2nd Test, Pallekele, Sep 8 - 12 2011, Australia tour of Sri Lanka
174 & 317/6
Match drawn
Player Of The Match
1/0, 142 & 1/2

Thanks for your company over the five days people. That's all from us. This is Abhishek Purohit signing off, on behalf of Sid Monga and Sid Ravindran. Cheers and beware of the rain

3.45 pm And that's the end of the match as play has been called off, Dan Brettig informs us. Brydon Coverdale has summed it up in his report.

Jack: "Forget about all the rain, you can't help that... but its the laughable implementation of the bad light rule, when the ball is still visible and floodlights are available that has sealed this game." They should have carried on, should not matter that Galle and SSC don't have floodlights.

3.25 pm "It's time to move on," tweets Tony Greig. "You can close the book on this match," tweets Tom Moody

simon: "Hughes has had plenty of chances and Australia can not afford to stick with Johnson because he has a 1 in 5 chance of a successful match. Open with Marsh and break in a new pace bowler like Pattinson."

riley: "Do you think the Sri Lankan team are inside celebrating with Sangas while it's Pa-rain-avitaning?"

Robert Brown: "well thanks Tony, now i have to just wait for Sports Bet to make it official, and then see the Dollars roll into my betting account. Whiskey time."

Liam: "@CSB What must be remembered is they are playing Test cricket not first class cricket and Marsh has performed the best out of the 3 men."

Shasindu: "Note on the Sri Lankan attack, why isnt Nuwan Kulasekara having a go? Sure he doesnt have the speed of Mitchell Johnson but he has the accuracy of Watson which might prove to be critical for this Lankan bowling. True its good to have young talent but the bowling attack is lacking experience."

Shishank: "To end the fight i think Australia should drop both Hughes and Marsh/Khawaja for Ponting and take one more bowler to strengthen the bowling attack. Because at SSC in any case you dont need that many batsmen. You need at least 5 frontline bowlers to bowl a team out twice." Don't think they would want to do that considering Haddin's recent troubles with the bat

3.05 pm More showers, more covers now, says Dan Brettig. They were taking the covers off when the rain came back. Michael Clarke clearly has had enough of it, have a look.

CSB for real: "What must be remembered re: Marsh/Hughes/Khawaja debate is that Hughes and Khawaja are both much younger than Marsh, AND have more consistent First Class records to back it up. One swallow doesn't make a summer and all that."

bernie: "Why can't they build a retractable roof over Sri Lanka?"

Robert Brown: "Shield side with an attack weaker than Sri Lanka Easy, South Australian Red Backs, For sure, i live in South Australia and have watched them, they are poor, and Lyon could not get a shield game with them , that tells you a lot."

Jeremy: "hyclass - the Sri Lankan attack was good enough to get Hughes for not many, for the third time, and Watson, Clarke and Haddin. Yet its Marsh that has to go?"

Jarrod: "Ponting is showing signs of getting back into form so I don't think he should be dropped now. The batsman who should be under pressure is Clarke, but he's an excellent and brand new captain so that won't happen (yet). If I were to choose from the 3 young'uns, I would have to drop Hughes."

hyclass: "Name a Shield side with a weaker attack than than Sri Lanka. There isnt one. Marsh is ordinary. All this talk about him replacing people is rubbish, just like his record in 1st class cricket over 11 years." Didn't look remotely rubbish the way he ground out a debut hundred. He deserves a decent run, at the least

Jeremy: "They have to drop either Hughes or Khawaja. Little puzzled by the claim Khawaja hasn't done anything wrong - if a top score of 37 in 3 tests isn't doing anything wrong then I don't know what's going on. Meanwhile Hughes' terrible technique problems have always been excused by his heavy scoring, so what's the defence now he isn't scoring?"

Praveen: "Talking about SL i think we need to have Herath and Mendis for SSC and Eranga for 1 of the fast bowlers. Need some x factor in the bowling at SSC."

2.55 pm Covers are coming off slowly, tweets Tom Moody

CSB: "At least Steve Smith isn't in the team anymore, shows what a waste of a spot he was." That was coming

Damo: "Nick - tough call on Hughes - Im not convinced about him, but he has not had an extended run to prove either up to it or not. He should be given a decent chance and then a decision is made - I would say at the end of the South African series which would have been a run of 8 test matches since he was brought back in for Perth."

Jason: "I think it has to be Marsh or Hughes for the next match. Khawaja needs to stay at number 6, he has done nothing wrong, and with Haddin unable to bat longer than ten minutes recently he is going to be invaluable if we need someone to stay in and save a game, and also seems like he has no trouble batting with the tail."

Ben: "Unfortunately he can & he will be Damo & personally I think that is the best decision, 3 is punters spot & he deserves it back. Marsh was given an opportunity & has taken it with open hands, the selectors now truly know where to sit with him & he will be next in line, Hughes & Khawaja still have something to prove & the 3rd test is exactly where they can do that, personally would love to see Hughes cement the opening spot but at the moment he seems to just be batting to save his wicket for a spot instead of showing his true capabilities."

2.35 pm Still raining, says Dan Brettig

Sergio: "The Australians lost 2 series against England, not one. It's true, though, that they have great resources in reserve, and that Johnson is much better than most correspondents credit him."

Nick: "Do we think that Phil Hughes could be under pressure for Shaun Marsh ? Hughes has made a few starts this series but hasn't gone on to make a big score, Marsh to open with Watson, and Ponting to slot back into 3."

Gavan: "Forced to watch A Current Affair with no cricket on! Oh the humanity......."

