Sri Lanka v Australia, 1st ODI, Pallekele

Johnson bowls Australia to 1-0 lead

The Report by Brydon Coverdale

August 10, 2011

Comments: 102 | Text size: A | A

Australia 192 for 3 (Watson 69, Clarke 53*, Ponting 53) beat Sri Lanka 191 (Randiv 41, Johnson 6-31) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Mitchell Johnson celebrates Kumar Sangakkara's wicket, Sri Lanka v Australia, 1st ODI, Pallekele, August 10, 2011
Mitchell Johnson was Man of the Match for his 6 for 31 © AFP
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Mitchell Johnson produced the fourth-best figures in Australia's one-day history to set his team on the path to a seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in Pallekele. After losing the Twenty20s, Australia found a new spark with the arrival of the 50-over captain Michael Clarke, who attacked in the field and then helped steer the side home with Ricky Ponting after Shane Watson set up the chase.

Smart stats

  • Sri Lanka's seven-wicket defeat is only their sixth in 34 home ODIs when they've won the toss and chosen to bat since 2000.
  • Mitchell Johnson's 6 for 31 are his best figures in ODIs, and the fourth-best by an Australian.
  • In 31 ODIs in Asia, Johnson has taken 60 wickets at an average of 20.41. In ODIs outside Asia, he has 98 wickets in 69 matches at 28.
  • Australia won with 71 balls to spare, which is their second-best in Sri Lanka, and their fifth-best in any ODI against Sri Lanka.
  • In 16 ODIs in 2011, Shane Watson has scored 959 runs at 68.50 and a strike rate of 115.26, with two hundreds and seven fifties.
  • The 101-run partnership between Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke is only Australia's third century stand for the third wicket in Sri Lanka.

The first ten overs of the match seemed like an extension of the T20s, as Sri Lanka's openers gave their side a strong start with a 54-run stand. After the first wicket fell, though, the rest of the day belonged to Australia. Most surprisingly, given all the talk in the build-up to the game, it was aggressive pace bowling that set the tone for the match.

Such was the expectation that spin would be the dominant force that Johnson was the sixth bowler Clarke turned to after losing the toss. He struck with his third delivery, and ran through the middle order to finish with 6 for 31, his best limited-overs figures and an effort surpassed only by Glenn McGrath, Andy Bichel and Gary Gilmour for Australia.

Sri Lanka's 191 was a sub-par total on a good pitch but against the spin of Ajantha Mendis, who bamboozled the Australians in the second T20, a successful chase was far from a done deal. And while none of the batsmen were completely comfortable against Mendis, they generally found a way to survive, and handled him far better than they had two days ago.

For Watson, the method was simply to use his might. He struck six sixes in a brutal innings, twice clearing the boundary against Mendis and twice off Suraj Randiv, and he was at his best against the slow men when he got his front foot to the pitch of the ball. He had one life on 46 when, next ball after a six over long-off, he cut Mendis straight to point, where a listless Suranga Lakmal dropped a sitter.

Perhaps Lakmal was still thinking about the previous over, in which he had leaked 12 runs against Watson, who was merciless with his pulls when the seamers dropped short. Watson eventually departed for 69 of the 81 Australia had at the time, via a top-edged sweep off Randiv. Despite his 51-ball blitz, Watson didn't always pick the spinners, although he was a picture of composure compared to his opening partner, Brad Haddin, who managed 12 off 18 balls.

Haddin found Mendis harder to read than a Sinhalese newspaper. He played inside balls that turned away, and outside offbreaks, poking his bat forward with little more than hope. It was only a matter of time before Mendis had his man, and the wicket came when Haddin didn't pick a delivery that turned in through the gate and bowled him. It could be a tough tour for Haddin unless he finds a way to handle Mendis.

Fortunately for Haddin, the bowlers had ensured a gettable target. And the addition of Clarke and Ponting gave the middle order some starch. They combined for a 101-run partnership, both reaching half-centuries and showing that their experience could be a key factor in the series, albeit that their efforts in this match came without a great deal of pressure.

Ponting fell just before the victory was sealed, bowled for 53 as he tried to sweep Randiv, but Clarke stayed until the end. It was a calm innings from Clarke, who finished unbeaten on 53, having marshalled his men well in the field.

Dilshan and Upul Tharanga, who was returning after serving his three-month suspension for failing a drug test, put together a good opening partnership, but that ended when Tharanga (34) was bowled trying to cut Xavier Doherty. A big gap had been left on the off side, tempting Tharanga to play against the spin, and the plan succeeded.

The part-time spinner, David Hussey, struck soon after when Dilshan, on 29, threw his wicket away by lofting to mid-off. That was the first wicket in a costly spell for Sri Lanka, in which they lost three wickets for 13 runs. Mahela Jayawardene flashed at a wide one from Johnson and was caught low to the ground by Haddin, before Johnson deceived Sangakkara (16) with a fullish slower ball that was driven to short cover.

And when Clarke hurled his left hand out to snare Dinesh Chandimal for 12 off the bowling of Doug Bollinger, Sri Lanka were 101 for 5. A quick yorker from Johnson rattled the stumps of Jeevan Mendis for 2, before Angelo Mathews had a brain-freeze and was caught at mid-off, trying to send Johnson over the boundary.

