Finch, Smith help Australia pass SL spin test
Australia's win wasn't always pretty, but it was comfortable enough. With Aaron Smith and Steven Smith making half centuries, they chased down 228 with three wickets and more than three overs to spare
10.30 pm That's a wrap, hope you enjoyed having a little bit of cricket come at you when rain has ravaged the game for the last couple of days. The next ODI of the series is on Wednesday, hope to see you then too.
"Nice to be on this side of the result, proud of the way the boys fought back," says Smith, "Perhaps, I thought there'd be a bit more dew, The wicket broke up, wasn't the easiest one-day wicket to bat on. I thought the bowlers did a good job to restrict them to 227, they took the pace off, put them in the right areas and made it difficult. Couple of good partnerships got the job done. The guys had some good plans, sweeping , coming down the pitch, and going deep in the crease. Nice that the guys were able to execute"
"I think the wicket played as it was right throughout, it only got worse. We were 20-30 runs short. It was not the easiest wicket to bat on, Chandimal and Mendis did really well, but we were short. It was spinning quite a bit, Dilruwan and Milinda didn't bowl that well, Sandakan didn't bowl that well and hopefully they come back hard. We don';t need to panic, just do the basics right, improve with bat ball and field," Mathews says, "Chandimal got hit on his ribs, hopefully he is okay" Chandimal went for an X-ray says Russell Arnold for Ten Sports.
10.25 pm James Faulkner is Man of the Match "First time in Sri Lanka, it was a tough wicket to bat on and the top order set us up for the chase. Conditions dictate that, lots of change of pace and protecting one side of the ground. We fielded well, we even took a wicket off the first over. Always nerves at the end, it was a great chase."
10.13 pm The touring Australian fans are happy, they've even got the traditional Faulkner-out-there-at-the-end-for-the-win template. But the bulk of the work was done by the opener Aaron Finch, who wasn't here for the Tests, blazing away at the start, knowing getting runs off the quicks and against the new ball would be vital on a pitch where hitting through the line was rife with danger. Smith had to combat that in the middle order, and he buckled down to play one of his best innings so far. It may only have been 58 runs, but after that abysmal Test series, and plenty of spinners and enough rippers beating the outside edge to revive memories of that, this was an innings Australia needed from their captain. He had confessed to feeling angry at his dismissals to Rangana Herath and here he batted like he was loathe to give up his wicket. It was too close for comfort for him, having been sent back into the dressing room with 30 needed. Australia contrived to lose three wickets and were seven down by the time they got those precious winning runs.
Nikhil Mane: "This is Australia's highest successful run-chase in Sri Lanka in ODIs!" Brave call then from Smith to choose to field at the toss, the pitch was dry, it was always bound to turn. Australia did extremely well in the middle overs to curtail Sri Lanka even with the set half-centurious Chandimal and Mendis at the crease
Agape: "Shouldn't it be possible to work out exactly how many times Faulkner has been at the crease when the winning runs were struck? It seems kind of uncanny..." A few things are better with a little mystery in them. His bigger contribution, of course, was with the four wickets he took. Coming into the tour and assessing conditions quickly, bowling those cutters near-perfectly
Australia need three, Sri Lanka need three.
Sudheer: "By the looks of things, Kusal janith perara should take over the gloves from chandimal in all formats. Chandimal should concernatrate on his batting just like sangakkara."
Australia were 190 for 3... now they are 222 for 7.. Oh dear oh dear... And now in walks Starc. Seems he has to do everything for Australia on this tour
Australia need six more... Just one big old wallop more
SD: "That certainly won't help Bailey, would it? Setting it up then playing a rather irresponsible stroke just when the end was near. Things might get a little tighter than Australia would like now. Mitchell Marsh waiting in the wings. He can bowl as well...."
Six over left, 11 runs to get, four wickets in hand.. Here's Dilshan