Sri Lanka v Australia, 1st Test, Galle, 4th day September 3, 2011

Harris takes five in Australia's victory

89

Australia 273 (Hussey 95, Herath 3-54) and 210 (Clarke 60, Herath 5-79) beat Sri Lanka 105 (Paranavitana 29, Lyon 5-34) and 253 (M Jayawardene 105, Mathews 95, Harris 5-62) by 125 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The Michael Clarke era might not match the Ricky Ponting years for sheer victory numbers, but Clarke has at least started his tenure as Australia's full-time Test captain the same way as his predecessor - with a comfortable win over Sri Lanka in Galle. Seven years ago it was Shane Warne who ran through the Sri Lankans in the final innings; here it was Ryan Harris, whose five-wicket haul set up Australia's 125-run win.

The victory was notable for several reasons: as Australia's first Test win on the subcontinent since they visited Bangladesh in 2006, as Clarke's first Test triumph as leader, and as the 100th Test victory in which Ponting has played. Ponting's record is a remarkable one compared to some of his fellow veterans, including Mahela Jayawardene, who with 49 victories has had less than half the team success of Ponting.

Jayawardene was the man who created the most problems for Australia on the fourth day, with his 29th Test century giving Sri Lanka a sliver of hope that they might pull off what would have been a record chase of 379. He and Angelo Mathews combined for a 142-run stand, nearly three times as big as the next best partnership in the match, and showed Clarke that this captaincy caper isn't always smooth sailing.

But Harris broke the partnership by nipping a delivery off the seam and through the tiny gate left by Jayawardene; the ball clipped the inside edge and took his off stump. That was the moment Australia had been waiting for, and with Jayawardene gone for 105, they could finally breathe a sigh of relief.

The only remaining question was whether Mathews, whose highest Test score was 99, would go on to register his maiden century. In the end, as his tail-end partners dwindled away, he lost patience and on 95 tried to bring up triple figures with one shot, but with a swing as wild and woolly as some of the weather in Galle over the past few days, Mathews lost off stump to Shane Watson.

Fittingly, it was Australia's debutant offspinner Nathan Lyon who took the final wicket, having collected five in the first innings. The end came when Suranga Lakmal skied a catch to Johnson, who ran back from mid-on, and the Australians could officially celebrate their proudest moment since the disastrous Ashes campaign last summer.

It was a symbolic victory for the Australians, who had two new players in Lyon and Trent Copeland, a man in his second Test, Usman Khawaja, and a new leader with fresh ideas. It's too early to know whether Australia will climb back up the ICC Test rankings - they need to win the series to jump ahead of Sri Lanka - but at least the tour has started in the best possible way.

For Sri Lanka, there was enough resistance in the second innings for them to wonder what could have been. The difference between the two sides was Sri Lanka's first innings of 105, when too few of their batsmen showed the necessary application on a difficult surface. In the second innings, Jayawardene and Mathews proved that runs were available for those who worked hard.

They balanced solid defence, respecting the good balls, with a run-scoring mindset. Jayawardene lofted a six over long-on from the offspin of Lyon and improvised when possible, including a paddle over his shoulder for another boundary off the offspinner. When he brought up his hundred with a classic late cut, he pumped his fists in celebration; not many of his 29 Test hundreds had come in such trying circumstances.

At the other end, Mathews occasionally threatened to lose his nerve, as when he advanced to Lyon and tried to smash him over long-off, and was lucky that his miscue landed safely in no-man's-land at deep cover. But generally he provided excellent support and he brought up his half-century with a boundary pulled through midwicket off Mitchell Johnson.

The milestone came from his 89th delivery and it gave the selectors some vindication for including him as a specialist batsman, a decision that effectively ruled Ajantha Mendis out of the side. But Sri Lanka's problems were not created at the selection table, they were founded on poor batting from too many of the specialists, particularly in the first innings.

The captain Tillakaratne Dilshan, especially, should be disappointed with himself, as he failed to put a price on his wicket in both innings. In contrast, Australia's captain, Clarke, showed real grit to make 60 in the second innings, and it went a long way to winning the match.

The final day was difficult, but Australia won their hard-earned reward. Like Ponting, Clarke's captaincy career has started with a victory in Galle. Now it's up to Clarke to ensure that, like Ponting's Australians did in 2004, they go on to win the series.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • RandyOZ on September 6, 2011, 1:19 GMT

    The only deserts in SL are in the centre of their cricket grounds. Very impressed by our performance. How good is it to see Harris fit and charging in? I think Mitch got a touch unlucky as he bowled well. Clarke finally stood up when it counted although AGAIN he didn't kick on enough. brad Haddin is on his last legs. Marsh, coming in averaging a hundred every 17 innings, will need to score highly to justify his place. I haven't seen him do anything useful. Would also like to see improvements frmo Hughes and Khawaja next test.

  • Samdanh on September 5, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    SL should get ready sporting pitches for the remaining Test matches to make this series well contested by both sides. Sporting pitches: Helps fast bowlers 60:40 first day. Helps batsmen 60:40 2nd and thrid day: helps bowlers and spiinners: 60:40 4th and 5th day. More often than not, you get this kind of pitches right through in England and Australia and to some extent in South Africa. Rest of the countries need to mature yet. Good scope for other countries to improve their approach and attitude

  • hyclass on September 5, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    The pitch was terrible.Batting was more than just a matter of application.It was also a matter of luck.Australia were fortunate to have Copeland in their line-up,who on a very slow pitch,was extremely hard to score from.Other bowlers were the beneficiaries on this occasion.The criticism levelled at Dilshans batting is unacceptable.Like Sehwag,people are happy to ride his highs.They should also be prepared to accept his lows.Ponting,Watson and Haddin,all experienced cricketers,took the same approach as Dilshan.In their views,survival was problematic at best and attack the preferred option.It failed for them also.As for his captaincy,people should be looking to those who appointed him and not to the man himself,who is behaving and playing as he always has.A great deal more good would accrue if due credit was given to those who succeeded and understanding given to those who failed on this pitch.The outcome was always a lottery and those who attacked,did so in good faith,not mindlessly.

