Australia v Sri Lanka, CB Series, Perth February 10, 2012

Australia hold on for five-run victory

89

Australia 231 (Clarke 57, Mathews 2-37) beat Sri Lanka 226 (Mathews 64, Doherty 2-24) by 5 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Angelo Mathews narrowly failed to deliver victory to Sri Lanka at the WACA, where Australia held on by five runs in a thrilling finish. Sri Lanka needed 18 from the final over bowled by Mitchell Starc, and Mathews gave them every chance by pulling the first ball for four and driving the next delivery over long-off for six, before a pair of singles left the visitors needing six from two balls.

But Mathews skied the next delivery to long-on, where Daniel Christian held his nerve to take the catch, ensuring Australia remained unbeaten in the Commonwealth Bank Series. And while Australia did, for the most part, bowl and field well, they could consider themselves fortunate to have escaped with victory after posting what appeared a sub-par total, of 231, with Michael Clarke (57) the only man to score a half-century.

Sri Lanka were on track in the chase before a middle-order collapse left too much to Mathews and the tail. That Mathews nearly got them home was remarkable, as was his 46-run tenth-wicket stand with Dhammika Prasad, but his dismissal for 64 should at least mean the rest of the batting order is held accountable for a disappointing effort that undid the fine work of the bowlers.

The Australia bowlers were also impressive. Xavier Doherty was the standout with a miserly 2 for 24 from his ten overs but there were other positives from the hosts in the field. Starc hooped the new ball and claimed an early wicket, Christian picked up two victims to add to his handy 33 with the bat, Clint McKay completed a terrific run-out from side-on and Matthew Wade enhanced his reputation with a stumping and a wonderful diving catch.

Despite the early loss of Upul Tharanga, who edged a Starc outswinger to Clarke at slip in the fourth over, Sri Lanka seemed to have the chase in control as Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Dinesh Chandimal all looked comfortable at the crease. It was a Sri Lankan error - and a great throw from McKay - that led to Sangakkara's dismissal for 22 when he pushed into the leg side and took off for a single.

But both he and his partner Dilshan hesitated after a few steps, and the stop-start confusion resulted in Sangakkara trying to return to his crease only to be beaten by a side-on direct hit from the bowler McKay, who had collected the ball from short midwicket. As he walked off, Sangakkara directed a glare towards Dilshan, knowing that if their 50-run stand had continued a while longer, Sri Lanka would have been in a terrific position.

Instead, Dilshan's scoring-rate slowed - he had struck three searing boundaries through the off side early in his innings - and on 40 from 56 deliveries he was caught behind off Ryan Harris when the ball tickled the inside edge. Another straightforward catch to Wade followed when Mahela Jayawardene tried to steer Christian to third man but succeeded only in feathering behind.

In the next over Doherty struck the first of his two blows. The WACA is not known as a spinner's paradise but Doherty extracted severe turn in to the left-hander Lahiru Thirimanne, who saw the ball pitch outside off and sneak between bat and pad to take the leg stump. Impressed by what he saw from Doherty, Clarke decided to bowl some left-arm spin himself and broke through with his first ball when, from around the wicket, he skidded one on and struck Chandimal in front for 37.

That was followed by an excellent catch from Wade, who dived to his right in front of first slip to snare Nuwan Kulasekara off the bowling of Christian. At 7 for 143, Sri Lanka's hopes seemed to have disappeared, a feeling that was only enforced further when Doherty turned a ball past the outside edge of an advancing Sachithra Senanayake, who was stumped by Wade, and when Lasith Malinga edged behind off McKay.

At that stage, Sri Lanka still needed 52 runs, and through Mathews and Prasad they nearly got there. At the change of innings they deserved to be favourites. Jaywardene had sent Australia in, and while it was an unexpected decision it proved not a bad one as Sri Lanka's sharp fielding helped restrict Australia to 231.

Clarke (57) had assistance from Christian during the only half-century partnership of the innings but when the offspinner Sachithra Senanayake broke that stand in the 40th over Australia faced the prospect of not batting out their time. Christian was stumped for 33 when he failed to pick the straighter delivery and Clarke fell in the following over.

He was the victim of an excellent catch by the opposing captain, Jayawardene, who moved low to his right to snaffle the chance at midwicket off the bowling of Angelo Mathews. Clarke had not found it easy to keep the scoring-rate up and had struck only four boundaries in his 88-ball stay, but until that moment he had at least provided an anchor for the innings

Some useful late runs came from McKay and Starc, and Sri Lanka would ultimately rue the 39 runs added by the last two pairs. McKay had survived an edge behind on 15 when Sangakkara didn't cleanly pouch a low ball, and it was a rare miss for Sri Lanka in what was generally an impressive fielding effort.

Several Australia batsmen fell to fine catches: David Hussey's leading edge off Malinga was collected at cover by Thirimanne, who had to dive forward and to his left, and Clarke was snapped up by a quick-moving Jayawardene at midwicket off the bowling of Mathews. But the best was Kulasekara's return catch to get rid of Michael Hussey for 23. He pushed at a fuller ball from Kulasekara, who dived to his right to take a wonderful one-handed catch.

Kulasekara had also been the man who gave Sri Lanka their positive start, when he picked up a wicket in the fourth over, when Wade prodded outside off and edged behind for 1. Wade was the quiet partner in the opening stand as David Warner played a few shots that encouraged the Perth crowd to think a repeat of his blazing Test hundred at the venue might be in the making.

