in the pitch , it was a catch practice for Aus fielder.

Posted by mark2011 on (January 23, 2013, 12:23 GMT)

Whole Sl batting never click through out the whole tour; MJ was not in form at all, just put here & there some runs no real impact. Dilshan totaly uncharacteristic and he had lost his game,except one ton in test match. midle order thiri,chandi still lack the mental toughness and ability ti build a better inning and still they are just playing for thier place in the team. Jeevan also not inform and Mathew often goes with unfinished job. Thisara was totally wasted in this match again sending hm after poor performing Jeevan, he wasted too many balls today and made Thisara's job difficult. MJ never change this guy's position and put him in a situation which is unfair and difficult him to do a good contributon.The impact Thisara could have made not at all seen in the whole ODi seris, that poor utilisation of players by MJ. Simply it was Kula who won 2 matches for SL, even that 74 runs cost 6 wickets, so that showed how weak batting. I dont think we will win even T20 series.

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

@Meety I would have thought Australia's 110 run win in th first game to be more than a little convincing, just as convincing as any of SL's wins. More convincing than their 4 wicket win in the 3rd, that's for sure.

Posted by lillie_express on (January 23, 2013, 12:20 GMT)

God, I've been an avid cricket fan my whole life but Australia winning this game was a whole lot of "so what", such is the void of X factor in this team. All coached average talents, and some less than average talents even more extensively coached...what a drag. There is no one currently that I swing the bat in the back yard pretending to be. They are all slaves to pitch conditions and match conditions...none of these blokes have a ticket from god to transcend the conditions and pull out something memorable. I'm going to the beach instead and dream of being Fernando Alonso.

Posted by arifzakaria811gmail.com on (January 23, 2013, 12:19 GMT)

SL looked "very comfortable" after 3.2 overs, and would easily have won the match, so I turned it off. A fitting reply to all those whining SL fans who blamed Srinath for depriving them of victory . Looks like Srinath did SL a favor and helped them draw 2-2 and avoid a 3-2 series loss . It is pathetic that SL has lost 14 ODI series to India and lost 8 ODI series to Australia. They have managed to win just 1 series against both Ind and Aus and they behave as if they are WI team of 80s. Coming to topic of world cup its coincidence tha SL has lost a World cup final each to Australia and India as well .

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (January 23, 2013, 12:13 GMT)

I was expecting a comfortable victory for SL when they were 50 for 0 but they made a mess while chasing. Also some indian and SL fans please stop this bashing. I know @narbavi had been upset since those comments in T20 WC and invadingSL forums. But please put an end to this. Its getting boring.

Posted by arifzakaria811gmail.com on (January 23, 2013, 12:12 GMT)

SL was whining other day when they were denied a chance to chase 225 a score which SL fans thought was peanuts for the overhyped SL batting oldies. Wow what do we have here. All wraPPED up in 215 and nowhere close. SL has had luck on this tour and they managed to escape with a 2-2 draw else it would surely have been a 3-2 loss.SL struggled to beat a C side Australia and very fact that Australia thought it fit to rest their best and try out reserves says a lot about how much Australia rated SL. However SL still lost and its hilarious to think fans had started fantasizing about winning 215 after 2 fluke wins ;)

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

I too think that Mahela's captaincy skills have been over rated. This is a match SL should and could have won. There is absolutely no doubt about that. There were too many mistakes on the part of SL, many could be attributed to the captain. Mahela has been a very steady captain, and has done a lot for SL cricket, but he seems unable to handle some crucial moments.

Posted by Jay32 on (January 23, 2013, 12:06 GMT)

A very patient and beautifully constructed 138 from Hughes! He kept his cool while others around him threw their wickets away .Hughes knows how to score a century once he survives the first 30 minutes where most bowlers around the world would have an upper hand with the new ball. Lots been said about Hughes technique in the past but now he has shown the world that he really is a run making machine and once he gets his eye in there aren't many better players in the world than Hughes! There are lots of players who have scored 100s in the past but among them only a few know how to make 100s while the rest go with their batting flow and if lucky they end up with a 100. Kallis,Amla,Cook,Clarke,KP to name a few who really know how to make 100s. Hughes IMO knows how to score a 100. If there is any one guy who does not know how to score a 100 ,its Mr.Watson, a liability to Australia both in tests and in ODIs!