  • DINESHCC on September 5, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    AUSIEBANGALEE: WITH JUST ONE WIN, AUS CANNOT BE A SUPERIOR SIDE. INDIA HAD ONE BAD SERIES WITH ENGLAND AND SL IS STRUGGLING AGAINST AUSTRALIA. IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT BOTH TEAMS HAVE THE NATURE OF SPECTACULAR COLLAPSE IN EVERY MATCH. WHEN AUS LOST TO ENGLAND AND SA IN AUSTRALIA, YOU PEOPLE CRIED LIKE ANYTHING TO BRING BACK SHANE WARNE. BUT WE ARE NOT CRYING TO BRING BACK GANGULY, KAPIL DEV, ANIL KUMBLE, MURALI, SANATH, VASS, MALINGA ETC. ETC. UNLIKE AUS, INDIA AND SL NEVER HAD A BAD HOME SERIES. DHONI'S IS BLAMING UDRS, WHY, OUT OF 10 INNINGS, ENGLAND BOWLERS DISMISSED HIM 6 TIMES AND DRS (DRAVID REMOVAL SYSTEM) DISMISSED HIM 4 TIMES. ALMOST 50% OF THE VERIDICTS GIVEN BY DRS IS WRONG. THEN HOW ONE CAN SUPPORT DRS? FINALLY A TEAM WITHOUT ZAHEER, SEHWAG, GAMBHIR, HARBHAJAN SINGH, YUVRAJ SINGH (5 OUT OF 11 PLAYERS) IS A DEPLETED SIDE OR NOT?

  • AusieBangaleeShameem on September 5, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    BOTH INDIA AND SL TEAMS ARE VERY SIMILAR --- THERE COLLAPSE IS SPECTACULAR. THIS IS PROBABLY WHY THEY PLAY EACH OTHER MOST OF THE TIMES, SCORE BIG TOTAL ETC ETC. WHEN THEY PLAY AUSTRALIA, ENGLAND OR SA, THEIR WEAKNESSES EXPOSE --- FANS GET UPSET, MS DHONI TRIES TO BLAME UDRS, MAKING LAME EXCUSES. HOWEVER, THIS IS A GREAT GAME OF CRICKET, ALWAYS BEST 11 REPRESENT THEIR SIDE -- SO THERE MUST NOT BE ANY EXCUSE OF "DEPLETED SIDE" ETC. FEEL SORRY FOR BOTH INDIAN AND SL FANS!!!!

  • Meety on September 4, 2011, 23:54 GMT

    @Wozza-CY - great comments. I agree 100%. No comparisons to other sides doing well or not. SL fought hard in their 2nd innings, & had Oz in some trouble in both of our innings. Good win for Pup, there was a captains knock in there. == == == Expect SL to bounce back - I hope the result won't mean that pitches with life in it will be eliminated. Probably should have more of those pitches at 1st class level to let their batsmen adapt. That being said Mahela & Matthews adapted pretty well. Good to see Watto's bowling was crucial, contributed with the ball when struggling with the bat.

  • on September 4, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    ONLY AUSTRALIA PLAYED LIKE A CHAMPION.ONLY AUSTRALIA PLAYED LIKE A CHAMPION.

  • Test-is-the-best on September 4, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    Great idea Candid Indian, United_ Asia,Krickilover..Hats off for you all

  • United_Asia on September 4, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    It is so stupid that all the asian teams supporters are fighting like fools, stop fighting it dsnt benefit any1. The well being of asian cricket lies in its unity, just ask urself had murli picked up 800 wkts if sL hadn't received support 4m its asian peers during d times of chucking controversy, or wht would've happend to oval test btn eng & pak, or any team other team than srilanka was ready to visit pak few years ago, or wasn't it India who stayed in srilanka after the blast that ocurred during the triseries btwn Ind, SL & SA some years ago. Just a few examples to highlight dat we live in d same region and have common goals dat can be better served by being together, instead of abusing our teams we shld hope dat they do well. I am not saying that it should be Asians V ROW, but we should be united for the betterment of asian cricket and it is a fact of life, just look at European Union and than look at Asians still fighting.

  • krici_lover on September 4, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    Though, I am Indian fan, but would not like to react in a childish manner the way when many my Sl friends did when India lost of England. One needs to understand it is a game and no one can ever remain on top and cannot always win. I still remember comments from many SL fans, that SL managed to win 1 match while India lost all, so they are better. Now SL has lost first match to Aussie, where India white washed them at home. But I understand past performances have nothing to do with today. So chill-out Indian fans, don't make mockery of SL fans or cricket team.

  • RandyOZ on September 6, 2011, 1:19 GMT

    The only deserts in SL are in the centre of their cricket grounds. Very impressed by our performance. How good is it to see Harris fit and charging in? I think Mitch got a touch unlucky as he bowled well. Clarke finally stood up when it counted although AGAIN he didn't kick on enough. brad Haddin is on his last legs. Marsh, coming in averaging a hundred every 17 innings, will need to score highly to justify his place. I haven't seen him do anything useful. Would also like to see improvements frmo Hughes and Khawaja next test.

  • Samdanh on September 5, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    SL should get ready sporting pitches for the remaining Test matches to make this series well contested by both sides. Sporting pitches: Helps fast bowlers 60:40 first day. Helps batsmen 60:40 2nd and thrid day: helps bowlers and spiinners: 60:40 4th and 5th day. More often than not, you get this kind of pitches right through in England and Australia and to some extent in South Africa. Rest of the countries need to mature yet. Good scope for other countries to improve their approach and attitude

  • hyclass on September 5, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    The pitch was terrible.Batting was more than just a matter of application.It was also a matter of luck.Australia were fortunate to have Copeland in their line-up,who on a very slow pitch,was extremely hard to score from.Other bowlers were the beneficiaries on this occasion.The criticism levelled at Dilshans batting is unacceptable.Like Sehwag,people are happy to ride his highs.They should also be prepared to accept his lows.Ponting,Watson and Haddin,all experienced cricketers,took the same approach as Dilshan.In their views,survival was problematic at best and attack the preferred option.It failed for them also.As for his captaincy,people should be looking to those who appointed him and not to the man himself,who is behaving and playing as he always has.A great deal more good would accrue if due credit was given to those who succeeded and understanding given to those who failed on this pitch.The outcome was always a lottery and those who attacked,did so in good faith,not mindlessly.