Damo: "What about the next test - surely Marsh cannot be dropped for Ponting after getting 140 and Usman didnt fail due to lack of opportunity. I think Ricky will miss out on the 3rd test." Drop Ricky Ponting? Not happening

DukesJ: "Next to a win, this was the best result for Australia. Having been on top for the majority of the match (weather permitting), we now head to the flattest pitch in the country with a 1-0 lead. Not bad for a team that was tipped to be whitewashed..."

Ratheesh: "the transition of aussie team is amazing. wonder how many teams can do that. they talk about aussie downfall. and all they had lost was one series againts SA and one against england..." And against India

2.05 pm Our man Dan Brettig tweets: "Rain is heavy and so are Aus hearts." He now says that the ground is fully covered.

SS: "well this sets up the 3rd test nicely....SSC usually is a flat track with lots of high scoring draws, but with SL needing a win they might hv to ask the curator for a result wkt....repeat of the Galle backfire anyone?" Anything other than a snoozefest at SSC will do good for Test cricket

Glenn: "@Bart, How can you bag someone out or let alone a team out who have been in control this whole test match. Without rain this match wouldve been over already. And to talk down Marsh's ton in the first innings, you clearly have no idea. The guy is batting to make a point. He and Hussey came in when Australia was in trouble and he helped dig them out. I cannot believe you would belittle such a great knock."

Joe: "Its high time Sri Lanka Introduce some young blood into the test side. Players like Chandimal and Thirimanne should be given the opportunity."

SS: "well i am sure the aussies will take this washout better with the score as it stands now...imagine if they needed 100 to win and play ended with them on 80/2!!!! Clarke dropping Thilan cost them the match methinks....230/4 with a new ball....angelo n prasanna J wouldn't hv survived long...maybe 280-300 all out !"

Robert Brown: "Take it on the chin and stop your whinging, remember in the Ashes praying for rain, you cant have it both ways, what happens, happens."

Ben: "Should be looking at the positives. Have been in front all test...big step up from all the pre-series talk about how the Aussies would go. Well done boys!"

Sam: "@ Bart. Yeah your right. A sub 300 score would've been so much better."

Daniel: "I dont think the Australian public can get too disappointed about this drawing out after the US Open women's final."

And here is Hally now: "Mitchell Johnson as a test bowler is no longer a force to be reckoned with. He lacks penetration and bowls too loosely to build any sort of pressure, relying on bowling the wicket ball too often. He has really let down Australia this test and come to think of it the last test as well. If he bowled anywhere close to what we have seen in the past, the Lankans would already be congratulating the Aussies on a win. Why he is so good at ODI and not tests is beyond me."

Julien: "Whilst it is unfortunate that rain will decide the result of this Test match, no one can say that the Aussies didn't have enough time to bowl the Sri Lankans out. We simply lacked the wicket-taking options. Hopefully weather won't be used as an excuse in the aftermath of the game." Never satisfied, are you, Julien, et tu Bart?

Bart: "So do we still talk up Marsh's 300 ball (don't forget that's 50 overs.. 50!) vigil? Probably cost Australia the match. If you know weather will be an issue, which we all did, make an effort to win."

Nitin: "Why can't we have a reserve day for test matches for making up for the hours lost due to bad weather?"

Lex: "You had to feel for the Lankans as their batting concentration is getting hampered by thses intermittent downpours."

Damian: "Well its the late monsoon for south-west Sri Lanka and normally that means the hill capital (Kandy) get lots of rain fall, so by the looks of it and the weather around the Central Province this will be the End of This Test Match."

1.50 pm The rain has come in now and the covers are coming on. Clarke has a disgusted look on his face. He is still on the field, the Sri Lanka batsmen have gone off. More covers coming on now, it is raining heavily in the distance

Robert: "I backed the Draw 2 days ago."

Samal: "By looking at the weather around Kandy today, this might be the end of this test match......"

Johnson to Angelo Mathews, no run

played out from short of a length to short leg

Johnson to Angelo Mathews, no run

144.2 kph and bouncing on him, Angelo seemed to spot it late and somehow crouched to fend it away

Johnson to Angelo Mathews, no run

Mitch has got the short ball working quite well, but Mathews withdraws out of the way comfortably

Harris is back on the field now

end of over 1145 runs
SL: 317/6CRR: 2.78 
Suraj Randiv4 (12)
Angelo Mathews11 (34)
Shane Watson 20-9-43-1
Mitchell Johnson 23-4-61-0
Watson to Randiv, no run

digs it in short but sends it down leg with the angle

Watson to Randiv, no run

pushed off the front foot to short mid on

Short mid on now

Watson to Randiv, no run

goes for a cut now as this one bounces and jags back in, beaten

Watson to Randiv, FOUR runs

pushes forward and gets it past the man close-in, in the air but through extra cover

Watson to Randiv, no run

gets forward and defends a length ball down the track

Watson to Angelo Mathews, 1 run

nudged in to the leg side with a bit of an inside edge as WAtson goes fullish around middle and leg

Forward short leg and silly cover in place

end of over 113Maiden
SL: 312/6CRR: 2.76 
Suraj Randiv0 (7)
Angelo Mathews10 (33)
Mitchell Johnson 23-4-61-0
Shane Watson 19-9-38-1
Johnson to Randiv, no run

nicely forward and behind the line of one hurled in with the angle on a length to defend

from round the stumps now

Johnson to Randiv, no run

left alone outside off stump as Mitch angles it across on a length

Johnson to Randiv, no run

thudding high in the bat at 145.1 kph, he shuffles and brings it down

Johnson to Randiv, no run

tries to drop it softly in front of point and takes off, the fielder is close by and he has to stop and turn back quickly

Johnson to Randiv, no run

goes pushing loosely well outside off stump, misses it as it bends away from him, Johnson finding some movement in the air

Johnson to Randiv, no run

Mitch bangs in the short ball around 145 kph, Randiv just about gets out of the way

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