Posted by   on (January 23, 2013, 12:04 GMT)

SL couldn't make the history to be the Only team to win 2 bilateral series against Oz in their own backyard, but its still a consolation that we are the only ODI team in the world who haven't lost 2 Bilateral series against Oz in their own back yard.

Posted by KhanMitch on (January 23, 2013, 12:04 GMT)

Great win by the boys and well done Hughes, fantastic batting. I was critical that selectors didn't take Khawaja for Clarke but Hughes ensured that the lack of top order batsman wasn't exposed, may have been a different scenario if we were chasing. I think Mahela will be regretting not batting first as a chase against the Sri Lankan spinners would have been very tough. Wasted opportunities for Bailey and Hussey as today was the day to get runs. Maxwell still not establishing himself with bat or ball. Doherty bowled really well and may well have booked a flight to India with Beer out injured.

Posted by mark2011 on (January 23, 2013, 12:02 GMT)

So another loosing performance from SL.when they had the better opportunity to win, they never live upto them. Its been the case for last 3 to 4 years, failling in the crucial matches and letting things go out of ur hand. MJ last match as cpt, no good send off for him. Like last year Hobart match against Ind, he did captaining mistakes. He may be happy with leveling the series instead of winning. His approach seems many times negative and no fighting is shown. he never willing to change things... just keep stick to same thing and getting same bad results. today it was difficult to bat, but looking at the way they batted very poorly in the middle overs specially 20-35, they let the match losing. Mathew often failed with unfinished job. He waits every time to score whole innings runs until last 10 overs and then gets out. You cant play every match like what you played earlier one marvolous innings.

Posted by Jayzuz on (January 23, 2013, 12:02 GMT)

Not a great track to be chasing on. Australia got the better of conditions here, just as SL got them in the last 3 games. However you have to use the conditions, and the Australian bowlers did so here, just as SL did in the 2nd and 3rd game esp. Great knock by Hughes. My only wish is that AUS supporters stop bashing the newer players. Give them a chance before you put the boot in, and who gives a hoot which state they are from. This is the AUSTRALIAN team!

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 23, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

Think the Australian selectors have been lucky to escape a series loss. Picking 4 batsman still isnt the right move but they were saved by Hughes brilliant knock. I was quite happy with Henriques bowling shows he can be relies on for 10 overs so he may be worth persevering with but the Maxwell experiment needs to stop until he is capable at one of the disciplines. Sri Lanka look to be a good side with a few areas to improve especially batting but they have a lot of kids with talent, and need to tie it up more with there 4th and 5th bowler. Australia the bowling has been good - and most batsman have showed something and there is something to work with towards the World Cup.

Posted by PrasPunter on (January 23, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

Where are they ? Just where are they ? It turns out that Aus has been unlucky not to win 3-2 - rain saved SL !! And given how weak and fragile Aus batting is, wondering why on earth did MJ choose to bowl first in a decider. Even a total of 200 would have been difficult to chase down ! Good luck MJ though !! Have always admired you as a fighter !!

Posted by Jayzuz on (January 23, 2013, 11:55 GMT)

This was certainly a surprise. SL looked "very comfortable" after 3.2 overs, and would easily have won the match, so I turned it off. What happened?

Posted by Meety on (January 23, 2013, 11:53 GMT)

2 all drawn series is probably a fair result. I think the SCG match was SLIGHTLY in Oz's favour if there was NO rain, but in SLs favour under D/L. I think SL beat us harder in the games they won, then what Oz won. Kulasekara deserved the Man of the Series award, that 5 for at the Gabba was brilliant & the 3/30 wasn't far behind. As for the T20s - couldn't care less as long as no further INJURIES!!!!!!

