Sri Lanka vs Australia
Australia Win By 125 Runs
It took them a bit longer to wrap up victory today than they would've anticipated, but the Aussies have first blood of the series well inside four days. The pitch certainly had a huge say on this match, and the same can probably be said for Tests two and three down the line. Lyon, Harris, Mathews and Jayawardene take the bulk of the applause, and the hosts will have to have a serious think about the make up of their starting XI for the duration of the series. Mendis has to get a game next time around. The second Test kicks off in Pallekele on Thursday. Catch you then. Cheers.
Over 95.5 Lyon 0-0-0-1-W
253-10 - WICKET! Lakmal holes out in the deep, Lyon bags his only wicket of the second innings and that - as they say in the classics - is all, folks.
Over 95 Watson W-0-2-0-1-0
252-9 - WICKET! Watson back into the attack and lands immediate success. Mathews, looking for three figures in one fat swing, attempts to go big down the ground but plays down the wrong line and has his off-stump pegged back. Welegedera is the last man in for Sri Lanka as the Fat Lady begins to warm up in anticipation of Aussie triumph. The hosts have made it to 205 at least.
Over 94 Lyon 1-0-0-1-1-0
249-8 - The spinner gets a go with the relatively new ball, with Clarke well aware that Mathews probably won't be able to resist having a heave at the slower stuff. He'll do it in singles alongside the able Lakmal for the time being, though.
Over 93 Harris 4-0-W-4-0-0
246-8 - Something more orthodox from the left-handed Herath, who employs a straight bat for some pretty elevation over mid-off for four more. WICKET! A short-arm jab straight to Copeland at short midwicket, suits the Aussies and Harris in particular just fine. The fast bowler has his five-for and the Sri Lankans are now just two wickets away from defeat. Mathews wondering whether or not he is going to get to three figures. For the record, he fell for 99 against India a while back. Lakmal in now and he is almost out for a first-ball duck but rather enjoys a fat edge wide of third slip for four.
Over 92 Johnson 0-1-0-2-0-1
238-7 - Questionable move from Mathews, for his own good and that of the team, as he takes a single early in the over to leave Herath exposed. The tail-ender, as always, can't be bothered with defence and instead goes big down the ground for two into no-man's land. Having a long-off and long-on wouldn't be untoward from Clarke here.
Over 91 Harris 0-0-0-4-0-0
234-7 - Herath won't go down quietly and wields the willow at almost everything, fetching himself a lucky four runs off the edge between slip and gully for his efforts. Can't see this lasting long, though. Harris will have his man sooner or later.
Over 90 Johnson W-1-4-0-4-0
230-7 - WICKET! One victim follows another. Randiv can't ride the line and lenght, fending off a stockstandard edge to the slip cordon, where Clarke is at hand for a sitter. There was a bit of extra bounce in that one, but really it was Johnson's deadset accuracy that did for the right-hander. Herath, on a pair, in now. Mathews, running out of options and partners, decides he'd better tee off an chase a maiden Test ton before it's too late. A couple of heaved boundaries send him right on his way - into the 90s, in fact.
Over 89 Harris 0-0-0-0-2-4
221-6 - Johnson is still mumbling, mostly to himself, after sharing a heated word or three with Mathews at the end of the previous over. The right-hander, meanwhile, gets a short ball which doesn't bounce nearly as much as he expected, and defends it awkwardly in the nature of a number 11 batsman. Comic relief all around.
Over 88 Johnson 0-0-0-0-4-1
215-6 - Good call from Clarke, this, as Johnson - certainly a more attacking option than Copeland - returns to the bowling fray with a new man at the crease. Meanwhile, Mathews is going to have to rethink his approach. Does he look for quick runs and farm the strike or does he afford the wannabe all-rounders and tail-enders faith? Time will tell, but me thinks the former.
Over 87 Harris 1wd-W-0-0-0-0-0
210-6 - Harris really puts his back into a bouncer - too much so as it's called a wide, but then gets it very right to end the centurion's stay at the crease. WICKET! Nip through the air and jag off the seam is enough to undo Jayawardene's near impenetrable defence, with the stumps castled and the bowler an team-mates understandably jubilant. Randiv in now as the Aussies head into the Sri Lankan tail.