Randiv and Nuwan Kulasekara rebuilt with a 60-run partnership for the eighth wicket, but Randiv became Johnson's fifth wicket when he holed out to long-off. Later in the same over - the 39th of the innings - Johnson came around the wicket and knocked back the off stump of Ajantha Mendis to secure his first six-wicket haul in an ODI.

The fightback quickly fizzled out when Kulasekara (34) pulled to deep midwicket, where a low catch from Michael Hussey gave Brett Lee his 350th one-day international wicket. It was just another happy moment for the Australians on their best day of the tour, and on one of the finest days of Johnson's international career.

Innings Dot balls 4s 6s PP1 PP2 PP3 Last 10 overs NB/Wides
Sri Lanka 157 24 3 58/1 23/2 (10.1-15) 14/1 (39.41.1) 0/1 (41.1) 0/2
Australia 117 12 6 60/1 26/0 (12.1-17) - - 0/2

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (August 13, 2011, 23:36 GMT)

I think this test series between Sri Lanka and Australia is going to be very interseting, so much so in light of England winning 3 consecutive tests against the Indians. It is a series that will truly determine whether or not Australia can be quickly ranked in the top 3 within in the near future. Both these sides are going through a transitional period, but I think the Aussies could probably win a test or two if Sri Lanka doesn't bring their A game.

Posted by AKS286 on (August 13, 2011, 5:24 GMT)

c. silva , kapugedara will be my fav. for playing instead of chandimal. welegedara instead of lakmal.dohetry & o'keefe pack them and send back to australia bring back siddle & beer. voges is better than ferguson & cosgrove specially in sub continent. and NO comments on THE FUTURE LEGEND, THE FUTURE CAPTAIN, SIR STEVEN SMITH.

Posted by asithaSL on (August 12, 2011, 18:37 GMT)

Ya.., Gambir is d real hero of Indian team, they r world champs thnx to him on gr8 final.... hey, icc t20 batsman n bowler ranking.....??? anyone know...??

Posted by WTEH on (August 12, 2011, 16:25 GMT)

Time to get Malinga. No mercy for Aussies, need to tighten the grip Dilshan.

Posted by Happy_AusBang on (August 12, 2011, 13:43 GMT)

I think it is good for cricket that India gets thrashed by England. I can't believe I am saying this having barracked for India against Australia not that long ago. But the arrogance coming from there is simply astounding. Hopefully this thrashing will sober them up. India needs to play more regularly against its neighbouring teams. It is a disgrace that they will not be playing Bangladesh for four years.

Posted by Travis-Hookes on (August 12, 2011, 10:46 GMT)

MeraBharatMahaan - Maybe you could update us on Sachin's success as a captain?

Posted by AlanHarrison on (August 12, 2011, 10:28 GMT)

Agree with Blazedragon: judging by the ineptitiude of some of the cricket at Edgbaston yesterday, English fans' bombast notwithstanding, Zimbabwe vs. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka vs. Australia, and even some domestic cricket probably comprises a better spectacle at the moment.

Posted by Gamaraala on (August 12, 2011, 8:41 GMT)

First of all, congratulations to the Australian team. They did really well and I guess the Sri Lankan team was a little over confident after T20s. Aussies provoked our best players to play poor shots. They deserved that win. I should have said this before, without being carried away by some ridiculous comments. @Sakthiivel: So, what is the point you tried to make in your first comment saying "SL cant win Aussies in ODI"?

Posted by Dhakshika on (August 12, 2011, 8:00 GMT)

Sachin is never a match winner.Ponting is so much greater than him as a team winner.sachin is only a personal winner.as all these consider real game winner now india is gautham gambhir than tendulkar.his is below than dhoni, dravid.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (August 12, 2011, 6:00 GMT)

PLEASE! No more about Sachin! I can't take it anymore! This game didn't even involve India! What's wrong with you people? That's it, I'm going to add Adam Gilchrist to everyone of my posts! I'm going to go onto the England v India page and just bang on and on about Adam Gilchrist, making sure there is no relevance to him whatsoever.

Posted by hyclass on (August 12, 2011, 4:48 GMT)

It was suggested that Watson is the new Gilchrist.With respect to ODI,Watson's record is far superior,while in tests,Gilchrist holds the upper hand by some margin.This can be explained by their dissimilar physiques.Watsons muscular frame detracts from his stamina.He is physically at his limit around the one and a half hour mark,though on occassion,with good fortune and supreme determination,he can carry on further.A great example was his 185* in a ODI where he explained that his hurricane hitting was a result of being too exhausted to run.The loss of physical stamina also detracts from mental stamina,causing judgement lapses,hence Watsons lack of test centuries.Gilchrist was more a natural athlete.Endurance is the most underrated factor in cricket success.When Bradman scored 299* against SA,the opposing captain was amazed by how fresh and dry he looked,jogging off at the close of play in 40 degree heat,while all around were sweatsoaked and exhausted.This may explain his mental clarity.

Posted by Black_Rider on (August 12, 2011, 2:05 GMT)

@khiladisher ::I think sanga and mahela should bat down the order so that Chandimal can go to no 3 position.It will give some solidity to our middle order.....