  • DINESHCC on September 5, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    AUSIEBANGALEE: WITH JUST ONE WIN, AUS CANNOT BE A SUPERIOR SIDE. INDIA HAD ONE BAD SERIES WITH ENGLAND AND SL IS STRUGGLING AGAINST AUSTRALIA. IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT BOTH TEAMS HAVE THE NATURE OF SPECTACULAR COLLAPSE IN EVERY MATCH. WHEN AUS LOST TO ENGLAND AND SA IN AUSTRALIA, YOU PEOPLE CRIED LIKE ANYTHING TO BRING BACK SHANE WARNE. BUT WE ARE NOT CRYING TO BRING BACK GANGULY, KAPIL DEV, ANIL KUMBLE, MURALI, SANATH, VASS, MALINGA ETC. ETC. UNLIKE AUS, INDIA AND SL NEVER HAD A BAD HOME SERIES. DHONI'S IS BLAMING UDRS, WHY, OUT OF 10 INNINGS, ENGLAND BOWLERS DISMISSED HIM 6 TIMES AND DRS (DRAVID REMOVAL SYSTEM) DISMISSED HIM 4 TIMES. ALMOST 50% OF THE VERIDICTS GIVEN BY DRS IS WRONG. THEN HOW ONE CAN SUPPORT DRS? FINALLY A TEAM WITHOUT ZAHEER, SEHWAG, GAMBHIR, HARBHAJAN SINGH, YUVRAJ SINGH (5 OUT OF 11 PLAYERS) IS A DEPLETED SIDE OR NOT?

  • AusieBangaleeShameem on September 5, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    BOTH INDIA AND SL TEAMS ARE VERY SIMILAR --- THERE COLLAPSE IS SPECTACULAR. THIS IS PROBABLY WHY THEY PLAY EACH OTHER MOST OF THE TIMES, SCORE BIG TOTAL ETC ETC. WHEN THEY PLAY AUSTRALIA, ENGLAND OR SA, THEIR WEAKNESSES EXPOSE --- FANS GET UPSET, MS DHONI TRIES TO BLAME UDRS, MAKING LAME EXCUSES. HOWEVER, THIS IS A GREAT GAME OF CRICKET, ALWAYS BEST 11 REPRESENT THEIR SIDE -- SO THERE MUST NOT BE ANY EXCUSE OF "DEPLETED SIDE" ETC. FEEL SORRY FOR BOTH INDIAN AND SL FANS!!!!

  • Meety on September 4, 2011, 23:54 GMT

    @Wozza-CY - great comments. I agree 100%. No comparisons to other sides doing well or not. SL fought hard in their 2nd innings, & had Oz in some trouble in both of our innings. Good win for Pup, there was a captains knock in there. == == == Expect SL to bounce back - I hope the result won't mean that pitches with life in it will be eliminated. Probably should have more of those pitches at 1st class level to let their batsmen adapt. That being said Mahela & Matthews adapted pretty well. Good to see Watto's bowling was crucial, contributed with the ball when struggling with the bat.

  • on September 4, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    ONLY AUSTRALIA PLAYED LIKE A CHAMPION.ONLY AUSTRALIA PLAYED LIKE A CHAMPION.

  • Test-is-the-best on September 4, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    Great idea Candid Indian, United_ Asia,Krickilover..Hats off for you all

  • United_Asia on September 4, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    It is so stupid that all the asian teams supporters are fighting like fools, stop fighting it dsnt benefit any1. The well being of asian cricket lies in its unity, just ask urself had murli picked up 800 wkts if sL hadn't received support 4m its asian peers during d times of chucking controversy, or wht would've happend to oval test btn eng & pak, or any team other team than srilanka was ready to visit pak few years ago, or wasn't it India who stayed in srilanka after the blast that ocurred during the triseries btwn Ind, SL & SA some years ago. Just a few examples to highlight dat we live in d same region and have common goals dat can be better served by being together, instead of abusing our teams we shld hope dat they do well. I am not saying that it should be Asians V ROW, but we should be united for the betterment of asian cricket and it is a fact of life, just look at European Union and than look at Asians still fighting.

  • krici_lover on September 4, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    Though, I am Indian fan, but would not like to react in a childish manner the way when many my Sl friends did when India lost of England. One needs to understand it is a game and no one can ever remain on top and cannot always win. I still remember comments from many SL fans, that SL managed to win 1 match while India lost all, so they are better. Now SL has lost first match to Aussie, where India white washed them at home. But I understand past performances have nothing to do with today. So chill-out Indian fans, don't make mockery of SL fans or cricket team.

  • Valavan on September 4, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    @SanjayaWeerakody, Dont try to explain anything to indian fans, according to them SL, Eng or Aus is playing the full side but Indian side is depleted. They dont have depth and they are scared to test their bench strength. They always say many reasons as their captain MS Dhoni to defend their side.They are good at giving the most lame excuses.

  • CandidIndian on September 4, 2011, 7:54 GMT

    Its sad to see SL Ind fans bashing each other and enjoying loss of each other,we are talking about close friends here.It was India who supported SL in 96 when Aussies refused to play in SL also SL gave support to India after unfortunate Sydney Bucknor incident.I being from India would never like to bash a team of friendly nation like SL especially when Aussies are on the other side.SL are going through resurrection phase after Murali and Vaas are not there and hence they will struggle for sometime, but i am sure they will make a strong comeback,still two tests are yet to be played.

  • Winsome on September 4, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    Sri Lanka will tighten their batting up no end in the next match, I'm sure. Mahela played a great knock and Mathews was very good if a little more chancy. It should set up an interesting second test with yet more debutants. Lovely to see Ryan Harris taking his chances when he's not injured. Very good competitor.