Over 86 Copeland 0-0-0-0-0-4
209-5 - Having watched his team-mate employ the shot time and time again from the non-striker's end, Mathews hauls out the 'soft hands' to fetch himself four runs past gully. Copeland, meanwhile, concedes a rare boundary. A quick glance at the overall wagonwheel for the innings will show plenty of runs to that area.
Over 85 Harris 0-0-0-0-1-4
205-5 - Mathews, not for the first time today and probably not the last, rides his luck. Spooning some sharp seam movement to midwicket, the right-hander breathes a sigh of relief as Ponting's attempt at the catch on the dive to his left is not enough.
Over 84 Copeland 0-0-0-0-0-1
200-5 Meh. Copeland plugs away. But it's pretty predictable. There isn't as much in the pitch for him as there was in Sri Lanka's first innings. Clarke would do well to get Johnson into the attack from this end sooner rather than later. 200 up for Sri Lanka, meanwhile, with their target now under 180. Trying times for Australia.
Over 83 Harris 4-0-0-0-0-4
199-5 - Hands on Australian heads all around as Harris forces the edge from the man in the nervous, but there for the umpteenth time of the match a tentative shot falls short of the men in the slips for four runs. There was an element of 'soft hands' from the batsman, but the bowler will count himself unlucky there. The over ends with a convincing late cut - enough to bring four more and take Jayawardene to his century. It's the 29th of his career - and sees him draw level with the late, great Sir Donald Bradman's number of Test tons.
Over 82 Copeland 0-0-0-1-0-0
191-5 - Copeland gets the new ball alongside Harris, but I would really like to have seen Johnson afforded the chance with the harder cherry. Anyway, the medium-pacer it is, and he is no match for Jayawardene's textbook defence. Clarke could certainly give his bowler another close-in fielder, an extra slip at least.
Over 81 Harris 0-0-0-0-0-0
190-5 - The new ball is due and Clarke does not dillydally, handing it straight to Harris. The right-armer slips into a near perfect approach from the get-go, beating Mathews with a particular peach that strikes the seam and moves away from the flatfooted right-hander's empty shot.
Over 80 Clarke 0-0-1-0-0-1
190-5 - Clarke extends his stay in the attack and finds some turn to the right-hander. Plenty of 'soft hands' from Jayawardene, who makes sure the edges - if any - won't fall into the hands of the duo of close-in fielders. Every now and then he drops one in short, but deep point s in place for the cut.
Over 79 Watson 1-0-0-0-0-0
188-5 - The right-arm seamer begs for something from the surface, dragging his fingers across the ball for a bit of an off-cutter, which catches Mathews driving and missing as the ball snipes through bat and pad - not nearly close enough to the off-stump for Australia's liking, though.
Second Session, Day Four
All and sundry back out in the middle after a quick cuppa. Sri Lanka chasing a further 192 runs or the draw. Australia still in search of five further wickets.
Lunch, Day Four
Sri Lanka head into the break on 187 for five - still 192 runs shy of their target. Proceedings have hardly gone according to plan for the Aussies, though they will still fancy 'emselves favourites for the win, even if the game is going to spill into a fifth day. Kudos impending Jayawardene and sidekick Mathews, who have ridden a considerable storm in the morning session and will pick up on their charge after lunch. Aussie skipper Clarke, meanwhile, needs a fat chat of inspiration with his bowlers.
Over 78 Clarke 0-1-0-1-0-0
187-5 - Part-time turner and captain Clarke takes matters - and the ball - into his own hands again. His frontline bowlers aren't doing a good enough job, so he will have to do. Perhaps we will see another spell from Ponting at the other end after the break.
Over 77 Watson 0-0-0-0-0-1
185-5 - Watson attack the stumps, with Mathews forced dig one out with the toe-end of his bat as the ball keeps very low. Every now and then this pitch, despite having evened out considerably, offers something rather alarming, whether it be fat bounce off a standard length or a veritable dribbler like this one.