Posted by Meety on (August 12, 2011, 0:51 GMT)

@ 5wombats - the fact is Clarke (not inc 1 Test) as captain has an excellant success rate as captain. This is despite at times as a T20 captain playing almost as a Brearlyesque specialist captain. I don't rate Strauss's captaincy much the same way as you've never rated Punter's (both have great overall captaincy records), I personally believe that Cook will be a GREAT captain of England, I thought Sangakarra was a great captain - Dilshan very average, Dhoni has some good instincts, Vetorri burdened with everything from peeling the oranges & driving the team bus was still pretty good. Smith for his swagger still can't the yips out of essentially are very strong Saffa line up. Sammy & Shakib -poor, & there's never been a good Paki-captain since Khan. So weighing all that up it nots too hard to say as Jonesy said "...probably best in the world in terms of tactics etc..." of Pups captaincy. It was more than enough for your mob in the ODIs.

Posted by MeraBharatMahaan on (August 12, 2011, 0:24 GMT)

I think Sachin is great. Ponting is no match for him. Please read about Sachin's greatness: http://blog.yahoo.com/_YC2PEQ34OS7WNX4ARD2QMHSFCQ/articles/117004/index?bb=0

Posted by khiladisher on (August 11, 2011, 22:05 GMT)

@Sanga_n_Mahiya-Thanks friend-Always been fair in comment, at timeS emotions take over-Dilshan is the game changer as also the 10 over of malinga-once srl lanka makes 275,there is no way the aussies can win-Watching lankan cricket ,its the batters who have let down the team on numerous occasions-fielding and bowling is very good-Time for Sanga and mahela to make themselves count.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (August 11, 2011, 20:24 GMT)

I want to see a resurgent Australia team. I am fed up with all these POSERS in world cricket - "England, India, SA" etc. COME ON Australia !! beat Sri Lanka and then win the test series. Thrash India later this year and then do the same to England in the next Ashes. We want Australia as no.1 in all formats of the game !!!

Posted by Blazedragon on (August 11, 2011, 17:39 GMT)

@RednWhiteArmy: What's there to watch. Its a one-sided series of England bashing India.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (August 11, 2011, 12:48 GMT)

Shouldnt you all be watching the cricket that matters? Eng v Ind

Posted by   on (August 11, 2011, 12:26 GMT)

@Sakthiivel... SriLanka never played series against Netherlands. What are you talking about ? and look at your own team so called no-1 team in the world getting hammered by England. SL at least lost only one match in the Eng test series. You have lost all so far.

Posted by RJHB on (August 11, 2011, 12:19 GMT)

Great win Aussies, suddenly Sri Lanka realise they've got a contest on their hands and the arrogance of the players and their supporters is taken down a notch! Great to see Ponting and Clarke start their tour off with some runs,lets hope they both bounce back after their disgraceful performances last summer. And Watto, well if he can turn those test fifties into hundreds, you haven't got a hope Sri Lanka in the test series!!Where's Murali?!!!!!! Haha

Posted by Marcio on (August 11, 2011, 12:06 GMT)

Kudos to the curator for producing a fair pitch. It was the paciest, bounciest pitch I've ever seen in the sub-continent. Something in it for the spinners, too, but not a complete dry mud pie. This will be a close series. I said even after the T20s that AUS would win the ODI's 3-2, in this order: AUS-SL-SL-AUS-AUS. So far I'm on track. Both sides have some very good players, and some obvious weaknesses.

Posted by AlanHarrison on (August 11, 2011, 12:02 GMT)

Not the first time Johnson has impressed after recent disappointing performances. But he's hardly alone among fast bowlers in being inconsistent, and some of the obloquy heaped his way comprises reaction to the fact that he is not the kind of metronomic leader of an Australian bowling attack people are used to. Mitchell Johnson should not be blamed for the fact that he isn't Glen McGrath: people should get used to the fact that a ready replacement for McGrath simply doesn't exist!

Posted by Wozza-CY on (August 11, 2011, 11:38 GMT)

If I was a cynic, I would say that the formula of an ozi win reads as follows; Watson/Ponting score well + Johnson takes wickets = ozi victory. This has been the scenario of recent times. When Oz enigmatic players fire they are very hard to beat. The same could be said for SL, if Sanga + Mahela do well & Malinga/Mendis bowl well they win. The key for both teams is for other members of the squad to contribute significantly to earn the success. This game was a good response to the T20 series from Oz & sets the ODI series up nicely. It presents the precursor for what is looming as a fascinating ODI/test series. Clarkes inclination to 'try' something differentiates his captaincy from Pontings and only bodes well IMO.

Posted by straight_drive4 on (August 11, 2011, 11:33 GMT)

@5wombats - what's so funny?? You didn't seem to be laughing at clarkes captaincy when we wiped the floor with England in the recent one day series in Australia. Last time I checked we are still no1 ODI team in the world. Correct?

Posted by Finn92 on (August 11, 2011, 10:37 GMT)

Johnson really likes bowling in Asia he seems to have mastered the skills you need to be successful there. Haddin's form could be a problem for Aus as they haven't got a back up keeper! However it will be a different series when Malinga returns.

Posted by Sakthiivel on (August 11, 2011, 10:03 GMT)

@khiladisher : I agree with your point that Srilankans were strong during 1995-2004 but cant accept the point that they were unbeaten in home during that. They played 13 home series where they lost to India in 98, NZ in 2003, Aus 2004 and two series Drawn.Still they were very good during that period.

