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April 16, 2007
The absence of Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas might have taken some of the gloss off the Australian victory, but while the batsmen had it easy, the bowlers still had to earn their wickets against a batting line-up that included Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. Glenn McGrath and Shaun Tait were the marquee names in the bowling attack, but the one who did maximum damage was Nathan Bracken, with a display of left-arm seam and swing bowling that even Vaas would have struggled to match.
Bracken has always enjoyed bowling against the Sri Lankans - in seven previous matches he had 17 wickets at 15.52 - but it got even better in Grenada. Bracken's methods were uncomplicated and he stuck to an off-stump channel, pitched it on a good length, moved it a touch, and waited for the results, which were quite spectacular. After seven overs, he had outstanding figures of 2 for 9. The table below indicates that the in-control percentage against him was only around 60%, which means around 40% of the time he beat the bat, induced edges, or rapped the batsmen on the pads. His performance further improves his career stats against Sri Lanka - he now has 21 wickets from eight games at a fantastic average of 13.47.
At the other end of the spectrum was Tait, for whom little went right in his first seven overs. (In his last three he took 2 for 11 for respectable overall figures of 2 for 68 from ten.) He had little control over length or line, sending down six wides, one of which even Adam Gilchrist couldn't gather.
|Bowler||Batsman in control %||Good length %||Bowling analysis|
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