Over 76 Lyon 0-0-1-0-0-0
184-5 - Mathews has to be so careful in turning a single around the corner as leg slip and short-leg are there to pounce. The rough outside the right-handers' off-stump is prevalent and affords the ball rip again, but not enough to have Lyon's appeal for lbw obliged. Umpire Kettleborough wants nothing to do with a height, erm, too high. No review from Clarke, rightly so.
Over 75 Watson 0-0-0-0-0-0
183-5 - Still Watson, still nothing more than military medium, still Jayawardene's dogged defence. No thoughts of reaching three figures before lunch from the veteran right-hander. Dot balls on the block at every turn suiting him just fine.
Over 74 Lyon 0-0-0-4-0-0
183-5 - Mathews could only resist the big hit for so long, and finally runs down the track in a bid to go big down the ground. Again, though, he doesn't get to the pitch of the turn and endures an awkward skew over the off-side into no-man's land. While Jayawardene's heftier strikes are calculated, Mathews' are more of the hit-or-miss variety.
Over 73 Watson 0-0-0-0-0-0
179-5 - Renowned for breaking stubborn partnerships - and this one is certainly stubborn - Watson is into the attack. No dice for him yet, though, but at least he puts in a decent holding role with a maiden to Jayawardene.
Over 72 Lyon 4-0-0-4-1-0
179-5 - Huge turn and bounce from Lyon, but Jayawardene is up to the task with an upper-cut dink over and past the wicketkeeper's right for four. Then, something quicker but to straight affords the former Sri Lanka captain four more on the glance. Sri Lanka's target almost under 200 and another 50 less for no the loss of no further wickets and the Aussies will be slightly worried.
Over 71 Copeland 0-1-0-0-0-2
170-5 - Jayawardene looks to dab a single down to thirdman but can't find enough bat, so instead opts for a single through the on-side to bring up the century stand. Muted applause from Sri Lankan team-mates and fans, as they know the job is not yet done. The hosts trail by 211 runs at the moment.
Over 70 Lyon 1-0-0-1-6-1
167-5 - Leg slip and short-leg in place in the hope that Mathews will not meet the turn well enough and possibly slink a catch to one of the two close-in fielders. No go for the Aussies, though, with the right-hander instead biding his time before turning a single to fine-leg. Jayawardene, meanwhile, decides it is time to assert his authority by dancing down the track to heave the first six of the day high and hard over long-on. And with that a record partnership for Sri Lanka's sixth wicket in Tests against Australia arrives - 99 runs and counting...
Over 69 Copeland 0-0-0-0-0-0
158-5 - Pitching it on a penny every time, Copeland's line and length is right on the money, but with no movement off the seam whatsoever, half-centurion Mathews has no trouble at all in seeing off the medium-pacer.
Over 68 Lyon 1-0-0-0-0-0
158-5 - Big shout for lbw from he bowler turned down as Jayawardene is caught off guard on the forward-defence. Quite a bit of bounce and turn outside the right-hander's off-stump has Clarke toying with the ideal of a review, but he eventually decides against it. Just as well. A quick television replay or two show that the ball was bobbling over and past the leg-stump.
Over 67 Copeland 1-0-0-1-0-0
157-5 - Mathews won't dare dart out of his crease with Haddin standing up to the stumps, while Jayawardene was always going to play from back of the line all along. Copeland, through it all, concedes a mere two singles to keep his string of superb economy on a roll.
Over 66 Lyon 0-1-1-1-0-1
155-5 - The spinner is into the attack for the first time today and immediately Mathews wants to take the attack to Lyon. A big, balooning stroke almost finds the hands of deep midwicket, only for the ball to plug short of the fielder. Jayawardene, straightaway, goes down the track to have a word with his team-mate. The former captain's advice would have been something along the lines of: 'No need for such brash strokeplay. I need you here alongside me for as long as possible.'