  • CandidIndian on September 4, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    Its sad to see SL Ind fans bashing each other and enjoying loss of each other,we are talking about close friends here.It was India who supported SL in 96 when Aussies refused to play in SL also SL gave support to India after unfortunate Sydney Bucknor incident.I being from India would never like to bash a team of friendly nation like SL especially when Aussies are on the other side.SL are going through resurrection phase after Murali and Vaas are not there and hence they will struggle for sometime, but i am sure they will make a strong comeback,still two tests are yet to be played.

  • CandidIndian on September 4, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    Its sad to see SL Ind fans bashing each other and enjoying loss of each other,we are talking about close friends here.It was India who supported SL in 96 when Aussies refused to play in SL also SL gave support to India after unfortunate Sydney Bucknor incident.I being from India would never like to bash a team of friendly nation like SL especially when Aussies are on the other side.SL are going through resurrection phase after Murali and Vaas are not there and hence they will struggle for sometime, but i am sure they will make a strong comeback,still two tests are yet to be played.

  • on September 4, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    If we look at averages of our (sri lankans) key batsmen in the present team got a higher average compared with teams we had before 2010. Their rate of optimum performance has been high since 2010, Dilshan has scored more frequently from the time he was elevated to open the bat, while Mahela and Sanga has proven as Sri Lanka's all time consistent batsmen, it is going to be tough for the Aussies to keep them quiet for very long, the flaws I saw in the littke viewing is that Sri Lanka needs to work hard as a team, when Mahela was playing as a rockwall from one end other batsmen made little use of his presence except Angelo, when Angelo played the anchor Herat no muck with the bat should've listened to Angelo to defend his crease, all in all Sri Lankans need to work as a team Captaincy has improved no doubt, but field settings no good. Lyon and Copeland repeatedly got 4s with the same sweep shot when there was an opportunity for a bait not even a fielder was placed to cover these shots..

  • hris on September 4, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    looking at the comments u would think this was an India vs Sri Lanka series. or maybe a triangular series including Pakistan. calm down guys. this is an Austrailia vs Sri Lanka series going on.

  • popcorn on September 4, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    Congratulations, Michael Clarke - astute leadership, good emulative batting and superb bonding - a great all round Australian performance. The rebirth of Australian dominance! Goodoh, mates!

  • on September 4, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    There are still a very few batsmen in the world cricket fans can enjoy watching.. as a Sri Lankan I've had the pleasure of watching Roy Dias, Aravinda de Silva, Roshan Mahanama, Marvan Atapattu, Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena as some of batting greats. Mahela undoubtedly the best of the rest is a gift to watch for any cricket lover, what a gem of an innings yet again from Mahela, its a pity that he could not finish it in the same style. What proved to me in the match from the body languages of both the teams is that Australia did play as a well knit team and they were on top in all their departments and they gave hardly any room for the Sri Lankans to relax. Sri Lankans on the other hand still playing on their talent merits mostly, where wins were the heroics of one or two individuals performances .. While contratulating Australia for their brilliant team effort, I guess the road ahead is not going to be easy for the Auz.. I'll tell you why..

  • on September 4, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    Ricky Ponting's 100th Test win arrived in the nick of time to allow him to fly home for the birth of his second child, which will rule him out of the 2nd Test starting on Thursday. The reserve batsman Shaun Marsh is set to make his debut, while David Warner previously seen as a T20 specialist will join the group as a standby player.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on September 4, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    Congratulations to Ricky Ponting in being the first man to 100 Test victories. 100 victories in 153 Tests! Amazing record. Tendulkar has 61 victories in 181 Tests in case you were wondering. The most amazing for me .... Adam Gilchrist , 73 victories from 96 Tests.

  • on September 4, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    @sachinisnogood; An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. These were the words of a gentleman Indian. Your comments seem to be in childish taste. One team always loses if the other team has to win. I think a 4-0 whitewash on India was enough to humble us fans down a bit.

  • on September 4, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    Aussies are coming back slowly but surely.. pretty scary silent comeback , well played !!

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on September 4, 2011, 3:44 GMT

    Does anyone remember me telling that Srilanka will be thrashed! I'm glad, one of my favourites Mahela made it to three digits.

  • on September 4, 2011, 2:47 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 india losing 4-0 was sad and your comments reflect your sadness and the kind of pathetic individual you are.

    however it was the first innings score of 105 that turned the favor towards AUS. if it had been at least 175 things could have changed a bit. on top of that the current SL bowling lineup not only look lame it bloody is useless especially in terms of seamers. plus they lack match experience which why they cant take wickets.

  • on September 4, 2011, 2:35 GMT

    I see nothing wrong losing a match after giving a good fight. at the end of the day one has to win , the other has to lose.But going in as so called "No 1" boasting about your team and losing 4-0 with two innings losses does not fall under this category. NO Pun Intended

  • on September 4, 2011, 2:28 GMT

    Lyon, Harris and Micheal Hussey are my mans!!

  • Kadmin on September 4, 2011, 2:14 GMT

    Poor display from SL batsmen. Most of the SL batsmen just went back into their shells, when they needed to stand-up and fight. CONGRATULATIONS Australia! Aussies are back on top again. Clarke showed that he possessed the strategy which Dilshan wouldn't even dreamt of. SL got a huge work to do with their Player management, Batting line-up and some on-field characters which SL had couple of years ago. Hope the second test will be a good one. SL's batting line up according to me (Lahiru, Dilshan, Sanga, Mahiya, Angelo and the rest of the clowns )

  • Redbacks_Bite on September 4, 2011, 1:09 GMT

    @krici_lover, don't worry Pakistan had abundant talent unlike Srilanka. Pakistan is even exposrting talect to South Africa, Australia and England. Atleast Pakistan never had controveries at Toss like Srilanka..

  • on September 4, 2011, 0:46 GMT

    Great to see Harris bowl well, i've been a fan of his for years. Don't be put off Sri Lanka fans, this is just one test, great for Australia to win but hopefully the egos will be kept in check and they can apply themselves with another disciplined effort in the next test.