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (January 23, 2013, 11:50 GMT)

Hughes gets a ton... Doherty gets wickets... Wade makes runs AND took a catch... @Ask Steven: is this one of the most strangest, unlikeliest games for Aus. cricket ever?

Posted by Meety on (January 23, 2013, 11:50 GMT)

@Mervo on (January 23 2013, 10:45 AM GMT) - as has already been said, McKay has one of the best S/Rates EVER in ODI cricket. What is really useful about McKay is that he bowls a good variety of slower balls & can get lift & seam & even a bit of swing. He adds great variety to the attack, although some variety is wasted atm as we have two lefties who are fairly similar. That aside - I would have McKay as almost first choice ODI pacer & it he does NOT have to be rotated!!!!! == == == Really happy for Henriques, he could be VERY useful at the Champ Trophy in England. I think Oz will want an allrounder with strong pace credentials & statistically Henriques is very good with the ball. I think they will have another look at Hastings too, would like to see Christian get a chance against the WIndies. == == == Good work Phil, now that the match has been won & lost, the innings was an absolute Gem! Congrats!

Posted by RiznyF on (January 23, 2013, 11:47 GMT)

Sri Lanka continue to have trouble winning crucial and must-win matches. Mahela's definitely one of the best captains lanka has ever had. However, I feel that today's failure could be largely attributable to his captaincy. The toss, lack of overs from spinners and batting order being the most significant blunders.

Posted by ShehanJ on (January 23, 2013, 11:44 GMT)

@ disco_bob You hit the nail on the head when you predicted a comprehensive win for Aus and a comprehensive whinge from SL fans. After the two runaway wins and the washed out 4th ODI, some fans were even predicting winning the 2015 WC. Only funny SL fans would predict such a victory more than 2 years ahead of the actual victory. I propose they set their sights on winning the two T20s against Aus for the time being. :)

Posted by Narbavi on (January 23, 2013, 11:34 GMT)

And then they said they would have won the series 4-1 had the fourth game not been called off...

Posted by VivGilchrist on (January 23, 2013, 11:33 GMT)

@Mervo, McKay is in the team because he has taken 65 wickets at an average of 22. What's wrong with that?

Posted by kc69 on (January 23, 2013, 11:32 GMT)

Except for a few i see most of Lankan fans back into making excuses and comparing themselves with older results.Loved the way Mark Taylor stated how Virat Kohli's 133 is the best he ever saw in modern day run chases where he slaughtered malinga's 7 overs for 94 runs.Well played aussies 2015 WC prep looks good(Though you need to find a better middle order batsmen like Hussey or Dhoni for stability).

Posted by groundreality on (January 23, 2013, 11:30 GMT)

Something very satisfying about a Lankan loss lol! I had to miss the first 10 overs of Ind vs Eng match but the loss made it well worth it :-D

Posted by ajithabey on (January 23, 2013, 11:29 GMT)

good fight Sri Lanka but as usual not great finishers.Time and again it has been their downfall.when you have a bowling allrounder in mendis and do not bowl him it is just pure stupidity.anyway Aussie batting once again held together to draw the series.

Posted by bravetigersmustwin on (January 23, 2013, 11:26 GMT)

Feeling so sorry for SL ...

Posted by ShehanJ on (January 23, 2013, 11:24 GMT)

@Dilshanj No gifts for Mahela. Series squared 2 all. Let's see what SL have to offer in the two T20s. A word of advice to all the SL fans who went berserk after the two ODI victories and predicted that SL will also win the next WC to be held in 2015..."Don't count your chickens before they are hatched!" :D

Posted by trumpoz on (January 23, 2013, 11:23 GMT)

It's a real shame Sydney was washed out. Tha way Sri Lanka batted and the Aussies bowled today makes me think 220 would have been a challenge. Drawn series it is then. What is beyond me is how the Sri Lankan one-day team is the standard they are whilst the test team is bordering on pathetic. On another note can someone please send a memo to Cricket Australia explaining the value of bowling full and straight? This obsession with slower balls and bowling short of a length is bordering on stupid! Lasting Malinga is the best one-day bowler in the world. Why not copy what he does.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (January 23, 2013, 11:18 GMT)

Good stuff seeing Hughes score runs. Hopefully that will mean he comes to England.