His lofted six off over long-on against Malinga was the standout stroke, but on 34 from 28 deliveries he played on to Mathews, who got a ball to straighten just enough. It was the first of several good things Mathew did in the match. Unfortunately for Sri Lanka, they needed one more.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Prema1948 on February 13, 2012, 1:20 GMT

    We've b'n a very inconsistent Team for the last 25 y's becos the sl'ctors 've always preferred to reckless hitters to quality batters the class of S'weera or T'dulkar for that matter. Any level of consistency can't be achieved by employing batters who offer too many risky (false, edgy & lofted) strokes from the very 1st ball they face. The Country needs batters whose success rate at least 4out of 5 innings played (i.e. batsmen who can get a chance-less (50)substantial score). Unfortunately the sl'ctors have always gone for batters who lacked in skills to last at least for 5 overs. What the selectors should do is to go for other quality batters the likes of M'hews,C'dimal & T'manne who have had maintained consistency since the age of15years that has 1stCla.Bat.Avs. around 45. At present both the 1st&2nd XI teams have been filled with too many unreliable batsmen. Our series lost to England 2XI team that toured the Country recently is a good example to estimate the selectors' ignorance.

  • espnchekmate on February 12, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    Fantastic match!! nail biting ,i think its high time for Mahela and the boys to play solid and ruthless cricket CZ 4 da past 10 years under various captains Sri Lanka specially against Australia are always playing catchup cricket and once in a blue moon perform strongly.when Ur always in a good position and then 2 losing and last minute mathews or someone have to come in and play a heroes innings and steady da ship. da thing is you can win like that also but ,in the long term its not a good strategy to implement as da pressure levels get to the players and as a result u win 1 or 2 and get famous all over the world 4 pulling it off against the Aussies but then again you lose a lot because Aussies drain your energy no matter how good you are.

  • SLfan on February 12, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    I agree with Kasun Sameera because Upul has proved that he's not a suitable player in these conditions...No doubt he's a good batsman, but certainly not in Australia since past records prove it very well. Other thing is Mahela is really wasting him self in that position because he can come back to his form very quickly if he will play as an opener in the next match...Let's give Maharoof a chance and see whether he has overcome that FAMOUS inconsistency problem.

  • on February 11, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    @Cricketlover555 Lanka clearly not deserve to be in finals... Because SL gave a fight unlike IND LOL! How funny it is.I think IND is not deserve so but not SL. Anyway final will be IND Vs AUS because SLC is BCCI's slaver and they will help IND to come final.

  • playitstraight on February 11, 2012, 14:28 GMT

    Great to see Sri Lanka performing for once, and they really deserved to win this match, I feel. Angelo got them so close, and then he just couldn't finish the game off due to a lack of partners to bat with. I don't blame him though, for going for a six off the penultimate ball. If he had blocked that ball or let it go, then it would've been down to the final ball and anything could've happened. If SL lost then, then he would be criticized for not going for the six on the penultimate ball, and if he hit the six, then everyone would congratulate him. Such is cricket, and critics.

  • stormy16 on February 11, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    I cant believe some of you are suggesting Samaraweera - please wake up the guy is not on tour and was dropped after teh WC because he didnt work. SL are in rebuilding and playing another 35+ player lacks logic. MOM is a storm in a tea cup as is the umpires - the relevant point is Mahela's continued failure when it counts most. Starc to me looks a real danger bowler, tall left armer with pace and swing is about the ultimate nightmare and he is only getting started. Mathews was awesome and wonder if SL want to keep him as the finisher or give him the chance up the order - say to bat with Chandimal - he may flourish - certainly cant do worse than what Mahela is doing!!

  • Prema1948 on February 11, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    These elite umpires' Benefit of Doubts have always gone in favor for the countries where the strong Cricket Boards are, thus their positions in the Elite Panel are always safe. If this kind of decisions go against a powerful Cricketing Nation as in the case of Asoka de Silva & Daryl Harper, their lives as Elite Umpires would be very short. The UDRS with better technology would do a World of good for the Countries like SL, ZIM, B'desh.

  • Harry_Kool on February 11, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    @ the_blue_android Their element? Make sure you stay around when we wipe you and let's see your comments then. And stop eating those sour grapes!

  • J.Dilawar on February 11, 2012, 8:24 GMT

    Good show SL, you are comming close to be on the winning side, keep it up! Best wishes from a Pakistan cricket fan.

  • Slesh on February 11, 2012, 7:19 GMT

    Ya we played well.but we have to finish the game well also.we must another solid batsmen also.if samaraweera hasn't selected as stand by player he is a must in this situation. This should be the team for the next match. 1.Mahela 2.Dilshan 3.Tharanga 4.Sanga 5.Matthews 7.Maharoof 8.Thisara 9.Kulasekara !0.Sachithra 11.Malinga

  • Prema1948 on February 13, 2012, 1:20 GMT

    We've b'n a very inconsistent Team for the last 25 y's becos the sl'ctors 've always preferred to reckless hitters to quality batters the class of S'weera or T'dulkar for that matter. Any level of consistency can't be achieved by employing batters who offer too many risky (false, edgy & lofted) strokes from the very 1st ball they face. The Country needs batters whose success rate at least 4out of 5 innings played (i.e. batsmen who can get a chance-less (50)substantial score). Unfortunately the sl'ctors have always gone for batters who lacked in skills to last at least for 5 overs. What the selectors should do is to go for other quality batters the likes of M'hews,C'dimal & T'manne who have had maintained consistency since the age of15years that has 1stCla.Bat.Avs. around 45. At present both the 1st&2nd XI teams have been filled with too many unreliable batsmen. Our series lost to England 2XI team that toured the Country recently is a good example to estimate the selectors' ignorance.