Posted by stormy16 on (August 11, 2011, 9:58 GMT)

Good show by the Aussies and Ponting, Hussey and Clark are obviously very different to White, Marsh and Hussey - the former three all quality players of spin. Johnson reminds us all why the selectors keep faith in him and the only question is will this be a once-off or form change to impact a series. Watson is fast becoming the next Gilly and nothing it seems can stop him and unless SL find a way to combat him they will be in trouble. SL batting was poor shot selection against good bowling so plenty to think about and look forward to in the series.

Posted by Sakthiivel on (August 11, 2011, 9:39 GMT)

@Gamaraala : From 2009 - this aus series Srilanka won 6/14 series only. That too many series with minnows like Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Netherlands.If you remove that three you find what was the point Im trying to make. @CricketFan2011WC: If they were good then they would have Two more WC in the petty. Winner are always remembered not the runners.

Posted by GEBF on (August 11, 2011, 9:09 GMT)

The bad example of Dilshan, is the main reason for the thrashing. Captain played a very Irresponsible Innings from the First Ball he faced, and the others followed him. I hope Mr. Ratnayake is brave enough to tell that. Benil Fernando - Sydney OZ ( 11.08.2011 )

Posted by cmonaussiecmon on (August 11, 2011, 9:01 GMT)

@Patchmaster Well Done! Great Call! I must say, I totally agree. Although he is getting older, he seems to be better since he relinquished the captaincy.

Posted by David47 on (August 11, 2011, 8:35 GMT)

Sadly, I have to agree with Aspraso. Well done to Mitchell today, but we've seen this so many times before - one decent performance in a series and the rest tripe. C'mon Mitch, get stuck in this time and prove me wrong.

Posted by Sudu_putha on (August 11, 2011, 8:23 GMT)

SL team.. shame on you.. what the hell are u thinking... u playing against Zimbabwe?? This is mighty Aussies...Lost thw world cup, now loosing these odi's what is this.. SL from aus

Posted by 5wombats on (August 11, 2011, 8:12 GMT)

@jonesy2; australia back to dominating LOL! Enjoy it while it lasts. (Johnson knowing where the stumps are that is). clarke is an awesome captain. LOL.

Posted by Trickz on (August 11, 2011, 7:49 GMT)

ozzy ozzy ozzy

Posted by popcorn on (August 11, 2011, 7:40 GMT)

A Great start under Michael Clarke! Australia's pace vs. Sri Lanka's spin. Who won? Australia! Wonderful to watch Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke bring Calmness and Stability to the Team. THIS is the Value of Experience. While Shane Watson played in his usual way, blunting the Sri Lanka attack, and striking fear in the opposition,Ponting and Clarke showed the younger players how to play spin. Just nudging for singles and twos. Noteworthy - Michael Clarke scored ONLY ONE BOUNDARY in his 53* !! Ponting, Clarke and Michael Hussey should invest in coaching the youngsters who have been brought up on Sloggers Park T20. Goodoh, mates, show the world who we are! A great start to Michael Clarke's Captaincy and Ricky Ponting's freedom to bat as only he can. Superb bowling changes and field placements by Captain Clarke.

Posted by Aspraso on (August 11, 2011, 6:48 GMT)

Ok now that Johnson has bought himself an Aussie team ticket guarantee for the next 12 months he can go back to being a 7-runs-an-over bowler

Posted by   on (August 11, 2011, 5:48 GMT)

Watching Watson chase down a small ttotal reminded me of the way Gilchrist would go, hammer and tongs at the bowling . Even his mishits carry for six! I am not sure Haddin will last, the way he sta ted yesterday. Johnson bowled well and it is wortwhile to remember that he is a wicket taking bowler and often he will go for runs. Bollinger can and does bowl bet ter than he did yeserday. I was personally happy for Ponting. He continued where he had left off in the world cup, where he scored a century against India. I know a lot of australians are very critical of Ponting. But he has been Australia"s best batsman in the last three decades at least . Look at the top three run scorers in the world, they are Tendulkar, Dravid and Ponting. So age has nothing to do with it. It is experience and he steered Australia to what became an easy victory. Dont write off Ponting yet and if Australia must win the test series, Ponting has to do well and something tells me he will. sridhar

Posted by CSpiers on (August 11, 2011, 5:45 GMT)

Shane Watson is averaging almost 70 with the bat this year and is closing in on 1000 runs for the year already. Simply, a remarkably improved cricketer. I remember watching him when he first came onto the scene, erratic with the bat and too aggressive with the ball. He is nothing like he once was. A truly great story and hope for many great years to come.

Posted by WestIndies1987 on (August 11, 2011, 5:23 GMT)

Even though I can't stand Australia, I am a huge fan of Watson ever since his performances for Rajastan in 2008 and I am happy for his success.

Posted by   on (August 11, 2011, 5:06 GMT)

Still telling that it was the 30-36 year old brigade that saved Australia yet again. The young guys just are not stepping up at all except as flashes in the pan here and there. Johnson blows hot an cold, here he's a saviour, in the next few games there'll be calls for his removal from the squad. No matter how bad it is now, it's actually going to get even worse in the future for the Aussies. I doubt that they younger guys will improve enough in the next couple of years to take over from the next mass round of retirees.

Posted by jonesy2 on (August 11, 2011, 4:52 GMT)

australia back to dominatiing, now just have to tranferr this to the test arena. love how doherty was by far the best spinner in the game for both sides. clarke is an awesome captain, probably best in the world in terms of tactics etc. cant wait till ryan harris comes in.

