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Day 2 – Australia Score 203 Runs in 1st Innings vs. Sri Lanka

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Day 2 – Australia Score 203 Runs in 1st Innings vs. Sri Lanka

July 27
17:14 2016

ausNew Delhi, Wednesday, July 27 – The first Test between Australia and Sri Lanka started a day ago at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele. The Sri Lanka Playing XI looked good on papers having Dilruwan Perera, Kusal Mendis, wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Chandimal, Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Pradeep and Lakshan Sandakan. The players in extras were Roshen Silva, Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando and Suranga Lakmal.

On the other hand, David Warner, Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill, Steve O’Keefe, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Joe Burns and Usman Khawaja were led by Steven Smith. At the same time, Shaun Marsh, Jackson Bird, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Moises Henriques were the players to sit on bench. Those picked to perform in the opening Test did not let their skipper down even though Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first. As a matter of fact, it was a good toss to lose for Australian cricket team, dismissing batting lineup of the rivals in a short span of time. The host lost all 10 wickets in just 34.2 overs, giving a clear indication that pitch did not support their batting style.

Dimuth Karunaratne, the opening batsman, lost his wicket first after getting his leg before wicket in an over by Starc. He had to depart at an individual score of 5 that came in 12 balls. Second wicket fell a bit early than expected when Kusal Mendis was dismissed in the same manner as of Karunaratne. Hazlewood bowled a delivery that made the batsman get lbw. Hopes were up from Mendis as he hit a couple of boundaries but was dismissed a little bit soon after arriving on the crease. Maybe he wanted to release pressure from his team and tried to play the longest format of cricket as like T20 match. Two wickets were lost when only 15 runs were put by Sri Lanka on the scoreboard. The host came under pressure at a time when the opener Kaushal Silva was out at a score 4 runs off 25 balls.

He took his time to settle on the pitch without being in a hurry. However, Hazlewood bowled a ball in a different line and length that made him go back to the pavilion without any substantial contribution. Sri Lankan side wished Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews to hold the fort by staying on the crease for as long as possible. Nonetheless, both wicket-keeper and the captain of Sri Lanka were dismissed at the score of 15. Both hit a couple of fours. Nothing seemed getting right for Sri Lanka but then Dhananjaya de Silva and Kusal Perera brought some stability, which was being eyed right from the beginning of the contest. Had the duo been able to pile up some good total, the small partnership was broken by Lyon as he dismissed de Silva when he was batting at a score of 24 (4 x 3 and 6 x 1).

Stress grew up when Dilruwan Perera was lbw by Lyon on a naught. Sri Lanka batting order struggled to settle right from the beginning and that continued till the end.  Kusal Perera also succumbed to Lyon at a score of 20, which consisted of three boundaries. Rangana Herath was dismissed by Starc at 6 runs, which comprised a four. Nuwan Pradeep was out on a zero. Lakshan Sandakan was not out at 19 runs.  He struck four 4s in his innings, which could have been big had the wickets been lost from the other end. The team batting first scored 117 runs when 35th over was in progress. Only an extra was bowled by Australia that is sufficient to tell how discipline was the bowling attack.

Lyon and Hazlewood got three wickets each, while Starc and O’Keefe two wickets apiece. Smith did not need to introduce other bowlers as the job was done with perfection by the key players. Lyon, Hazlewood, Starc and O’Keefe made sure variation in Australian bowling remains, troubling the opponents in the best way possible. Even though support for the home side was much as compared to the visitors, Sri Lanka did not to perform well. It looked as if they failed to make best use of experience learnt during their tour of England. Same mistakes were made when it was necessary for them to rise. The dream to put humongous total turned will next to impossible, particularly when Australian bowlers made sure the opponents completely miss the track. Start of Australia wasn’t impressive enough as well. The travellers suffered first jolt when David Warner was out without opening his account thanks to a good delivery by Pradeep.  Joe Burns succumbed to Herath at a score of 3.

When play resumed today, Aussie skipper Steven Smith was stumped by Chandimal in Herath’s over. He played an innings of 30 in 53 balls, inclusive of three 4s. Usman Khawaja was lbw by Herath post adding 26 runs in 62 balls. He struck four classy shots but lost his wicket at a time when Australian fans expected him to go for more boundaries and try out hitting biggies as well. After 39 overs, Australia have totalled 119 runs for the loss of four wickets. Adam Voges is batting at 20 runs (4 x 1), while Mitchell Marsh batting at 30 runs (4 x 5). 10 extras have been bowled by Sri Lanka. On Day 2 of the opening Test, the visiting group leads by 2 runs in first session. Nevill, O’Keefe, Starc, Hazlewood and Lyon are yet to bat.

Here is to describe that the ongoing match has emerged as the real test for both teams. If Aussies rise from this point, Sri Lankan cricketers will feel the heat. However, if the host put a ceiling on Australian players’ speed to get some runs, possibility of a bounce back with a bang will come into picture. Leaving an impression in the early hours of the play was not likely for Mathews-led team but some wonderful deliveries made this thing happen. Great skills will now be needed by Sri Lanka to be on track and confidently reply the rivals by taking remaining wickets. Aussies may try to play safe by not taking risk to go for shots when it is not even easy to place the ball into the gaps and run for singles and twos.

However, eyes can’t be shut to the fact that they house the talent to do incredible things, beating all odds. Sri Lanka batting collapsed in a lesser time than what anybody expected. Aussies must have been aware with the problem areas by this time. A few may do well when 2nd session starts. Sri Lankan cricket fans who wanted their team on a strong position wish bowlers carry on bothering Australian batsmen with a variety in bowling to not let them build partnerships. The team that puts forward a wonderful show will gain the grip in the match than the one that misses the chance to figure out what could be better step and tactics at this stage to shine. Eyes are struck on the match as viewers are keen to see in which direction the match outcome tends to incline.


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