  • espnchekmate on February 12, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    Fantastic match!! nail biting ,i think its high time for Mahela and the boys to play solid and ruthless cricket CZ 4 da past 10 years under various captains Sri Lanka specially against Australia are always playing catchup cricket and once in a blue moon perform strongly.when Ur always in a good position and then 2 losing and last minute mathews or someone have to come in and play a heroes innings and steady da ship. da thing is you can win like that also but ,in the long term its not a good strategy to implement as da pressure levels get to the players and as a result u win 1 or 2 and get famous all over the world 4 pulling it off against the Aussies but then again you lose a lot because Aussies drain your energy no matter how good you are.

  • SLfan on February 12, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    I agree with Kasun Sameera because Upul has proved that he's not a suitable player in these conditions...No doubt he's a good batsman, but certainly not in Australia since past records prove it very well. Other thing is Mahela is really wasting him self in that position because he can come back to his form very quickly if he will play as an opener in the next match...Let's give Maharoof a chance and see whether he has overcome that FAMOUS inconsistency problem.

  • on February 11, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    @Cricketlover555 Lanka clearly not deserve to be in finals... Because SL gave a fight unlike IND LOL! How funny it is.I think IND is not deserve so but not SL. Anyway final will be IND Vs AUS because SLC is BCCI's slaver and they will help IND to come final.

  • playitstraight on February 11, 2012, 14:28 GMT

    Great to see Sri Lanka performing for once, and they really deserved to win this match, I feel. Angelo got them so close, and then he just couldn't finish the game off due to a lack of partners to bat with. I don't blame him though, for going for a six off the penultimate ball. If he had blocked that ball or let it go, then it would've been down to the final ball and anything could've happened. If SL lost then, then he would be criticized for not going for the six on the penultimate ball, and if he hit the six, then everyone would congratulate him. Such is cricket, and critics.

  • stormy16 on February 11, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    I cant believe some of you are suggesting Samaraweera - please wake up the guy is not on tour and was dropped after teh WC because he didnt work. SL are in rebuilding and playing another 35+ player lacks logic. MOM is a storm in a tea cup as is the umpires - the relevant point is Mahela's continued failure when it counts most. Starc to me looks a real danger bowler, tall left armer with pace and swing is about the ultimate nightmare and he is only getting started. Mathews was awesome and wonder if SL want to keep him as the finisher or give him the chance up the order - say to bat with Chandimal - he may flourish - certainly cant do worse than what Mahela is doing!!

  • Prema1948 on February 11, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    These elite umpires' Benefit of Doubts have always gone in favor for the countries where the strong Cricket Boards are, thus their positions in the Elite Panel are always safe. If this kind of decisions go against a powerful Cricketing Nation as in the case of Asoka de Silva & Daryl Harper, their lives as Elite Umpires would be very short. The UDRS with better technology would do a World of good for the Countries like SL, ZIM, B'desh.

  • Harry_Kool on February 11, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    @ the_blue_android Their element? Make sure you stay around when we wipe you and let's see your comments then. And stop eating those sour grapes!

  • J.Dilawar on February 11, 2012, 8:24 GMT

    Good show SL, you are comming close to be on the winning side, keep it up! Best wishes from a Pakistan cricket fan.

  • Slesh on February 11, 2012, 7:19 GMT

    Ya we played well.but we have to finish the game well also.we must another solid batsmen also.if samaraweera hasn't selected as stand by player he is a must in this situation. This should be the team for the next match. 1.Mahela 2.Dilshan 3.Tharanga 4.Sanga 5.Matthews 7.Maharoof 8.Thisara 9.Kulasekara !0.Sachithra 11.Malinga

  • frank2011 on February 11, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    @Kasun Sameera, I like the team you have for SL. I think Tharanga has not fired so far in the tour and having Mahela open with Dilshan will be a good combination. Maybe bring in Samaraweera for Tirimanne? They need someone stable in the middle in case of collapse and he's in good touch in the SA tests. But I think they should try out your selection for the next game :) After watching the match last night, I'm going to tip an Aus vs. SL finals for this tri-series, with a possible upset :)

  • IanJF on February 11, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    Since Thilan is on stand-by how about this combi - 1.Dilshan 2.Mahela 3.Thilan 4.Sanga 5.Chandimal 6.Matthews 7.Maharoof 8.Herath/Kula 9.Senanayake 10.Malinga 11.Prasad

  • dunger.bob on February 11, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    Game of the summer so far for me. No surprises the Lankans are up to speed quickly either, they always play well in Australia it seems. I'm pretty sure they creamed us badly the last time they were here. .. re the MoM award. .. in the Tests its chosen by the ABC radio commentators. .. no idea who chooses the ODI ones though I suspect the channel 9 crew have something to do with it. .. maybe it was their sandwich ladies turn to choose. .. I more or less agree with dsig3 about Clarkes strange captaincy. I couldn't see what his plan was, but I did notice that the ball stopped swinging for Starc pretty early (Plan A) and Harris has to do more with the ball in hand (Plan B). I thought he was was pretty ineffective. I just never got the feeling he was too much of a threat to any of the batters. Maybe that was Clarkes Plan C or something. Whatever it was, I think he needs a new one.