Posted by Black_Rider on (August 11, 2011, 4:44 GMT)

Congatzzzz Aussies.....You deserved that.. @khiladisher :::: Appreciated buddy.You have changed a lot....really appreciated

Posted by   on (August 11, 2011, 4:12 GMT)

@Well done Johnson and Watson. The Australian's showed why they were a champion side for so long. SL might come back to level the series but positive sign for the Aussies. The mtach was a bit boring after the first 2 wickets fell but I think it showed the gunho SL batsmen how to play a 50 over game. Sri Lanka were playing a 20-20 game all the way, how else can you explain all the rash shots. Dilashan, Mahela, Angelo, Randiv and Kulasekera all gave their wickets away when they only needed to get singles. A really ordinary performance by the SL top order. Why SL bowlers kept peppering Watsons strengths is also beyond me. Our batters need to balance attack and defence and give RESPECT to good bowlers. Mitch was bowling good but our guys tried to hit him for six every other ball. No brain cricket if you ask me. On the positives I think Tharnga is in superb touch and our spinners showed that they can control the runs if there is a good score to defend.

Posted by Aussies_No.1_4Eva on (August 11, 2011, 4:10 GMT)

@Patchmaste

You're spot on. Punter is a better batsman and captain than Tendulkar. Tendulkar always struggles against high quality pace bowling as evidently exposed by the english bowlers. i hope lankans sake that this series is not 5-0 whitewash...however it may be inevitable. Dilshan is a poor captain and Mahela Jayawardene needs to retire asap.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (August 11, 2011, 3:40 GMT)

i predict that some day watson will broke the record of jayasurya and afridi of hitting most sixes in odi carrier .

Posted by visualdp on (August 11, 2011, 3:32 GMT)

Well Done Aussies , Way to celebrate 100th appearance Jhonson , Well Done(though Im not a big fan of him) But as a Sri lankan I was really upset with SL boys yesterday. The difference between these two was SL played in T20 mode & Aussie in 50_Over mode.No excuses for SL. I guess Malinga will be back in action for next game. Hope Shaminda will get a chance as well as Thisara Perera. I dnt see keep them out of shorter format of the game. But hope for the best.

Posted by   on (August 11, 2011, 2:40 GMT)

SL wil Bounce back...its drama of lossing one game..Hamantotaaa its a not easy 2 bat at second for aussies.....

Posted by arunvish on (August 11, 2011, 2:18 GMT)

Does anyone still think Ricky Ponting shouldn't be in Australian Team?? This master batsman has a long way to go before thinking of his retirement

Posted by Meety on (August 11, 2011, 1:58 GMT)

@ jabesingha - what are you advocating - bringing back Vaas & Jayasurya?????

Posted by Dashgar on (August 11, 2011, 1:51 GMT)

Good performance from Australia, but seriously we need to rethink this team. We are in a stage where we should be rebuilding, we've just had a young Australia A team play very well in South Africa, yet every player in this team is 28 and over except Steve Smith. We have good young players who need to develop, the Australian public don't really care about this series. It should be used to blood some younger players (particularly batsmen)

Posted by jabesingha on (August 11, 2011, 0:06 GMT)

i agree that yuongser leaning ,but should not give chance to learn with top ranking team ,to buld their confidence they must start from 0

Posted by jabesingha on (August 10, 2011, 23:59 GMT)

its sad to say sri lankan still doing wrong selection ,its good idia to give chance to youngerst according to the opp-team it must be.other wise we gonna distroe youngerst careear.why they could not select kandambi he is good in middle oder and for in sri lankan pitchs as well ,

Posted by Patchmaster on (August 10, 2011, 23:57 GMT)

I'm pleased to say that I never 'bashed' Ponting - I'm an ENG fan, but I watch Aus a lot and you don't need a degree in cricket to know that Ponting is one of the best batsmen in the World, and has been for the last decade or so - I actually, and I know I'll get linched for this, but I actually rate him higher than Tendulkar, because he scores runs on ALL types of pitches.

Posted by Ameega on (August 10, 2011, 23:54 GMT)

Very well done Aussies! It is a real all round performance Watto express and MJ gamble (no disrespect of his talents though) worked really well to set the path. SL did bad, no excuses. But as a SL fan, I have no regrets. This is the beauty of cricket. Now SL are under pressure and let's see how they come from back and prove if they deserve to be the best of these two.

Posted by AvidFanDownUnder on (August 10, 2011, 23:26 GMT)

Wow 4 no-balls from both teams and no wides - that's an awesome effort. To all those who write off Ponting, trust me you are all wrong - never write off a true champion (and whatever's said about his on-field behaviour) he always turns up when needed. This is the beginning of another golden period again.