    Shame about that pitch though, it was an absolute stinker and sorry, but questions need to be asked of the grounds staff and why ir was prepared the way it was, and under whose direction.

  • victortrumpet on September 4, 2011, 0:28 GMT

    A pitch that offers a result is not something to criticise - each team had equal opportunities and the Australians with their blend of youth, experience and an intelligent new captain - grasped those moments with energy. Nice to see some respectful words between the teams supporters too. Sri Lankans are always loved in AUS, because they are true gentlemen. Love to see AUS win, but can't ever count out the Lankans.

  • VivGilchrist on September 4, 2011, 0:11 GMT

    Note to Aussie selectors - Look what happens when you choose an XI based on form. May we never repeat our Ashes selection debacle of picking a team because the names just look good in a particular spot. We all know Siddle is a great tryer, but realistically probably not in the best 5 quicks, Hilfs only suited to England at an international standard, and Pattinson needs to perform at Shield level for a while before serious consideration should be made. Look at Copeland, 2 good years at Shield level and he steps up seamlessly.

  • Wozza-CY on September 3, 2011, 23:56 GMT

    I'm not going to compare this current team with ozi teams of other eras, nor diss other countries teams or other series in recent or distant history and I'm not going to make outrageous predictions. Personally I feel it much better to comment about this article which is about THIS game. Very encouraging signs for the ozis. First of all, they got the selections right. Second, the inexperienced players performed well and the old warriors contributed well. The teams attitude was the most impressive thing. They were patient & strangled SL, but more importantly fielded well (a nice change!). When they saw the right opportunity they attacked. I'm not sure SL got their selections right, but very surprised by their first innings. Mahela is a class act & his batting is never ordinary. Interesting to see if SL make changes but I feel they will put up much more of fight & Sanga doesn't go cheaply too often. It sets the series up nicely & I'm positive SL will come back harder.

  • VivGilchrist on September 3, 2011, 23:52 GMT

    Ravi hari, Harris only bowled well in 1 innings? His first innings he went for less than 1 run per over, and he picked up 5 wickets in the 2nd ..... You obviously no nothing about Test cricket. Why don't you go and watch some T20 instead?

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on September 3, 2011, 23:37 GMT

    @cricinfo, the thing about DRS and Dravid - I posted in a wrong thread. My bad! Don't post it here.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on September 3, 2011, 23:21 GMT

    @sachinisnogood, I agree with your user id and your reply to Andrew Simoes. Well said. We also have seen the pathetic state of affairs with the Australian team and how pathetically they were hit by the poms. Normally I don't call such things to any team but Andrew started the word pathetic so let me use it. And, of course, some Lankans were too mischievous during the present tour. So, payback time ;).

  • samincolumbia on September 3, 2011, 23:10 GMT

    Sri lanka still cannot win even when they design this joke of a pitch to suit their bowlers... Much better viewing though than the Pak-Zimbabwe match...two deadbeat teams and a pitch as dead as a dodo!

  • sachinisnogood on September 3, 2011, 22:25 GMT

    @Andrew Simoes - SriLankans were all over the forums - mostly with spiteful comment against India - during the India vs England Test Series. So why should Indians keep away now? Atleast Indians are good at home (according to Srilankans Indians are "only" good at home). It's a pity that srilankans are not even good at home.

  • Gamaraala on September 3, 2011, 22:05 GMT

    Congratulations Australia. At the end of the day, you were the better team. True, Sri Lankan team made many mistakes, starting from Dilshan's unnecessary aggressiveness in the first inning. Bowlers did their duty but the batsmen. I hope Sri Lanka would do much better in the next couple of games and at least draw the series. As for the lessons from Pakistan, I don't think so mate.

  • OutCast on September 3, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    Honestly, neither team has a strike bowler. Aus has bowlers that can penetrate well, but they can't be like Ambrose or McGrath or like Jummi-Stuart duo to create terror to get out in the middle. Atleast SL pitches are testing the quality of batmen than the bowlers. Hope SL doesn't get any booking to Africa or Australia soon.

  • Paki_on_cricinfo on September 3, 2011, 20:31 GMT

    aussie r still good wish them to go NO 1 .... atleast they play like No 1 when they r not like over hype indian play like bangladesh n call them self No 1

  • krici_lover on September 3, 2011, 20:01 GMT

    @Lahori_munde, better you worry about your own country.First try and find honest players who don't sell their country for peas. India and SL will take care of themselves.

  • yorkslanka on September 3, 2011, 20:00 GMT

    @lahori - trust me we do not to take any lessons from Pakistan...

  • lillie_express on September 3, 2011, 19:59 GMT

    I like the youth Australia currently have: Clarke, Watson, Huges, Khawaja, Marsh, Copeland. They should stick with them and get a solid nucleus going: Hugesy can bat albiet unorthodox and it will click soon; Marsh is quality and time is now; Khawaja has potential to be solid reliable accumulator; Copeland I think is on his way to big things. Huss and Punter, on your bikes, you both are great but your only playing for yourselves now.

  • on September 3, 2011, 19:50 GMT

    The edge for the Aussies was their presence of mind and nous where they were able to seize the moment and use the conditions to advantage while SL was playing with preconceived notions and taken in by the hype about the pitch, overbowling spinners, especially Randiv and underbowling pacers, especially Welagedera. Aussies' historic excellence was not just due to individual brilliance but thinking heads on their shoulders.

  • top_SPIN on September 3, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    can't we look at like this. This situation for SL was inevitable because of they played for almost 15 yrs with only VASS n MURALI, presence of RANGANA HERATH has helped SL spinning dept. I doubt even with Malinga only SL have a chance of threatening a good top order batting line. vass n murali should ve passed their knowledge and experience to next generation. INDIAN balling attack is also suffering without zaheer even when Bhaji is in. From past cricket one can say good fast balling = good couple (Ambrose , walsh/ wasim , waquar/ Mcgrath/ Lee ). but with SL both of them are comparatively new to the HARD ball cricket. First SL needs to find some one with cricketing brain to manage their teams. Inclusion of Rangana is a foresighted action by pervious selectors, i think it was Mr Aravinda de Silva. Don't their balling department need some experience and leadership rather than young blood or young talent and pace? Still vass can play with some young partner till he gets ready to lead ??

