Match reports


At Brisbane, December 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

At Brisbane, December 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Drawn. Toss: Sri Lanka. Ranatunga's decision to bowl on winning the toss was vindicated when his pace attack claimed two early wickets on a day of low cloud and high humidity. During the afternoon, however, the mainstay of his bowling, Ratnayeke, left the field with a rib injury, and the balance swung towards the batsmen. No further wickets fell, and Moody initiated a recovery with his maiden Test century, needing 161 balls and hitting twelve fours. His early dismissal the next day, along with that of his captain, Border, set off an Australian batting slump from which only Waugh was immune. Labrooy returned his best Test-match figures as Australia failed to reach 400 for the first time in ten Tests.
Sri Lanka's reply was spirited, although slow. Aravinda de Silva's splendid 167, from 361 deliveries, took 491 minutes and contained seventeen fours as well as a hooked six off Rackemann. His seventh-wicket partnership of 144 in 211 minutes with the injured Ratnayeke, Sri Lanka's best for this wicket, frustrated the Australian bowlers, of whom only Hughes showed any real penetration or guile. De Silva's century was the first by a Sri Lankan batsman against Australia and saw his side to an unexpected first-innings lead of 51. When Australia batted again, Taylor, at 64, became the first player to score 1,000 Test runs in the calendar year of his Test début. His innings of 425 minutes was one of patience and no little skill, containing two sixes and seventeen fours. With Waugh contributing his second half-century of the match, a draw was the only possible result.
Although 160 minutes of play were lost to rain on the first day, the weather was perfect for the other four. Even so, the match attendance, of only 15,461, was the lowest recorded for any Test match in Brisbane.
Man of the Match: P. A. De Silva.
Close of play: First day, Australia 178-2 (T. M. Moody 101*, A. R. Border 54*); Second day, Sri Lanka 81-2 (A. P. Gurusinha 28*, E. A. R. De Silva 1*); Third day, Sri Lanka 275-6 (P. A. De Silva 75*, J. R. Ratnayeke 22*); Fourth day, Australia 94-1 (M. A. Taylor 36*, T. M. Moody 22*).