Posted by Biggus on (August 10, 2011, 23:00 GMT)

Yep, a good win but we're not out of the woods yet. SL are a menace at home especially and we're still a bit shaky. Some graceful comments from SL fans here-bravo! That's the spirit guys! Let's enjoy this contest whatever the result. I've always thought this would be a tough assignment for us but I like Pup as a captain and he could be the breath of fresh air that was needed to blow away the cobwebs.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 22:50 GMT)

Where's all the Ponting bashers now? Cruised to a 50 after 2 quick wickets fell. Champion cricketer. Johnson will probably go for 60 off 8 overs in the next match though.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (August 10, 2011, 22:49 GMT)

Not taking anything away from the bowling, but Tharanga and Dilshan gifted their wickets away. Was expecting Matthews to for at least 10 overs, but ironically he too gifted his wicket. It was very strange to see... When Sri Lanka were 80 odd for 3, in usual conditions they would slow the RR and bat, but Sri Lanka tried to keep accelerating. It was as if they were in T20 mode and were trying to reach a score of 300, regardless of the wicket. Looked at the faces of Dilshan, Mahela, and Sanga, and they looked more sad then when they lost the WC I expect them to come back hard, and for Dilshan to play a more responsible knock. Mahela and Sanga looks like they learned their lessons too. Expect Lanka to still win the series 3-2, especially with the firepower of Malinga (both in batting and bowling)

Posted by RandyOZ on (August 10, 2011, 22:43 GMT)

I predicted that Punter and Clarke would form a good partnership so lets hope this continues! Good to see our x-factor in the bowling department, Johnson, bowling well on a relatively unfriendly pitch. He is going to be wayward sometimes, lets just hope this type of performance happens more often than not.

Posted by straight_drive4 on (August 10, 2011, 22:34 GMT)

i thought michael clarkes captaincy was very good - in particular the way he kept attacking. loved the risk he took by bringing on two spinners inside the first 10 overs and it paid dividends. well done clarkey - great start to your captaincy.

Posted by Benster2 on (August 10, 2011, 22:29 GMT)

Good win by the Aussies. Gee Watson is amazing - I watched his innings and it was out of this world to see someone clubbing so many sixes at the start of an innings chasing a moderate total. It made the chase so easy for the other batsmen. Also, I think Haddin probably needs to go - he was embarrassing against Ajantha Mendis and there are so many good, young, wicketkeeper-batsmen getting around now (e.g. Wade, Paine).

No doubt that the Sri Lankan batsman will get their act together for the remaining ODIs and it will be very close for the remainder of the series.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (August 10, 2011, 22:18 GMT)

Great win by Aus especially MJ and Watto. It's amazing what a few warm up matches can do. The concerning thing though is the age of this Aussie lineup. Katich was axed from the Test team for youth but this ODI team looks as old as ever. I always though Ponting should have only stayed on as a Test only player. He is taking Fergussons spot who now is more than ready and has proved that but Ponting having so much sway with CA can basically dictate by putting himself ahead of the team. He has nothing more to prove in ODI cricket and only holding hack someone elses development. Hussey for ODIs only also.

Posted by Gamaraala on (August 10, 2011, 21:56 GMT)

@Sakthiivel: Were you sleeping when SL beat Aus in ODI series (2-1) last year in their home grounds?

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 21:36 GMT)

This is the problem with mitchell johnson, 2 days back he bowled a lot of rubbish and today he won match. If he can get a bit of consistency going, aussies will have aformidable bowling attack, until that happens aussies are going to go thro this patch of sine curve like perfromance.

Posted by Herath-UK on (August 10, 2011, 21:26 GMT)

What is needed is a bit of flexibility;When Sanga goes in one down,the next batsmen should be flexible between Mahela and Chandimal;if it is the other opener next out leaving Sanga at the wicket,then it should be Chandimal who goes into bat with Sanga; on the other hand if it Sanga who is next out leaving the opener at the wicket,then it should be Mahela who should go into bat.Never should allow Sanga & Mahela to bat together until Chandimal has enough experience. Ranil Herath -Kent

Posted by dsig3 on (August 10, 2011, 21:19 GMT)

Should Johnson be working on a new delivery now like Mendis?

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 21:06 GMT)

The youngsters from both sides are learning.... we should just appreciate the cricket, not the result.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 21:05 GMT)

One of those days when SL top order's minds, in their complacency, go walkabout. And when Johnson's doesn't.Everytime the middle order crumbles, one thinks of Samaraweera. Application shown by Randiv should be example for those up the lineup. Mahela should open.Prasad would have been more accurate than Lakmal.And catches! Catches win matches.Never underestimate a wounded kangaroo.

Posted by Meety on (August 10, 2011, 21:01 GMT)

Started off thinking that this might be a forgettable series for Oz (0-50 off about 9 0vers). Was relieved when Doherty DIDN'T get smashed AND took a wicket! (LOL!). Then the 2nd & 3rd wicket fell & I thought 'ahh we are right back in this'. More wickets fell for no reason other than the SL batsmen were too impatient against good bowling, not a tough pitch. So well done Oz! MJ was at his brilliant best - the standard that marks him as the best pacer in the world, (his variable standard means he isn't the best though). Promising performance from Doherty. Lee bowled well early, Bollinger was crap, but came back well. Watto - very brutal opening the order & a sound 50 from Punter. All up well done Oz, I think SL will be a more cautious batting line up next game though, should be a closer contest, Pup beware! -- -- -- @@gayansumeera2 - where are you????? You were on the preview stating that SL would whitewash Oz!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!

Posted by Nathan_123 on (August 10, 2011, 20:38 GMT)

Fantastic win by Australia! Especially fighting back after Srilankan openers put on a good performance. Australians are hard to beat in any conditions. I like there fighting spirit and never give up until the last ball is bowled. On Srilanka, it's all familiar story lack of concentration in the longer form of the game. That is why Srilankans are good at playing T20. After the great Muralitharan it's going to be a very hard and bumpy road for Srilanka here on.