Posted by yorkslanka on (January 23, 2013, 11:17 GMT)

the end of the match is inevitable now..congrats to Australia on a deserved win... the bowling,particularly use of slower balls was exellent..no excuses from me we did not have anyone to match the innings of hughes that made the total for Aus..I am disappointed that we lost the match and couldnt win the series and its obvious that our batsmen didnt turn up this series...I hope that we have provided some entertainment to the Aussie public and look forward to the next time we are in Aus..Our batsmen ned to make better shot selections especially the youngsters like thirrimane,chandimal and thisara...

Posted by mattboosa on (January 23, 2013, 11:02 GMT)

What are the selectors doing? Send Maxwell back to grade cricket. Honestly. 100% agree with comments posted below. Australia needs to select specialists, and if your quality allrounder (Watson) is injured go with another specialist, not an allrounder that is not good enough. Why is the attitude now that Australia 'try out' players at international level and not making them prove themselves over time in Domestic cricket?

Posted by yorkslanka on (January 23, 2013, 10:55 GMT)

@bravetigers..thanks very much for your summary of Sri Lanka's efforts, i am glad tha you feel so entertained by our team that you have so much interest..you were absolutely right except you forgot our our to England which you will be pleased to know we lost tests 1-0(incuding winning a test) and odi's 3-2 ..whilst we lost, its a bit better than 8-0 isnt it?also you may have beat us in the cb matches but where were you in the final, oh yes watching it at home in india on the tv...Aussies will beat you when they tour and then "fans" like you wll hate cricket again...

Posted by Mervo on (January 23, 2013, 10:45 GMT)

What is the love affair that the Australian selectors have with Clint McKay and Hastings his bowling partner (when he is fit)? They are both medium pace trundlers, yet McKay always gets picked and Hastings open in Test cricket! What is the deal? Cutting can't get a game and Johnson is never as automatic as McKay. Maybe it's a Victorian thing...

Posted by bravetigersmustwin on (January 23, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

SriLanka's Performance since last CB series: Lost to India (chased within 39 overs), Lost to aus in the finals, Asia cup: didnt even win a single match, Won series against Pak, Lost 4 ODIs and 2 T20's to India, won ODI series against NZ and squared the test series. Whitewash in test series in aus and squaring the ODI series by pure luck( 1 win against Aus A team and one match was abandoned due rain)

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (January 23, 2013, 10:16 GMT)

Makes those people that suggested that Sri Lanka were "on track" to win the 4th ODI look really silly, doesn't it? Sri Lanka won't get close to 220 tonight and I seriously doubt that they were any chance of victory in the 4th ODI. The weather saved them and means that this series will be drawn. Bring on the T20s!

Posted by gsingh7 on (January 23, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

come on australia win match and send lankan players without a series win to sl , i want australia to win big here before india thrash them in odi t 20 and tests on rank turners of india aussie well wisher from india

Posted by Beige_and_blue on (January 23, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

Oi! Aussies! please make an effort to learn how to describe the score! It always makes me pause and convert the sore into the format used by the civilised world when I see a score come out of Australia. Your team scored 247! this is important! the rest of the score is included purely for interest (5 wickets) and should be relegated to the last place in the score description where it should be. This insistance on doing things differently with no regard for the rest of the cricket world- a rule for everyone else, and a rule for just us- smacks of the silly boycot of technology by India in the DRS. please have the same rules for everyone including score descriptions. PS I usually read this while drunk which should go some way to explaining my confusion.

Posted by   on (January 23, 2013, 8:54 GMT)

What's the thing in common between Sri Lanka failing to win the last ODI World Cup and this ODI series aganist Australia? The failure to select Ajantha Mendis.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (January 23, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

Interesting thought - without Baileys "captains knock" Australia would be 230 after 43 overs and ready to launch.....