  • 5wombats on September 3, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    Bravo Ryan Harris!!! Top Guy!!! Well played Australia. Shocking pitch. Sri Lanka deserved everything they got there.

  • CricketFan2011WC on September 3, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    The statement " Ponting's record is a remarkable one compared to some of his fellow veterans, including Mahela Jayawardene, who with 49 victories has had less than half the team success of Ponting" appears to me very true. I thought I was the only one thinking like that. I am a SL-fan, and I like the successes Mahela had achieved, however unfortunately, Mahela's run making is good for him, but is not reflected in SL-performances. I might be wrong and correct me if I am, it appears he is a classy batsmen only in batting friendly wickets for him, but not for the team. His batting in bouncy pitches is very ordinary. Also, he was given many chances in the team, although when he was under performing. In my opinion, he should make runs while making the team in the winning side.

  • bumsonseats on September 3, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    me thinks it the auusies had been beat there true feelings on the wicket would have been heard. and so it should be. dpk

  • Bollo on September 3, 2011, 17:14 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas. Brilliant innings by Mahela. What it will take for him to be included amongst the greats though is to prove he can do this away from home. Ave.64 at home, 41 away tells a story.

    Extremely important win for the Aussies.

  • Redbacks_Bite on September 3, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    @Jarr30 : You're right absolutely. SL only had good record at Home, where the pitches were made to suit them only. That's gone too now. May be SL can take a lesson or two from the Pakistan team.

  • RohanMarkJay on September 3, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    Sri lanka seems like a truly great place to go and play cricket in with its passionate fans etc. I am sure it is great place for a holiday as well. The Galle Cricket stadium with the fort and the Indian ocean background is really beautiful. Well played Australia, they seem intent on rebuilding their side into a good team again. Sri Lanka needs to regroup and play well, the kind of cricket they are capable of, they should take full advantage of the fact they are playing in their own home conditions.

  • satanswish on September 3, 2011, 16:00 GMT

    Without Murali, SL can't win any Test matches now.

  • on September 3, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    I am glad Ryan Harris is back in the squad, he bowled intelligently. I also liked what i saw in copeland, at one stage in the second innings he had bowled 9 overs, 8 were maidens, so he can apply the pressure at one end.

    The newer look Aussies looked more energetic, much more then in recent years. Hussey and Harris were standouts, Clarke and Watson offered solid contributions.

    Lyon i am not so sold on, then again it was his first test, and a 5 for aint bad. I am still dissapointed Katich is not on this tour, or has a contract, this pitch would of played to his strengths. For the SL team, Dilshan, pull your finger in and change your style of batting and use whatever is in your head, your batting is as sloppy as your leadership. T20's and tests are 2 different things, and i dont think he knows that. Again the poise and elegance of Jawawardene shows true, a truly world class batsman and gentleman. Not a lot of postitives for SL, and thats tough being in their backyard

  • Jarr30 on September 3, 2011, 15:36 GMT

    What's wrong with Sri lankan flat track BULLIES..Maybe they need more help from flat pitches.

  • on September 3, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    Well done aussies..the best part was that they didnt choked once again and were able to break the patnership which was their one of their recent problem..like some of u have told if the palkalle pitch s upport seamers than jhonson and harris can be lethal copeland can be next mcgrath although this might be 2 early to judge him but his line and length are awesome..lyon is good but i m waiting for his performance in next match..since ponting is out usman khawaga will be good in no3 and hope marsh will do well down the order..it might be a clean sweep

  • rahulcricket007 on September 3, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    @abadurn rehman . BY D/L METHOD IN 2ND ODI & A FREAKISH 9TH WICKET PARTNERSHIP IN 1 ST ODI .

  • on September 3, 2011, 15:11 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas : I notice a fairly smooth relationship between Australian and Sri Lankan fans on this forum. So why don't Indian fans just keep away and concentrate on the thrashing they are currently receiving? Let the Australians and Sri Lankans talk about what promises to be a much closer and better fought series than the pathetic one your team has just played!

  • rahulcricket007 on September 3, 2011, 15:09 GMT

    YESS ! AUSSIES BACK IN THEIR ERA . GOOD LUCK FOR THE NEXT 2 TESTS . I HOPE AUSSIES WIN BY 3-0.@RANLHERATH. WHERE ARE YOU MAN? YOU CRITICIZED INDIA VERY MUCH DURING THE ENGLAND TEST SERIES NOW LOOK AT YOUR TEAM WHICH HAS BEEN THRAHED IN THEIR OWN HOME THAT TOO ON A SPIN FRIENDLY WICKET .

  • AidanFX on September 3, 2011, 15:01 GMT

    I wonder what sought of a pitch will be dished up for the second test in view of this result. Funny how when Sri Lanka host India we have a pitch (which may spin a tad) which holds up for fives days. In any case to some degree as someone else has stated I would prefer pitches like this than a dead flat batters paradise pitch. I liked how the Aus' bowlers shared the load. A good result.

  • yaparuwan on September 3, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    Mr.Brydon Coverdale, It is too early to jump on joy there are two more test matches to be played and Sri Lanka team can take the revenge from the Aussies!!! like what happened in Steve Waugh ear!!!

  • Lord.emsworth on September 3, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    These days SL seems to be always fighting in the second innings after a first innings fiasco and no hope in sight. The constant failures of Mahela and Sanga to score decently in the FIRST innings cost SL the series in England and now in all likelihood the ongoing Oz series. Sanga especially has no longer any business batting at one drop. It's time for selector Mendis to be bold and drop him since he regularly struggles to get the first innings going. SL needs a new team with new faces. Try this: Dilshan, Malinda Warnapura, Kaushal Silva (Wkts) Mahela Jayawardene,Chandimal, Bhanuka Rajapakse, Angelo Mathews, Chaminda Vaas, S. Lakmal /or Welagedera, Ajantha Mendis, Seekuge Prassana.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on September 3, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    Jayawardene once again shows what a Master he is. Take a bow! I wanted Sanga and Ponting too to play well and make it big. Congrats to the elegant, classy and smoothness personified, the one and only one Mahela, The Master of Elegance. Wonder what it takes to include him in the pantheon of one of the all time greatest batsmen.

