Cricket: Australia vs Sri lanka ~ Second Test

22 11 2007

When Ricky Ponting won the toss and decided to bat first, one could not help but feel a sense of deja vous (and pity for the Sri Lankans). Surprisingly this wasn’t the case early in the first session with Matthew Hayden being dismissed for 17 off an agonising – by his standards – 56 balls. Ponting was still getting his eye in, but Jaques looked settled on 48 when lunch was taken with Australia 1/86.

When Ponting went for 31 mid way through the second session it brought two of the first test centurions together again – Jaques and Hussey. They didn’t disappoint. By tea, at 2/194, Jaques (115) had secured his second test century in a row, and Hussey(20) was busy giving the impression that he really meant business.

Jaques in actionThe final session of the day really brought Sri Lanka into the contest, retrieving the ball from all over Bellerive Oval. Jaques was dismissed late in the session for an impressive 150. Hussey emulated the feats of the great Steve Waugh by bringing up his century, also his second consecutive ton, in the day’s final over to help Australia to a first day total of 3/329 with Michael Clarke the other not out batsman on 8.

Due to rain, only 18 overs were bowled in the first session on day 2. This didn’t stop the Aussies from putting another 63 runs on the board without loss as they looked to take the game away from the visitors early on the second day. At lunch, Australia was 3/392.

Hussey and Clarke both lost their wickets in the middle session but not before compiling 132 and 72 runs respectively. Had Clarke made a century it would have been the first time in test match cricket that the same three batsmen had made consecutive centuries in the same innings. Australia went in for tea at 5/515 with Symonds (40) and Gilchrist (50) the not out batsmen.
Ponting declared at 5/542 not long after the break with Symonds and Gilchrist still unbeaten on 50 and 67 a piece.

Lee and Johnson both bowled well in the fading light but for no reward. Sri Lanka, at the end of day two, were 0/30. Atapattu finished the day on 18 and Vandort, promoted to opener, was unbeaten on 12.

The two openers didn’t stick around long on day three with Atapattu out for 25 and Vandort beautifully bowled by Lee for 14. Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara then put together a nice partnership before the former was dismissed for a well crafted 57 and the latter on 22 not out at lunch with Sri Lanka 3/127.
At this point it looked as if Sri Lanka were going to put together a handy first innings total however this would not turn out to be the case.

The middle session saw Sri Lanka lose 5/81. Jayawardene stayed in throughout the session with the only support of any description coming from Farveez Maharoof with his 19 runs soaking up another 35 balls from the Australian attack. At tea the visitors were 8/208 with Jayawardene on 69 and Lasith Malinga yet to score.

When the Sri Lankan innings resumed, Jayawardene played like a man determined to get 100 before running out of partners. He did this and was eventually dismissed for 104 off a very patient 195 deliveries. Sri Lanka were bowled out 246.

Australia then batted again, looking to post an unassailable lead.

Hayden again went for a disappointing total of only 33 off 45 balls much to his own disgust. One can only hope he doesn’t start trying to force a big score upon himself. At the end of the day’s play Australia was 1/111 with Jaques still in on 53 and Ponting 7.

Day four was “open your shoulders day” for the home side as they set about belting the Sri Lankans all over the park again. They compiled another 99 runs between Jaques (68), Ponting (53 n.o.) and Hussey (34 n.o.) and declared before lunch at 2/210 – a lead of 506 runs and setting a world record chase for the Sri Lankans.

The visitor’s second innings started badly with Vandort dismissed for 4, sending them to lunch at 1/27 with Atapattu on 5 and Kumar Sangakkara 7.
The second session was full of the best batting Sri Lanka displayed all series. Atapattu and Sangakkara put on 114 runs up to the tea break and all of a sudden Sri Lanka’s target of 507 looked VERY achievable. Both batsmen played with immense confidence and played some of the most glorious strokes the Hobart faithful could ever wish to witness. At tea, Sri Lanka were 1/141.

The break was again their undoing and Atapattu surrendered his wicket not long into the final session of the day for a fantastically gritty 80. With Mahela Jayawardene, their first innings centurion next in, Sri Lanka still looked to be in a good position. He scored 0… and it looked like the rot was about to set in once again.