Posted by whofriggincares on (January 23, 2013, 7:39 GMT)

@jermaine007 genius comment. Very insightful.

Posted by Dilshanj on (January 23, 2013, 7:34 GMT)

it will be a tuff chase 4 srilanka..anyway i hope they will do it..it wiil be a gift 4 outgoing captain Mahela...

Posted by Meety on (January 23, 2013, 7:15 GMT)

@Jermaine007 on (January 23 2013, 03:23 AM GMT) - oh dear! Touch too soon sunny Jim! LOL @HycIass on (January 23 2013, 04:02 AM GMT) Two for 40-odd is not a collpase! @DylanBrah on (January 23 2013, 06:59 AM GMT) - it was an old fasioned Geoff Marsh special!!!! S/Rate of barely 50 in getting to 50, then the last 50 off about 30, great stuff! (Although I don't think Marsh would of finished as quickly!)

Posted by Great_Nate on (January 23, 2013, 7:11 GMT)

@jermaine007, still think Hughes' place in the squad is questionable. How many others have scored hundreds in this series?

Posted by DylanBrah on (January 23, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

Great one day innings from Hughes... get your self in early and finish strong.

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (January 23, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

@Hyclass i agree with you bud, if not Khawaja then should have bought in Finch. Maxwell has had 2 lives already and doesn't look like he belongs at all at ths level. James Bradshaw is a terrible commentator as he is always talking Maxwell up even if he gets a single. Hughes continues to impress me and we need both Hughes and Khawja firing for the ashes. Looking forward to the chase.

Posted by mzm149 on (January 23, 2013, 6:23 GMT)

Australia will win this hopefully

Posted by Mitty2 on (January 23, 2013, 6:11 GMT)

Phil hughes.. 3 failures and 2 big, successful innings. His conversion rate is up with Clarke and his shaky starts can be compensated with the likes of technically sound batsmen such as khawaja and Cowan in the team. But of course.. Our selectors know nothing about team balance and put two nothing players in who specialise in fielding, and are out of form (maxwell, henriques), albeit henriques talent is actually worth persisting with, and we have two batsmen who will either score big or fail (warner, Hughes) and have no batsmen who can combine in partnerships with them or anchor/save an innings (khawaja, mr cricket). And to top it off, d hussey only prospers once a good start has been made, why is bailey under him? The team balance is frankly pathetic, and regardless to the result in this game the selectors should be even more publically disparaged.. To replace Clarke with Maxwell and have 4 specialist batsmen.. When in the last three innings they've all failed.. Shocking.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 23, 2013, 6:01 GMT)

VivGilchrist - When you only pick 4 bats you have to take it a bit easy.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (January 23, 2013, 5:36 GMT)

Just put on the TV .... How long have they been playing Test matches with coloured clothing and a white ball? A bit slow going but if we can bat into the last session and take a few SL wickets b4 stumps it should set up an interesting day 2.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 23, 2013, 5:08 GMT)

Australia - going with one less batsman (4 in total), think that shows the importance they place on one-day games.

Posted by   on (January 23, 2013, 4:56 GMT)

Guys, see they have put 50+ partnership for 3rd wicket thanks to some poor seam bowling. All the more reason why Akila should have played

Posted by Wally67 on (January 23, 2013, 4:52 GMT)

Agree totally with HyClass. The Aussie selctors had plenty of time to fly Khawaja over as cover for Clarke. As he has made runs in difficult conditons, he is a monty to go to England. Surely the public as far as crowds, would support CA and the 1-day series against WI with a team consisting of Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Watson(or Marsh), Wade, Starc, Johnson, Pattinson and a spinner. I would actually play Lyon. Not much different to Doherty, who will not play in UK, though possibly in India, therefore, he should be in the squad.

Posted by An_offside_rant on (January 23, 2013, 4:36 GMT)

I'm hoping for a good match. We, Sri lankans have been bowling well enough not be tested in the batting department. Love to see a good knock form Chandimal and Mathews and see how our "Future" stars cope under the pressure of a good chase. Also, disappointed that Dananjaya wasn't given a place in the 11. Its was an opportunity to attack an already flustered Ausssie side.