Posted by khiladisher on (August 10, 2011, 18:59 GMT)

@Sakthivel-Sri lanka is a good team and you cannot judge on basis of just 1 single performance-Their record in lanka since 2005 is bad-however 1995-2004 they were unbeatable at home. The lankan cricket players have always been hard working and give their 100% on field-They surely will bounce back-Dilshan is the game changer and according to me the best one day batsman in the world since last 2-3 years.

Posted by khiladisher on (August 10, 2011, 18:51 GMT)

Well deserved win by the aussies-Lankan batsmen have been deFEATEDby the aussie pacers on slow spinning pitches-Sri lanka has been very poor in the one day matches played at home since 2005-THEY HAVE LOST 2 BILATERAL ONE DAY SERIES AGAINST INDIA 3-2 IN 2008 AND WERE BEATEN 4-1 IN 2009,ALSO LOOSING A BILATERAL SERIES AGAINST ENGLAND 3-2 .THEY WERE ALSO DEFEATED BY INDIA IN THE COMPAQ CUP AS WELL AS THE BIG ONE -THE ASIA CUP.THEY HAVE NOT WON A SIGNIFICANT ONE DAY BILATERAL SERIES SINCE BEATING SOUTH AFRICA 5-0 IN 2004. IT IS THE BATSMEN WHO HAVE LET THE TEAM DOWN ON MOST OCCASIONS,STILL EARLY DAYS ,DILSHAN IS THE GAME CHANGER ,IF HE DELIVERS IN AT LEAST 3 OUT OF THE NEXT 4 ONE DAY MATCHES,SRI LANKA CAN WIN THIS SERIES.GREAT SERIES IN OFFING -COME ON LANKA

Posted by tom_dick on (August 10, 2011, 18:36 GMT)

Australia proved that they are capable of bouncing back in any form of cricket. Beating Srilanka in their home pitches is an achievement. Srilanka's fielding withered under some dynamic batting by Watson. Johnson's ability to extract more bounce of the pitch did the trick. Srilanka has lost the match after scoring maximum 4's for the match. While Srilanka scored 24 4's, Australia only 12 4's. Australia scored 6 6's while Srilanka 3 6's. It is a mere statistics.

Posted by CricketFan2011WC on (August 10, 2011, 18:22 GMT)

@Sakthiivel, yep, that is why SL-were in last two WCup-finals. Pls do not post non-relevant arguments.

Posted by Sakthiivel on (August 10, 2011, 17:55 GMT)

Srilanka was never a good ODI team. Even in the World cup they beat minnows that too in home pitches. They cant win Aussie in ODIs.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 17:43 GMT)

I think Chandimal should be coming after the first wicket, then we have the middle order a bit strong & Chandimal has a chance to settle down. Seems today SL team played in the same T20 mentality by seeing the shot selections. With the arrival of Malinga the bowling department will get strong & so the batsmen have to perform with proper shot selection. Good luck SL team for the rest & Congratz Aussies for today's win !!!

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 17:29 GMT)

@Alex: That doesn't make any sense. Maybe it is a joke that Ausies got their buts whipped???

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 17:23 GMT)

I think Aussies bowled well. As a Sri Lankan i think SLankans must use their full potential when batting. Their are number of soft dismissals. wickets are given away to loose balls too.191 is not dependable total.btw i like to see Ponting in the team. I dont think this loss is very huge thing. we need to rectify those week points. How about Chandimal bats at no 3 ? I hope Malinga will play next match ..

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 17:21 GMT)

@Alex Olson: Strangely, I don't think Michael Hussey thought his innings against Pakistan in the World Twenty20 semi-finals was a joke.

Posted by Lord.emsworth on (August 10, 2011, 17:14 GMT)

SL depend too much on openers Dilshan & Tharanga and then Sangakarra & Jayawardene (3&4). From there it's a free fall unless Mathews plays his usual heroics. Give Chandimal 2 more matches and if he fails again try Bhanuka Rajapakse in his place. Maintain this 'perform otherwise be dropped' policy. If SL loose this series Duleep Mendis must resign ASAP. He made some startling selections on the England tour (Kandamby etc) has made another now (Silva) and keeps Malinga out despite the latter saying he is absolutely fully fit.(schism?)

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 17:12 GMT)

Great Bowling from Johnson and nice assault from Watson.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 17:12 GMT)

Congratz aussie..this news will ver happy things for Indians...cuz they going to sad with 4-0 against England

Posted by IanJF on (August 10, 2011, 16:56 GMT)

Mathews irresponsible shot ! He needs to bowl for the balance of the side. Lakmal out - Malinga in and Kule out - Herath in and as a result 5 Spin w/Dilshan + 1 Fast + 1 Med/Fast will be ideal..! Aus wont be able to move, thats providing we always get a 250+ score.. 1st ODI lacked the 50 over mentality from SL

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 16:40 GMT)

Well done the Aussies. The Sri Lankans were a bit over confident with the two T20 wins I suppose. The shot selectons of the SL batsmen were very poor. Pull up your socks and do not make the same mistakes with the rest of the one day series. This is a good chance for us to reach the top at the one day rankings. good luck boys!