  • DINESHCC on February 11, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    Congrats for the spirited fight shown by the Lankans. Loss is different meek surrender is different. Two / Too close games. Better luck next time.

  • Akheel on February 11, 2012, 6:03 GMT

    Good show, SL. Keep repeating the good work.its only a matter of time tide to turn SL's way.

  • Dubious on February 11, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    ami77 while Mathews performed well, he ultimately failed and couldn't win the game for Sri Lanka. Clarke scored runs and got a wicket--as did Mathews--but he also captained his team to victory, conceived clever bowling plans to slow the Sri Lankan strike rate, fielded well in the slips etc. I can't see how you can say Mathews performed that much better than Clarke?

  • on February 11, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    Man of the match ? Is it necessary in a Team game. What is the award you are going to give Mathew?

  • on February 11, 2012, 5:14 GMT

    This is Best team for SL 1. Mahela 2. Dilshan 3. Chandimal 4. Sangakkara 5. Tirimanne 6. Mathews 7. Maharoof 8. Tissara 9. Senanayeke 10. Kulasekara 11. Malinga

    5 Batsmans 4 allrounders 5 Fast bowlers 2 Spinner (With Dilshan)

  • Sakthiivel on February 11, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    Wow This is the Srilankan team we want to win, Looks the same spirited performance in WC Final. But still we won that , will be winning here too...

  • on February 11, 2012, 4:30 GMT

    This game was a little frustrating because I'm not used to ODIs this gripping. I was tired and meant to switch it off about 9 because it looked like the Lankans were going to win easy and fair play to them. BAM, nearly as I'm about to switch it off there's a run out. Same thing later, when I though Dilshan and Chandimar had it. In the end, I thought it was all over Australia's way but then WHOA all of a sudden Matthews can hit boundaries! What a finish. I collapse at half past eleven, and I was so tired I couldn't even remember who won when I woke up this morning! Great game, and it's a shame SL couldn't quite get there. Lovely to see their fans cheering so hard.

  • on February 11, 2012, 4:22 GMT

    Kudos, it any expense last 24 balls of the sri lankan innings was one of the most matured display in any cricket. It was only missed by one mishit from angelo. But you did it again man. shown that you are our future captain. why we are not playing thilan like players in this sort of hard bouncy tracks . he has shown his pont in SA. Forget lahiru. he is so young & we have to place him to open or top order to find form against in a good team. sanga is so selfish in running for lst few months 7 it was paid off so badly yesterday. how many players ran out becuase of him??? for me Rangana herath should come in place of thirimanna against ausies in next matches & against india at least we have to play one spinner .

    well captaincy is becomming good. well mahela go for runs. malinga is firing on yokers. well he will send 6 in 6 in next match.Who says sri lanka cannot win . it is all about one big score from chandimal, tharanga, sanga or dilly .good luck men. you are getting better .

  • on February 11, 2012, 4:19 GMT

    SL are the real winners here, AUS won it due to some luck in the form of chandimal's LBW decision, and the MOM Clarke, what a joke that was. He is always a over rated player!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Mathews is the real star

  • asithaSL on February 11, 2012, 3:41 GMT

    Sri Lankans are true fighters, it proved once again. they deserved win, but unfortunately last ball Mathews played skied to Dan. otherwise, it would have been, one of the best finishing game under pressure. Weldone boys, good luck next time...!!

  • Romenevans on February 11, 2012, 2:55 GMT

    Sri Lanka is the team i follow after India, and wanted them to win. They played really well and nearly pulled the match. I'd love to see india sri lanka in the final and kick those Aussies outta Australia LOL.

  • Balumekka on February 11, 2012, 2:49 GMT

    Congrats Australia. Anyway proud of Sri Lanka's fighting spirit. Even at loss, what we want is a proper fight and loose. SL team fought well in last two losses. So not unhappy as a SL fan!

  • AidanFX on February 11, 2012, 2:26 GMT

    Tend to think Clarke wasn't the man of the match - either Matthews or I reckon the match winner was actually Doherty

  • on February 11, 2012, 1:50 GMT

    Well done SL,Mahela and Angelo. We can get back to what we were in the next game. Just show'em what we are capable. All the best. Tilak

  • ami77 on February 11, 2012, 1:13 GMT

    Very good fighting spirit from SL. Well done Australia in pulling out a thrilling win.

    Still there was a big confusion in the definition of "Man of the Match"

    The award was instead given to the "Man of the Winning Team" but definitely not to the "Man of the Match"

    Mathew's performance was far better that Clark's in the match. That's the performance all cricket fans will remember for a long time to come. So how come it's not the real Man of the Match not getting the MOM award.

    I thought that it was gonna be repeat of MCG miracle in 2010.

  • on February 11, 2012, 1:11 GMT

    @Several commentators, if you really understood the game of cricket, you'd realise that runs and strike-rate don't determine the quality of an innings. Clarke's innings was much more technically correct than Matthews, with some incredible shots, and also bowled well to grab a wicket. Matthews did not bat poorly, but he was lucky to make as many as he did, and the wickets he got by bowling were from pure luck. He doesn't seem to bowl to the field that is set, or any sort of plan, hence his poor international bowling average.

