Sri Lanka inflicted a 2-0 cleansweep over Australia in their T20I Series with a last-ball win at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The rain-affected match went till the wire with the Aussies needing four runs to win from the final ball but couldn’t make it, with Glenn Maxwell just not able to connect his shot off Thisara Perera.
If anybody would have told Mahela Jayawardene at the start of the series that the five-match ODI contest against Australia would end in a 2-2 draw, the Sri Lankan captain would have been extremely pleased, especially after the drubbing they were handed out in the Tests.
The only way the Sri Lankans could have competed with the Aussies in the Tests Down Under would have been if their experienced batsmen warmed up to the task and stood tall against the Australian bowlers.
Considering the natural talent that the Sri Lankans possess it is somewhat surprising to note that they are yet to win a Test in Australia. Following Lanka’s batting collapse on the first day of the Boxing Day Test at the captivating Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), we tried to figure out the reason.
Be it playing a stroke or making a crucial decision, timing is equally important in all aspects of cricket. In that sense, outgoing skipper Mahela Jayawardene has made his decision to step down just in the nick of time.
When M S Dhoni tried to scamper for a single to mid-off but was found short by a direct hit from his opposite number Alastair Cook, he became the 15th batsman in Test cricket, and only the second Indian after ML Jaisimha in 1960, to be run out at the score of 99.
Sri Lanka have never won a Test in Australia, leave alone a series. As such, there wouldn’t be plenty of hopes from the island nation as they take on the Australians in Australia. In spite of their poor record though they should be disappointed if they do not put up a fighting show in their latest battle against the Aussies.
The first of the 3-match Test Series between Australia and Sri Lanka begins on Friday at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart. Australia after losing a hard-fought series against South Africa not so long ago will find it pretty easy against Sri Lanka, who have been poor visitors outside their island nation.