Posted by gayansumeera2 on (August 10, 2011, 16:34 GMT)

What was going on their mind when Sanga and mahela was batting? Tharanga and dilshan gave them a such foundation that they should have built on that and they just failed to build on that foundation.Hope to see better performances in Hambantota from These two world Class batsmen.Anyway well done australia and Mitchell Johnson You were the better team on the day. great context will begin from the 2nd odi

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 16:30 GMT)

Aussies are far better than Lankans nd Aussies prove it again......the real # 1 one day team......go aussie go, next WC will be only urs

Posted by CricketFan2011WC on (August 10, 2011, 16:13 GMT)

Firstly, Aus should be congratulated for their win. Great all round performance and they used their brains. On the other hand, although there is uncertainty in cricket , I really can not understand the utter foolish players selection, and the alterations to the SL-batting line up. Our strength had been in using great spin attack. Having two full time spinners (Mendis and Herath, both who are unique) and two all round-spinners (Jeevan Mendis and the new Perera). That produces a great deal of variation. Why did they change that when it was working well for us. In my opinion, I think there should be a left arm fast baller-batsmen in our team. There are options. Also, since Mahela bats really well as an opener-consistently, Tharanga should have been opted. SL-team selections-committee, pls think carefully, our strength had been in bowling. Of course Mendis took 6 wickwets in the last match, but he was fortunate to get those wickets bcs of variations given by others as well.

Posted by sidzy on (August 10, 2011, 16:08 GMT)

Interesting is Aus rebuilding process top6 above 30.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 16:01 GMT)

Good result for Australia, but i believe that Sri lanka took them a bit lightly and were far too aggressive with the bat. The next match will be tougher i believe. Just want to add this. Its really nice seeing Sri Lnakan and Australian fans complimaneting each others teams in posts like the below and several others ive seen leading up to the series. Long may it continue and the all the best to both teams. Maybe indian fans can learn a thing or two?

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 15:59 GMT)

Well thats what experience is ponting and clarke really played well watson really good still many games for him.and lankas middle order most be strong sangakara and jayawardane are good player and they most show up

Posted by rongranu22 on (August 10, 2011, 15:56 GMT)

aussies beat sl fair & square but still 4 matches,hope sl wil lwin da series. as a clarke fan i enjoyed that half century & that awesome catch.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 15:41 GMT)

WELL PLAYED AUSSIES.... no excuses for SL, folded like dominoes. top 4 are seniors over 100 ODIs so i think one should go back in the order to avoid this kind of trouble. (imo mahela) ..... maxxa bowling by Mitch, Lee and Dougy, This is why Aussies are still ranked 1! Hope for a better match at Hambanthota! .... btw, nice to see punter back in action!

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 15:41 GMT)

Just goes to show the difference between joke cricket(t20) and real cricket(odi,test).

Posted by SnowSnake on (August 10, 2011, 15:28 GMT)

Congratulations, Australia. Johnson is erratic, but Watson is a real asset for Australia. SL had a poor start and was never going to win this game with low total. Better luck next time. Good beginning for the series.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 12:55 GMT)

congras to mitchell johnson for grabbing his best figure in his 100th Odi....... n also to brett lee for reaching up to 350 wickets in ODIs.. proud to be aussie fan.. aussie aussie aussie oi oi oi.........:)

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 12:54 GMT)

I wouldn't say SL was that bad, rather M. Johnson was too too Good, too Hot to Handle & to compelling to resists. That's it. In sports, if some steps up to present his/her very best, usually there is nothing much the others can do. & today's day belonged to M. Johnson, simple!

BTW, congrats Johnson for your fiery bowling, hope to see something similar, if not exact, in coming days too. Aus cricket needs u n so does fast bowling!

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (August 10, 2011, 12:43 GMT)

after waching sehwag out eaarly i switch to this match but what i saw was sri lankans strrugling against aussies . good innings by randiv indicating that he has the potential to become a good allrounder . i think after winning t20s sl takes aussies lightly they should remember that australia is still no.1 odi team . i expect a good performance by sri lankan bowlers inthis match .

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 12:38 GMT)

It is still early in the tour... Despite all the bashing and hate (I can understand people not likeing Clarke as Captain but the comments have been so mean and atrocious) - I like the way Clarke goes about captiancy. Is willing to try things, not ultra conservative, doesn't have endless meetings - Ponting was always too gutless to give our part time leggies a go.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 12:16 GMT)

For god's sake bring Samaraweera back to the middle order until you find a solid middle middle order batsman. What has he done wrong to be dropped from one day team?

Posted by WaldermaltCricketer on (August 10, 2011, 11:57 GMT)

Overconfident Sri Lankan Team struggled. They have taken Aussies as BD. Middle order problem is still in SL team. Very Poor Performances..

Posted by   on (August 10, 2011, 11:09 GMT)

One of the worst performance i've ever seen.This is Australia,not Canada.

Posted by sachin_mumbai on (August 10, 2011, 10:06 GMT)

Australia will succumb...subcontinent players cant negotiate on the bouncy pitches and Australians and English players cant play on turning pitches...no wonder Sachin, Dravid, S Waugh, Lara, Inzamam are termed great players bcs of there ability to play in both conditions.....

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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
Sri Lanka v Australia at Colombo (SSC) - Sep 16-20, 2011
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Sri Lanka v Australia at Pallekele - Sep 8-12, 2011
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Sri Lanka v Australia at Galle - Aug 31-Sep 3, 2011
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