  • CricketTard on February 11, 2012, 1:10 GMT

    This is a really cool tournament. It's a shame that Aussie's really the only one of the three in form. I'd like to see a cricket equivalent of the rugby tri-nations with sa, aus and nz fighting it out in a tournament just like this. I think it would be really competitive in both of the one day forms, especially with the intense rivalry between our three countries, and might help us (nz) become more competitive in the test arena

  • playitstraight on February 11, 2012, 0:42 GMT

    Well SL did play really well, but I guess the better team was Australia. If SL don't win their next match, they are well out of the tournament. I guess they were unlucky with Chandimal's lbw decision, but things like those happen and it tests the skills of the rest of the batsmen. Matthews is a great talent for SL, now he has taken 4 wkts and scored nearly 100 runs in 2 matches. SL have only played 2 matches since coming to Australia but they have made a much bigger difference than our weak Indian side did. I wonder what would've happened if they played the 4 tests, it could have been at least 1-2 if not drawing the series. Anyways, SL fielded brilliantly and bowled well too, but their batting let them down again with the exception of Dilshan (surprisingly), Matthews and Chandimal. Captain Mahela needs to fire at some time, but his captaincy is superb, even better than Dhoni I would say!!

  • AidanFX on February 11, 2012, 0:40 GMT

    Kudos to the curators for following up their form from the Perth Test... Made for an absorbing and tight match. We like to see turn and seem movement.

  • on February 11, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    @Cricketlover555, Although I am Indian fan, I loved the way the Sri Lankans fought back. They played well, they deserved a win, but lost due to middle order collapse. I like their fighting spirit.

  • RJHB on February 11, 2012, 0:08 GMT

    Very entertaining match, most enjoyable ODI i've watched in Australia for a while I reckon. SL nearly stole another one from us, they're good at that! I think Australia were a bit stunned by how good the SL fielding was after being confronted with such abjectly WEAK fielding from India for so long! I reckon they saved maybe 30 runs. Looks like hopefully a competitive series. Footnote to India: funny how it doesn't look like its taking SL long to get used to Australian conditions, or the bounce for that matter! Oh and there's no wimpish "wait til you get back to SL" comments from players or fans either!

  • frank2011 on February 10, 2012, 23:39 GMT

    @gularan, calm down dude... its just a game :) Players make mistakes and both teams bowled really well in a batting track. It was an enjoyable game, in fact, probably the only enjoyable game this summer in Australia. Great effort from both teams. Hopefully India can join the party to make this series really exciting and keep the tri-series going for the next year :)

  • stuartk319 on February 10, 2012, 23:34 GMT

    @Hiran Perera I agree off stump was visible and point of impact was too high to be plumb, but Chandimal cost himself badly by going right back and somewhat across. Had Chandimal pushed even slightly forward I may agree it would be a very harsh call. However, given he was hit so close to the stumps IMO it was a very fair call to say it was hitting leg. I agree that some umpires may have given benefit of the doubt - but on the night Nigel Llong had no doubt, and IMO a sound basis for being sure. Besides, the somewhat erratic shot selection, but conversely always excellent fielding from both sides produced many much bigger talking points than any umpiring in this match.

  • Fijicricket on February 10, 2012, 22:59 GMT

    SRI LANKA YOU BEAUTY-To fight to the end was remarkable-INDIA would have thrown in the towel once DHONI entered the scene-(RAVI SHASTRI BRAND CRICKET) Thank you SL for the entertainment from all cricket lovers in FIJI

  • Samreidd on February 10, 2012, 22:47 GMT

    Surprised that Clarke was given the man of the match award. Mathews made more runs and took more wickets than Clarke. Also played an excellent innings and fought till the end.

  • on February 10, 2012, 22:45 GMT

    @ the_blue_android Lol ... and what's their element? Playing t20's at home?

  • jonesy2 on February 10, 2012, 22:36 GMT

    haha good game. australia bowling was amazing as usual. mckay has the best slower ball in the business, christian was awesome, he could have been man of the match for his fielding not to mention the batting and 2 wickets, love that aus have doherty as the best limited overs spinner going round, never seen him have a bad game. kudos to mathews

  • on February 10, 2012, 22:22 GMT

    Bring Back Watson, QUICK!

  • RohanMarkJay on February 10, 2012, 22:14 GMT

    Good to see Sri lanka playing good cricket again like they always used to. After a disastrous 10 months for SL cricket barring the South Africa Test win, when everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Even though Sri lanka lost, you could sense the Sri Lankan cricket spirit of old is back in this game. Sri lanka should play the Sri lankan way. Angelo Matthews is a hell of find for Sri lanka, he seems to be an excellent one day cricketer. Sri Lanka as Kumar Sangakkara said should be looking for the future after Vaas and Murali retired. Sri lanka from 1996 to 2010 when Murali retired had a very good run in international cricket. While it may never be like 1996 Vaas and Murali again.SL should aim to play with spirit playing well in every dept Batting,Bowling and Fielding in every game even if they lose.In my book no disgrace in losing if SL plays every game with spirit and the Sri lankan way. Sooner or later the victories will come. What we don't want is a repeat of the last 10 months.

  • gularan on February 10, 2012, 21:59 GMT

    Sri Lanka will always find a way to self destruct even when they are given the match on a platter. The abominable shot that Jayawardana played defies description as does the moronic runout of Sanga and pray tell me why jayawardana did not finish off the Aussie tail by bowling Malinga thro ? The difference in the end was the invaluable 40 odd runs donated to the Aussie tail by Jayawardana. He did one thing right though,to win the toss and put Aussies in was to take a page out of Arjunas winning reciepie. I hope he will in future do this regularly irrespective of the state of the pitch as if SL bats first and collapses as they are prone to do regularly the match will be a foregone conclusion within the first hour of play.