His was to be the final wicket of the day though with Sangakkara and Sanath Jayasuriya steering the visitors to safety at stumps, 3/247, with Sangakkara brining up his century (109) and Jayasuriya unbeaten on 33.

Day 5 promised to be a fantastic day for cricket in Sangakkara in full flightgeneral as the two Sri Lankans took to the field in the morning. Unfortunately fate conspired against them once again with Jayasuriya only getting to 45. It was pretty much all down hill from there. Sangakkara however batted on brilliantly as his team’s chances crumbled around him. He was finally dismissed on 192, just 8 short of his third double ton for the year. Replays show he was harshly done by and, indeed, Rudy Koertzen’s post match apology confirmed it.

At lunch the tourists were 9/391, Lasith Malinga not out on 32 and Muttiah Muralitharan on 7. The match was over not long after with Sri Lanka all out for 410.

Result: Australia def Sri Lanka by 96 runs.

Questions raised from Game 1 that were answered:

1. Can Muralitharan find form in Hobart that will see him overtake Shane Warne as the world record wicket taker?
No. Match figures of 2/230

2. When will Mike Hussey stop making centuries ?

Not just yet obviously and with the next series, against India, starting next month there will be more runs on offer.

3. Is Brett Lee capable of matching his performance in this test, match after match?

Judging by his return this match, 8/169, it looks likely.

Match highlights:

1. Sangakkara going oh so close to a double century. In the mean time his middle order collapsed like a house of cards.
2. Brett Lee. Absolutely brilliant bowling consistently around and over 145km/hr.
3. Jaques’ and Hussey’s first innings tons. Jaques’ average from 4 tests is now exactly 69. Hussey’s has grown to a staggering 86.18
4. Substitute fieldsman Rhett Lockyear. Taking the injured Andrew Symonds’ place in the field is a big ask but 24 year old Lockyear impressed all and sundry. He has played just two first class matches and attended the Academy in 2003. Never looked out of place and effected two run outs and a catch to play a hand in three Sri Lankan wicket. Well done young fella.

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6 responses

22 11 2007

Excellent summation Brad… 🙂

23 11 2007

Very good commentary on the match.

I think that you missed an important point though regarding the bowling attack. Is it good enough and will it be consistent against more organised batting sides.

I do think that Sri Lanka were a bit of a shambles by and large and lacked their usual batting strength. Lee is clearly the spearhead and number one bowler but have the doubts about consistency really been laid to rest? Are the other strike bowlers up to it match after match and then what?

I wasn’t that impressed with the rest.

All I am asking is a question “Has Australia got a decent all round bowling attack?


23 11 2007
Blogging Business Live, everything about markets! » Read Cricket: Australia vs Sri lanka ~ Second Test

[…] Flippy – I Rant, You Read wrote an interesting post today!.Here’s a quick excerptCricket: Australia vs Sri lanka ~ Second Test 22 11 2007 When Ricky Ponting won the toss and decided to bat first, one could not help but feel a sense of deja vous (and pity for the Sri Lankans). Surprisingly this wasn’t the case early in the first session with Matthew Hayden being dismissed for 17 off an agonising – by his standards – 56 balls. Ponting was still getting his eye in, but Jaques looked settled on 48 when lunch was taken with Australia 1/86. When Ponting went for 31 mid way th […]

23 11 2007

Thanks Kip.

I had to leave some out though mate cause Don’s got me on a 1,500 word limit and gets cranky if I go too far over.

I don’t think the bowling attack is what it could be either. Lee & Johnson with Clarke at first change? Nup. Doesn’t do it for me. For years we had McGrath opening with either Lee or Gillespie and either one of those two, or more recently Tait, at first change.

Ideally I’d like to see Clarke and Lee open with Johnson first change given that Clarke is a bowler much in the mould of McGrath. There is no doubt that genuine pace is a great asset but I think it is just too much of the same especially given Johnson’s inexperience.

I don’t think that Sri Lankla lacked batting strength just cohesion. Their good partnerships were few and far between. Take their second innings in this test for example. Jayasuriya played a terrific first innings knock and really should have done more in the second. A big partnership of 200+ with Sangakkara by lunch on day 5 would have set up a real grandstand finish. The conditions suited batting (4 centuries in the match) so I think it is more an attitude problem rather than strength/capability.

24 11 2007

Impressive stuff Brad 😉

Keep up the good work 🙂

22 12 2007

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