Terrific Australia A seal innings rout in three days
Australia A 402 for 4 dec (Bailey 154*, Cowan 126) beat Sri Lanka A 78 (George 4-13) and 307 (Silva 92, Kulasekara 56) by an innings and 17 runs
Australia A needed just three days to complete a comprehensive all-round performance and rout Sri Lanka A by an innings and 17 runs at Townsville. The Sri Lankans came up with a much-improved performance from their first-innings debacle of 78 by managing 307, but their backs were always against the wall as they needed to bat out close to two days to save the game.
Resistance came from Chamara Silva, who came within reach of a century, and Kosala Kulasekara, who scored 56. The top order failed to put on decent partnerships as the seamers, Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter George and James Pattinson struck at regular intervals. At 142 for 6, Sri Lanka were in danger of being bowled out for another cheap score, before Silva took charge. He and Kulasekara added 111 for the seventh wicket before Pattinson struck. Silva was eight short of a century when he became Hilfenhaus' third victim. His 100-ball knock featured ten fours and a six.
Pattinson and Hilfenhaus took three wickets apiece while Steve O'Keefe took 2 for 93. Australia A captain George Bailey praised his bowlers for getting on top of the conditions.
"We batted really well, but once again today, on a wicket that offered very little to the bowlers, we just toiled and stuck at our task really well and managed to take the required ten wickets which was super," Bailey said.
"There's no bigger incentive for the modern cricketer than to finish a game inside three days and to earn a day off and one of our goals was to play good aggressive cricket and to control the game."
Bailey smashed an unbeaten 154, and contributions by Usman Khawaja and Ed Cowan ensured Australia never lost their grip on the game.
"It was nice to get some and it was a nice platform to come into laid by Eddie and Usman; it was just a ready-made situation I suppose," Bailey said. "I feel pretty good with how everything is going at the moment so it was just nice for it to fall into place and for that scenario to play out where I could play quite an aggressive innings."