  • the_blue_android on February 10, 2012, 21:47 GMT

    Wait till India gets into its Element. They will gobble these two teams. Just like 2008 CB series.

  • trumpoz on February 10, 2012, 21:42 GMT

    if nothing else this highlights once again Australias biggest weakness........ bowling at the death. Australia are really lucky Matthews got out on that shot - it was shot and wide, asking to be hit for 6. What is wrong with bowling yorkers, much easier to set fields to

  • on February 10, 2012, 21:39 GMT

    @stuartk319 Are you calling that LBW decision was a straight forward one? ball was hit well above the knee roll and can clearly see the off and middle stump by the time of hitting. And what hawkeye suggest was only ball touching left bell. Any other umpire would have given not out ......

  • Cricketlover555 on February 10, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    Just as last VB series in 2007-2008...hoping to see INDIA -AUSTRALIA in finals again.... !!! Lanka clearly not deserve to be in finals...

  • stuartk319 on February 10, 2012, 20:39 GMT

    @Hiran Perera - I completely disagree with you. If a batsman goes back and across like Chandimal did and is hit pad first infront of the stumps he should feel fortunate if he stays in. Correct decision from umpire and Chandimal should be fined heavily for staring at him. Excellent game of cricket overall, the bowlers were in it the whole way and fielding was brilliant in both innings keeping the match twisting and turning all evening.

  • RameshRayaprolu on February 10, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    What a fight by Lankans !! This is the way to do. If I can recall, they did not play much of practice matches in AUS. But still they showed the fight. Kudos to Mathews!!

    Now, one cannot even think of the 3rd team (India) competing with these two spirited teams. I guess AUS & SL will play the finals...

  • NickCurrell on February 10, 2012, 19:17 GMT

    Regardless of Wade's batting performance tonight, his glove work was once again right on the money and is really making it hard for the selectors to justify bring Haddin back for the last few ODI's. Keep some experienced players in the tram, unless they are keeping out younger and better players!!!

  • Yoker111 on February 10, 2012, 19:03 GMT

    Make Thisara Perera open. Tharanga failed in 2 matches, give the lad a chance. he sure can wack a ball. he might just be the fix to the batting.

  • Charindra on February 10, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    @huffa Hussain - Ya, that's just what SL needs right now... another change in the team management!

  • Herath-UK on February 10, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    Those chaps who chose Clarke over Mathews as MOM show Aussie character probably;this chap with his poor captaincy nearly lost the match for them but gets MOM! Mahela's poor form is a worry and I think Mathew should bat above him in the order at least until Mahela hits the straps. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • hemanofindia on February 10, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    WHY Angelo Mathews WAS NOT CHOSEN Man Of The Match ? He scored more with a better strike rate and took two scalps too. True, he was not on the winning side but his performance was far better. Result first, performance later...this seems the criteria of commentators...

  • GreenTeam-Elite on February 10, 2012, 18:16 GMT

    Well End of the Day Favourite Australians have Won the Match. But I would say here Sri Lankans Played Very Well Fighting Cricket. I Should say Sri Lankans Played Better then India. Good Luck to Sri Lanka!!!

  • priceless1 on February 10, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    When OZ was 8 down for 192 Mahlea didn't go for the kill, instead he planned to play the full 50 over's by giving other bowlers chance to finish their full quota of over's (without bringing on Malinga )... and that allowed OZ tail enders to score runs freely , that made the different at the end ......

  • Vishnu27 on February 10, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    @suve: not too sure about that! Australia clearly had a better game all round. Not to diminish Sri Lanka's effort with the ball & Mathews late surge with the bat though.

  • Sinhaya on February 10, 2012, 17:57 GMT

    Amazing fight by the Lankans and Angelo is marvelous! Hope Australia win on Sunday so that Sri Lanka's hopes are well alive. I think the main worry in the Sri Lankan side is the form of Mahela and also Upul Tharanga, who seems uncomfortable against Starc. I think Lankans played Harris and Starc pretty well today.

  • Skilled90 on February 10, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    Sri lanka did what india couldnt for all this time,gave a proper fight in a cricket game without excuses.

  • mohanan on February 10, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    Sanga's run out was the turning point of the match. Hope SL will come back from the defeats.

  • yorkslanka on February 10, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    Congrats to Aus on the win but despite us losing, I was really encouraged that we got so close...we bowled and fielded well and if the middle order performed, things could have been different..hopefully Mathews has shown his critics,why he is the vc and how special he can be. I agree with the numerous comments to promote him and think despite hs excellent fielding, thirrimane needs to be replaced by samaraweera to bring solidity to middle order and allow Mathews to move up..why is it hat dilshan is so poor at inning tho,that run out cost us...I know there will be people asking why I celebrate us losing, I don't,just that in any team in transition,what we want to see is positive steps and we are starting to show that...

  • on February 10, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    Well played SRILANKANS...atleast you have shown your guts..whereas the INDIAN team is still struggling on australian pitches..Congrats to AUSSIES for defending a low target successfully.