  • A.Afker on September 3, 2011, 14:08 GMT

    Congratulation Australia!...For the SL point of view they have made lot of mistakes in this match.Firstly poor batting by SL batsman in the first innings as well as second innings (except Mahela and Mathews). Irresponsible batting by Dilshan in the First inngs (should have respect Copeland and have to forget bogus attacking batsman's role).Secondly SL does not have proper coach and captain (Dilshan do not have even half of Mahela and Sanga's quality as a captain).His captaincy is sub-standard. Thirdly poor team selection (Mendis should have play instead of Randiv). These are mistakes they have made in this test.Hence they have to avoid this in the 2nd test in order to make series level and live. Anyway Australia played well in all three departments.

  • Chris_P on September 3, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    Great effort by all bowlers, including Copeland. He bowled 28 overs for 44 runs and basically stagnated any momentum Sri Lanka tried to get. I like the fact that all bowlers contributed rather than rely on 1 or 2. And Mitch is always good for one devastating test. Test cricket, don't you love it.

  • on September 3, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    gud win by aussies its l is looking gud 4 new aus captains 1st punter now pup keep it gng im expecting frm my sl team some thing better in next matches

  • on September 3, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    well done kangaroos, keep it up , well played jayawardena ,good luck for sl for rest of series. ofcoz, i want sl to win...

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on September 3, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    @Ranil Herath Kent and Sanath-aiyya, where are you both? hahaha.....your team got thrashed in your own backyard. How sad!

  • Sinaha on September 3, 2011, 13:52 GMT

    Pathetic leadership of SL team, questionable attitude and contribution from so-called seniors lead to this disaster. On their turf, they couldn't master spin, that's how they fared. We need fresh blood and time to drop these oldies who are just blocking the path for young ones to gain test experience for the future. Dilshan should be dropped.

  • on September 3, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    well done kangaroos,keep it up

  • randikaayya on September 3, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    Congrats and fair play to Aussies, they were on top of the SL batting all the way except for that partnership. It'll be interesting to see how it pans out in Kandy, but that pitch certainly has more pace and bounce than Galle. In a sense that would nullify any advantage of winning the toss since the surface would be a true one as opposed to the shocker at Galle. I'm not convinced if the Aussie spinners have it in them to take wickets on flatter surfaces but Mitch Jhonson would be the key to Aussie attack I feel. SL MUST bring back Mendis for Randiv and Eranga for Lakmal. Mathews batted well but he's occupying the all-rounders spot while not bowling one delivery! We will always be a bowler short in that case

  • Redbacks_Bite on September 3, 2011, 13:34 GMT

    Srilanka got played in to their own game. Even the higly doctored pitch to suit the home side couldn't even win them a game. It looks like Srilanka is as bad as Bangladesh now and and India is also down there.

  • Felix1025 on September 3, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    Drop welegedara and randeev. Replace them with Eranga and Ajantha. You can not however drop the captain, if not ideal to open with Tharanga and Lahiru. Sorry Mr Dilshan you need to adjust the game plan and your batting plan.. Learn from Mahela and Kumar..

  • samincolumbia on September 3, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    This was expected of Australia...Sri Lanka was a one-man show...Murali! First, they need to fix these laughable pitches. As Clarke said Day one felt like day 5. Sri lanka has not won anything in tests outside the country and now it is going to continue in their own backyard.

    The SL fans have nothing to comment it seems...especially Herath from UK!!

  • ravi_hari on September 3, 2011, 12:15 GMT

    Good start to a tough series. Congrats Clarke and Ponting. I dont think anyone can beat Ponting's record in the near future. It is a very satisfying win for the Aussies but they need to do a lot of homework if they want to win the series. Dont expect the Lankans to surrender like they did in the first innings. Dont expect the Lankan board to give the pitches like Galle in the next 2 tests. They would prepare turners and flats ones. Aussies have to look at individual performances. Hughes and Khawaja were a big disppointment and they have to live with them for the next test too as Ricky is not available. Only Lyon, Harris and Jhonson bowled well and only in 1 innings each. It was Watson who did well in both the innings. Only Hussey and Clarke did well with the bat, Watson & Haddin disappointed. But for the tail, Aussies could have lost this one. Marsh is a happy inclusion but then too many lefties exposed to spin! Aussies have to play very well to win the series. Ravi Hari

  • Test-is-the-best on September 3, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    SL shown their inability in playing in a spin favour wicket..This is recent trend of SL team. They may have improved in fast tracks. But loose their ability in slow tracks

  • karl43 on September 3, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    Congratulations to Australia for a very good win, the 4th and 5th test ranking positions could be about to switch if australia can win or draw the next test, the debut performances were excellent and it was an all round good team effort on a very dry and dusty pitch which was tailor made for the sri lankan spinners..a very good start for michael clarke and his team as they continue to rebuild some lost confidence following a poor ashes series and blooding some new talent is the best way forward.

  • sampi72 on September 3, 2011, 11:50 GMT

    Great win.Congrates Ausies.New comers Lynon,copeland and khawaja played suprbly.Once we see the bowling of watson,galle pitch should have bn ideal for anjelo mathews bowlling..Surprising of the decision of sending prasanna Jayawardan ahead of Anjelo Mathews.Bring back Ajantha mendis or seekuge prasanna for out of form Suraj Randiv.Welagedara or suranga lakmal must be replaced by Shamindra Eranga.

  • on September 3, 2011, 11:45 GMT

    They're starting to show the same shine like they had during McGraths, Hydens, Langers, Gilchrists etc... Too early to say that but its my gut feeling!

  • jonesy2 on September 3, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    Warren Smith. apparently it helps the seamers a bit which is awesome considering how brilliant harris, johnson, watto and copeland were in this game.

