Australia beat Sri Lanka by 125 runs
Saturday, 03 September 2011 21:56
Contributed by holdingwilley
If you can’t beat Aussies in a dustbowl then Sri Lanka you are doing it wrong!
Australia beat Sri Lanka by 125 runs on the fourth day of the first test at the Galle International Stadium on Saturday as the tourists took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
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Day 1 : Watson went off like a rocket but burned out soon enough and after that it was the story of the tour for Australia as their batsmen managed to get starts but failed to convert them in to useful knocks. To be fair to them the match had inconsistent bounce and sharp spin from Day 1 itself. Ponting fell for 44 going for a needless shot while Clarke failed to read a straighter one and was plumb for 22. He shouldn’t have reached that far but for poor umpiring. Hussey was the lone fighter and he did his best holding up one end but it was a procession at the other end as barring him and Ponting no one else touched 30. Hussey was the last man dismissed for 95 as Australia was bowled out for 273 with Lakmal and Herath picking up 3 each.
Day 2 : Sri Lanka started the day looking to overtake Australia's 273 and pile on some pressure but their top order succumbed to some mindless batting in face of tight bowling as they lost Dilshan, Sanga, and Mahela with just 44 on board. Samarweera and Paranavitana continued to sturggle painstakingly with runs coming at barely over 2 runs per over. At 87/3 it seems Sri Lanka just might grind out the day but Watson returned for a spell that turned the match around. He picked up 3 wickets as Sri Lanka slumped from 87/3 to 88/6 in no time. Then Lyon took over the show and wrapped up the Sri Lankan tail as he ended with a fifer as SL were bowled out for just 105. Batting again, Australia lost Watto first ball and Ponting fell soon after but Hughes and Clarke tackled the spinners well. Once Hughes fell for 28 it seemed Clarke and Hussey will rescue Australia again as Clarke notched up a well made fifty, but a mini collapse saw Australia lose them both and Haddin for just 2 runs as they stumbled to 112/6. Khwaja and Johnson were at the crease when rain curtailed the day with Australia at 115/6.
Day 3 : First the rain and then Australia’s tail frustrated Sri Lankan bowlers as Harris, Copeland and Lyon stretched Australia’s lead to 378 before they folded out for 210. Herath was the pick of Sri Lankan bowlers picking 5 wickets. Chasing 379 for a win Lanka got off to worst possible start as Paranavitana was out for a golden duck and skipper Dilshan played all over a seaming Harris delivery. Sangakkara fell to a brute of a delivery before Samarweera and Prasanna got out for ducks as Lanka stumbled to 68/5. Mahela scored his fifty in company of Mathews who looked very composed during his stay at the wicket as Sri Lanka ended the day at 120/5.
Day 4 : Sri Lanka started day 4 facing a daunting task of surviving 2 days with 5 wickets in hand. For a while it looked like they had some hope as Mahela and Mathews batted sensibly. Mahela scored another century before he played on to a Harris delivery as Sri Lanka reached 210/6.After that it was just a matter of if and when Mathews will score his century or Sri Lanka will be bwoled out.Harris' fifer meant mathews was running out of partners before he tried to seal that century with a wild heave and was bowled by Watson fo 95. Sri Lanka eventually folded out for 253 as Australia won by 125 runs.