  • seantells on February 10, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    well done SL certainly signs of positive mind set, i'd like to see Mahela opening I/O tharanga and give a chance to mahroof

  • SLMaster on February 10, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    Mahela's batting cost SL to loose the game. His captaincy is great... but he is loosing the grip on batting. In fact both Mahela & Sanga is failing. If they cannot get going in this series.. they should take a vacation for a while. Bowlers did very well in both games & youngters did very well in both games!!!

  • on February 10, 2012, 16:40 GMT

    Chandimal's LBW was a shoker in my book, very unlucky. its cost us the match

  • WishIndiaImprove on February 10, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    Welldone Mathews!! Congratz Australia!! Aus & SL will be in the finals. ICC need to change the rule for MOM award. Good bowling...2 wkts...64 runs... Why can't the rule favour for the player who is real MOM. Is it MOM or Man of Player from winning team?

  • Nampally on February 10, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    Great to see SL putting up a fight which all but won the game for them- falling short by 6 runs with wkts. in hand! Mathews carried the team with his excellent batting. The young Aussie seamers were put in their place by SL batsmen. I wish India batted half as well against the same attack. It begs the question how did SL do so well against the Aussies on the same pitch where they failed against India? Also can India beat the Aussies on this pitch following the rule of 3? SL showed that the Aussies can be beaten, even though they fell short of doing so. I do hope India take a lesson from this spirited SL team & beat the Aussies in at least one ODI!.

  • on February 10, 2012, 16:31 GMT

    Haddin might fall sick to "Wadeinitis" ! He might find it difficult to 'wade' through to his position behind the stumps ! Good for Australia. Bad, for the opponents.

  • Precioustar84 on February 10, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    It was still a great match to watch as all will agree. Very close ...too bad batsmen didnt take it all the way when bowlers/fielders had set it up nicely with low score. Even struggling India has managed to chase it down against SL couple days ago on same pitch so just shows anything is possible against the Aussies. And keep that Angelo Mathews fit!! You guys cant afford him missing out cause of injuries if he performs like this all the time. Even though I'm team India fan, I think winners will be Aus, then SL and then sadly my team India considering current struggles. But who knows! Cricket is a funny funnyyy game! :)

  • on February 10, 2012, 16:21 GMT

    Really this is what i expected frm srilanka. I didn't expect a crashing victory here. This explains the devolopment in SL team since they arrived aussy. Definately they'll make it to the final i'm sure. Mthews once again proved how could he be a valuable alrounder.True spirit from him. At first I thougt the plan to bowl first frm Mahela was nothing more than a sucide attempt. Then he somehow he managed to bowledout aussies. That one decision and the attacking field placement and sudden bowling changes had told the story of his legendary captainship. Definately he is the captain Srilanka need now not Mathews. But the only think that seems uneasy is his batting strugles against oppositions in out of the subcontinent grounds. I expect he'll recover frm that.

  • zerotollerance on February 10, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    Another batting failure by mahela, sanga again fails... Drop Therese two old men and let chandimal bat 1down an tirimanne bat 2 down. Sl will then...

  • on February 10, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    Beautiful! Why the Man of the Match should always be from the winning side. To me the real MoM , the real hero in today's match, was Angelo Mathews -- Ian Botham of Sri Lanka. Real all rounder among all the fakes floating around in almost all the teams. The real 'Super Hero'. Sri Lanka, you have a real gem here. Take very very good care of him. Not only for you, but also for ensuring the quality and intensity of spirited cricket; not just for the bland hackneyed spirit of Cricket. Wonder, when we Indian cricket fans will see one like him in our team!

  • Hodra99 on February 10, 2012, 16:05 GMT

    @dsig3...take it easy mate. We have beaten both the World cup finalist in the past week, so these teams are no pushovers in the ODI format. The only criticism I have is on the man of the match...had to be Doherty or Matthews, and not Pup...but you can't blame him for that decision!

  • GMathews on February 10, 2012, 15:57 GMT

    Umpire Bruce Oxenford continues some shocking decisions again some wides,lbws. I think Jayawardene made a mistake not to get Malinga early with his last over. While Mckay and Starc were unsettled when score was192 for 8 ,that was the ideal time for malinga to try with some yorkers to get those 2 remaining wickets. Even though it wasn't successful SL could have managed to keep Aussies the same 231 with his inform other bowlers

  • on February 10, 2012, 15:57 GMT

    Batting department should take more responsibility ... bowling was superb ... fielding too ...

  • on February 10, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    The run out of sanga was decisive. The top order rarely clicks for us these days and when it does they run themselves out, so sad. Anyway good innings by Mathews. How many times we have seen him run out of partners like that when he need them the most.

  • Anas159 on February 10, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    Angelo Mathews has a bright future ahead , really went unlucky today :(

  • on February 10, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    I think Dan Christian deserved the MoM award rather than Clarkey. He scored 33 runs down the order, took 2 wickets (unlucky not to get more since so many edges ran away for 4!!), took 1 catch (the winning catch!) ...AND... I don't know how many people took notice but Dan put in 3 saves in the 3 penultimate overs to save EXACTLY 5 runs which was the margin of victory!!! What more value can we expect from a player? I wasn't impressed with this guy last game but he won the match today and changed my mind!

  • Nightwing32 on February 10, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    This is what I love about ODI cricket. So many twist and turns both teams played well and unlike T20 if Mathews' pulled it off then we would be all talking about it. Who says ODI cricket is dead?