Posted by crashdog on (January 23, 2013, 4:25 GMT)

Ha ha ha, Maxwell for Clarke, that's funny. One averages 45 in one dayers, the other 27 - we all know which is which. Australia is at it again with their ridiculous all rounder quest which ruined our chances against the poms a few years ago when we didn't have enough quality batsmen in the side - whereas England went with a traditional test side of 6 quality batsmen, 1 wicket keeper, 1 spinner and 3 seamers. In this game we already have 2 excellent all rounders - Johnson and Starc, who can both bat. But that's not enough, let's throw in Henriques and Maxwell as well, then we'll have an awesome all round side! No we won't, we will have a half arsed batting side and a second string bowling attack made up of two bit players. There are only 4 batsmen in the side today (not counting Wade)I realise one dayers are different to test cricket, but you still need to have specialist batsmen and bowlers making up the majority of the team - 4 all rounders is just ridiculous in my opinion.

Posted by CrICkeeet on (January 23, 2013, 4:19 GMT)

Hope dat aus will play well otherwise MATCH can b CANCELLED due 2 bad outfield :d

Posted by Wally67 on (January 23, 2013, 4:16 GMT)

Very impressed with Ed Cowan's comments on radio. Obviously an articulate and intelligent cricketer. As he will go to India, and has been indentified as the perfect opener for the Ashes series in UK, surely he should have replaced Clarke for this current one dayer. With all due respects, Bailey and Maxwell will not be playing in India and the Ashes, nor will D Hussey. For the top 6 batsmen in 1-day cricket, the conditions are similar to Test cricket. Play Cowan instead of resting and training in the nets. Use the 1-dayers against WI as pre-cursor to the future Test matches.

Posted by hycIass on (January 23, 2013, 4:02 GMT)

Our top order collapsing again but this time on a good batting pitch. All summer Khawaja has been identified as the replacement for Clarke. Even when other batsmen couldnt play, they brought in Maxwells etc holding Khawaja back as Clarkes replacement it seemed only. We want an all rounder for an allrounder and a batsman for a batsman they more or less stated. But now that Clarke looks definitely out, do they replace a batsman for a batsman and give Khawaja his chance. No this time we'll bring in an all rounder. This is not the way to treat one of the better young players in the country. And if not Khawaja then bring in Finch but you don't replace your best batsman with an allrounder whose spin bowling won't be effective against Sri Lanka.

Posted by   on (January 23, 2013, 3:58 GMT)

Strange tactics, Lanka win the toss and send Aussies in and open with Dilshan. So far it is ok. But why is Akila not playing? he would have mesmerized the Aussies with his guile and the secret deliveries which as at now are secrets to Aussies

Posted by Mary_786 on (January 23, 2013, 3:50 GMT)

Dissapointed not to see Khawaja there, but i love what i am seeing from Wade, predict he will get a century today.

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (January 23, 2013, 3:40 GMT)

Lucky for us that the Lankans have send us into bat on a good batting pitch. Its hard to believe that we replace our best batsman with Maxwell, would have made more sense to get either Khawaja or Finch in.

Posted by Big_Maxy_Walker on (January 23, 2013, 3:36 GMT)

if the top order dont fire for australia they will be in big trouble with so many all rounders

Posted by disco_bob on (January 23, 2013, 3:27 GMT)

I'll stick my neck out here and predict a massive improvement from the Australian team with a comprehensive win. And also a comprehensive whinge from the Sri Lankan fans.

Posted by Jermaine007 on (January 23, 2013, 3:23 GMT)

Unbelievable. I use to be fan of Hughes, but it seems like he is getting royal treatment where he doesn't deserve it. They are babying him agian, his selection in the ODI squad is questionable!

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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.
Tour Results
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
No result
Australia v Sri Lanka at Brisbane - Jan 18, 2013
Sri Lanka won by 4 wickets (with 180 balls remaining)
More results »
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News | Features Last 3 days