  • yorkslanka on September 3, 2011, 11:42 GMT

    well done to the Ausiies on a deserved win. We were always behind the pace with our poor first innings performance. Great individual innings by Mahela and Matthews and nice for the latter to silence his many critics on here with that innings. tbh, this is what happens to us when we dont appoint a proper coach and have a sub standard captain..rumours in SL when i was there a cpl of weeks ago that graham ford being approached for coaches position..fingers crossed.. @warren smith- Pallekele is a new stadium mate so difficult to say how it plays, Kandy far less hot than Galle so I would presume it will swing more and will take spin after day three..(just my opinion)..come on Sri Lanka, lets get the series level in the next match...

  • dsig3 on September 3, 2011, 11:42 GMT

    Any win in such foreign conditions against highly ranked opposition is always a bonus. Sri Lanka showed in their second innings that the pitch was only a small part of the reason they lost this match, their terrible first inning really sunk them. Dilshan is a fantastic player but it must be hard to be a captain and set an example with his batting style. When he goes out cheaply it really tells everyone else that they dont have to knuckle down because he doesnt. Similar to Gayle, great players but its hard to set an example as the captain. Jayawardene CAN set an example but he gave up the captaincy long ago.

  • tom_dick on September 3, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    Hats off to Australia for this superlative victory over Srilanka in their own country. It is very difficult to tame the lion in its den. But the Australians with their great never give up mentality not only achieved this victory but remains to stand ever in the history of test cricket for their emphatic performance. The Australians excelled in all departments of the game. Jayawardene and Mathews horrified them with their note-worthy partnership and that is only the bright spot with the Srilankans. A series victory is in the offering.

  • on September 3, 2011, 11:23 GMT

    After witnessing these wins, I wonder how the Lankans managed to win that 3 match ODI series in Australia.

  • on September 3, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    I won't be surprised too much if Australia wins the test series. They have a decent bowling attack with guys averaging lest than 30 runs per wicket in first class matches. Australia could reach number one status again within 2-3 yrs time.

  • stormy16 on September 3, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    Good victory for Australia and so many lessons for SL to learn from Australia. Firstly the Aus attack wasnt one diementional with all the seamers playing a critical role extracting the best out of the wicket and available swing which none of the SL seamers were able to do. In the batting too Aus batted with purpose and controlled agression which is why they reached 200+ in both innings where else SL took an overly defensive approach which meant the moment wickets were lost nothing was gained on the score board. The game breaker for me was Watson with the ball just when Aus were looking for other options he knocked over 3 top order batters which changed the game.

  • on September 3, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    Well played to Oz and a superb innings from Jayawardena. What a batsman to make a 100 in those conditions. Im interested to know what the pitch in Pallekelle plays like. Anyone know?

  • sankar8000 on September 3, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    Australia deserves this Win! This bowling attack seems lethal! Aussies can win this series!?

  • Mary_786 on September 3, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    Great win for the aussies, great to see Khawaja, Lyons and copeland contribute stongly for their teams. Go the aussies.

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  • Mary_786 on September 3, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    Great win for the aussies, great to see Khawaja, Lyons and copeland contribute stongly for their teams. Go the aussies.

  • sankar8000 on September 3, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    Australia deserves this Win! This bowling attack seems lethal! Aussies can win this series!?

  • on September 3, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    Well played to Oz and a superb innings from Jayawardena. What a batsman to make a 100 in those conditions. Im interested to know what the pitch in Pallekelle plays like. Anyone know?

  • stormy16 on September 3, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    Good victory for Australia and so many lessons for SL to learn from Australia. Firstly the Aus attack wasnt one diementional with all the seamers playing a critical role extracting the best out of the wicket and available swing which none of the SL seamers were able to do. In the batting too Aus batted with purpose and controlled agression which is why they reached 200+ in both innings where else SL took an overly defensive approach which meant the moment wickets were lost nothing was gained on the score board. The game breaker for me was Watson with the ball just when Aus were looking for other options he knocked over 3 top order batters which changed the game.

  • on September 3, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    I won't be surprised too much if Australia wins the test series. They have a decent bowling attack with guys averaging lest than 30 runs per wicket in first class matches. Australia could reach number one status again within 2-3 yrs time.

  • on September 3, 2011, 11:23 GMT

    After witnessing these wins, I wonder how the Lankans managed to win that 3 match ODI series in Australia.

  • tom_dick on September 3, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    Hats off to Australia for this superlative victory over Srilanka in their own country. It is very difficult to tame the lion in its den. But the Australians with their great never give up mentality not only achieved this victory but remains to stand ever in the history of test cricket for their emphatic performance. The Australians excelled in all departments of the game. Jayawardene and Mathews horrified them with their note-worthy partnership and that is only the bright spot with the Srilankans. A series victory is in the offering.

  • dsig3 on September 3, 2011, 11:42 GMT

    Any win in such foreign conditions against highly ranked opposition is always a bonus. Sri Lanka showed in their second innings that the pitch was only a small part of the reason they lost this match, their terrible first inning really sunk them. Dilshan is a fantastic player but it must be hard to be a captain and set an example with his batting style. When he goes out cheaply it really tells everyone else that they dont have to knuckle down because he doesnt. Similar to Gayle, great players but its hard to set an example as the captain. Jayawardene CAN set an example but he gave up the captaincy long ago.

  • yorkslanka on September 3, 2011, 11:42 GMT

    well done to the Ausiies on a deserved win. We were always behind the pace with our poor first innings performance. Great individual innings by Mahela and Matthews and nice for the latter to silence his many critics on here with that innings. tbh, this is what happens to us when we dont appoint a proper coach and have a sub standard captain..rumours in SL when i was there a cpl of weeks ago that graham ford being approached for coaches position..fingers crossed.. @warren smith- Pallekele is a new stadium mate so difficult to say how it plays, Kandy far less hot than Galle so I would presume it will swing more and will take spin after day three..(just my opinion)..come on Sri Lanka, lets get the series level in the next match...

  • jonesy2 on September 3, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    Warren Smith. apparently it helps the seamers a bit which is awesome considering how brilliant harris, johnson, watto and copeland were in this game.