    Also great keeping by Wade. Haddin is really good but Wade is making it tough for him hopefully Wade pushes Haddin to be better. Sri Lanka have mad young players and I hope we continue the Tri Series, it is great and people in Australia love it.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on February 10, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    Strange game for Australia. Half strength team, batting never got going at all & went to sleep at the end and got lucky they weren't punished. In between Doherty bowled a nice spell and Starc was almost unplayable at the beginning. Presumably Forrest will be given a run out next time and we might see M Marsh at some point in the series. For SL I guess they now know Matthews is batting too low. Don't they?

  • SLfan on February 10, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    Really proud of you guys...This is what we want to see.Fight till the end ! No more 43 all outs. Just play this fashion and definitely win will follow you. Good Luck !

  • ChrisPerera on February 10, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    Sanga's run out cost the match.

  • BravoBravo on February 10, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    Congrats to AUS for win, and to SL for a fine performance. It was really a captivating match, and both team performed equally whether it is their flaws or positive points. In the end only one team wins, this time it is AUS. Now AUS have beaten both finalist of the World Cup and proved that who is the Champion. My prediction, the finals still will be played between SL and AUS. By the way IND vs SL matches are becoming overbearing and nauseating, these two teams should not be allowed to play any games, in between them, for another 3-4 years. It is the only way they will be improved, otherwise IND will be getting whitewashed everywhere and SL will be performing below their potential. This triseries should have been among NZ-SL-AUS.

  • on February 10, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    Congratz Australia and well played Sri Lanka!! Mathews you beauty!!!

  • suve on February 10, 2012, 14:52 GMT

    It's amazing that SL Fielded, Bowled and Batted better than Australia but still lost. Not to take anything away from AUS, they played brilliantly too though. Angelo Matthews was so calm and kept his cool throughout the whole innings but unlucky at the end though. Im sure SL will beat India on Tuesday.

  • on February 10, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    Looks like Australia are in some sort of a resurgence...it's a pity Ponting was disappointing with the bat. He could have been of great help had he been at his best...

  • dsig3 on February 10, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    On another night we might have lost........or beaten Sri Lanka much more convincingly. More plays and misses from SL than I have seen in a long time. Dilshan is a luckier version of Sehwag. Also, what is clarke thinking with his fields? They were absolutely atrocious and nearly cost us the game. He let Sri Lanka coast when they were 6/7 down and should of had Mathews caught at slip. Nothing he tried worked tonight. Stupid fields with packed offsides and just boundary riders on the leg, and we bowl STRAIGHT giving them singles at will!!! If you let batsmen off like that the opposition can come back and win games that they have no right to win. When you have the opposition down for gods sake go for the kill Pup. The low point of the summer so far.

  • on February 10, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    Maybe sri lanka need some more time... and definetly A NEW COACH!!!

  • on February 10, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    well done sri lanka, happy 2 see our true spirit>>>>>>>>>>>

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on February 10, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    well done sri lanka, happy 2 see our true spirit>>>>>>>>>>>

  • on February 10, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    Maybe sri lanka need some more time... and definetly A NEW COACH!!!

  • dsig3 on February 10, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    On another night we might have lost........or beaten Sri Lanka much more convincingly. More plays and misses from SL than I have seen in a long time. Dilshan is a luckier version of Sehwag. Also, what is clarke thinking with his fields? They were absolutely atrocious and nearly cost us the game. He let Sri Lanka coast when they were 6/7 down and should of had Mathews caught at slip. Nothing he tried worked tonight. Stupid fields with packed offsides and just boundary riders on the leg, and we bowl STRAIGHT giving them singles at will!!! If you let batsmen off like that the opposition can come back and win games that they have no right to win. When you have the opposition down for gods sake go for the kill Pup. The low point of the summer so far.

  • on February 10, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    Looks like Australia are in some sort of a resurgence...it's a pity Ponting was disappointing with the bat. He could have been of great help had he been at his best...

  • suve on February 10, 2012, 14:52 GMT

    It's amazing that SL Fielded, Bowled and Batted better than Australia but still lost. Not to take anything away from AUS, they played brilliantly too though. Angelo Matthews was so calm and kept his cool throughout the whole innings but unlucky at the end though. Im sure SL will beat India on Tuesday.

  • on February 10, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    Congratz Australia and well played Sri Lanka!! Mathews you beauty!!!

  • BravoBravo on February 10, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    Congrats to AUS for win, and to SL for a fine performance. It was really a captivating match, and both team performed equally whether it is their flaws or positive points. In the end only one team wins, this time it is AUS. Now AUS have beaten both finalist of the World Cup and proved that who is the Champion. My prediction, the finals still will be played between SL and AUS. By the way IND vs SL matches are becoming overbearing and nauseating, these two teams should not be allowed to play any games, in between them, for another 3-4 years. It is the only way they will be improved, otherwise IND will be getting whitewashed everywhere and SL will be performing below their potential. This triseries should have been among NZ-SL-AUS.

  • ChrisPerera on February 10, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    Sanga's run out cost the match.

  • SLfan on February 10, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    Really proud of you guys...This is what we want to see.Fight till the end ! No more 43 all outs. Just play this fashion and definitely win will follow you. Good Luck !

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on February 10, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    Strange game for Australia. Half strength team, batting never got going at all & went to sleep at the end and got lucky they weren't punished. In between Doherty bowled a nice spell and Starc was almost unplayable at the beginning. Presumably Forrest will be given a run out next time and we might see M Marsh at some point in the series. For SL I guess they now know Matthews is batting too low. Don't they?