Over 65 Copeland 0-0-0-0-0-1
151-5 - Change of bowling, with debutant Copeland into the attack. Haddin stands up to the stumps and there is a short cover in place as well as a silly point. Defence aplenty from Mathews, who eventually decides, given the pedestrian pace of the ball, he can angle his bat a bit to milk a single to thirdman. Drinks break, meanwhile.
Over 64 Johnson 0-0-4-4-0-1
150-5 - Back-to-back fours for Mathews. The first is a genuine edge through to thirdman and the next is a pull - a short-arm jab, really - to bring up his half-century. That's the the third of his Test career - from 89 balls, seven fours included - and how dearly he'd like to turn it into a maiden ton. 150 up for Sri Lanka.
Over 63 Harris 0-0-0-0-0-0
141-5 - So cautious is Jayawardene, he won't even look to work a full toss into the deep for runs. Harris striving hard, rather fruitlessly, for some late swing in pitching the ball up as much as possible.
Over 62 Johnson 0-0-4-0-0-1
141-5 - Johnson's spell is becoming progressively worse, with more easy pickings to the hips of a right-hander. Jayawardene, true to form, isn't going to let that go unpunished and duly whips it through fine-leg for four.
Over 61 Harris 0-0-4-1-0-0
136-5 - Not for the first time in the match and maybe not the last, Jayawardene endures and edge to ride his luck through the slip cordon. The fielder almost gets under the ball, only to have it bobble past him for four fortunate runs on the bounce. One has to wonder if the slips are standing a metre or three too far back.
Over 60 Johnson 0-0-0-2-2-0
131-5 - Johnson from over the wicket again, though his line is lacking. One sprays to the off-side for Mathews to fetch a couple through extra cover and the next is slipped down the leg-side, with the right-hander clipping a couple more of his hips with ease.
Over 59 Harris 0-0-0-0-0-0
127-5 - Not to say that Sri Lanka are digging themselves into a whole, but the runs have really dried up here. Yes, they've got plenty of time to fetch an unlikely win, but even more to force a draw. Either way, they will want to at least keep the singles ticking over.
Over 58 Johnson 0-0-0-0-0-0
127-5 - Three slips, a gully and a point lay in wait for the error, but Mathews is better than that and really seems intent on putting a string of substandard showings behind him with a solid one this time around. Plenty of discipline from him, whereas in the past he might've had a go at the string of deliveries outside his off-stump. The situation calls for better, and he is delivering.
Over 57 Harris 0-0-0-1-0-0
127-5 - Clarke's brief spell is over. Australia's chief destroyer for this innings is back into the attack. He wants it right up there, as plenty of near blockhole deliveries keep Mathews and Jayawardene on their toes.
Over 56 Johnson 0-0-0
126-5 - The left-armer completes his over broken by the rain delay, with a change of angle to around the wicket not enough to trouble Jayawardene on the defence. Johnson needs to peg his approach to something just back of a standard length. This fuller stuff is bread and butter for the right-hander off the frontfoot.
All and sundry back out in the middle after spending just over an hour hanging around in the pavilion and surrounds for the rain to relent.
Play will resume at 11:05 local time (05:35 GMT). So, grab a quick cuppa and perhaps a bit to eat and get right back here for the action. We'll do the same.
Play Will Resume Shortly
The stumps are back up, most of the covers are off, the rain has retreated to the distance and proceedings should be back under way pretty soon.
Weather Update At 10:23 local Time (04:53 GMT)
20 minutes since the most recent burst of rain in Galle we've got some better news. The precipitation has stopped, the groundstaff are hard at work in their mop-up process and the clouds rolling in are of a much lighter, whiter variety than those heavy, black ones that came in last time around.
Over 55.3 Johnson 0-0-0
126-5 - No rain yet, but the umpires have made a judgement call amid this brewing storm by calling for the covers. On come the groundstaff, off go the players and so the wait begins. Meanwhile, the drizzle starts to fall at exactly 10:00 local time (04:30 GMT).
Over 55 Clarke 2-0-0-1-0-1
126-5 - More rip and turn off the deck for the left-armer, with Mathews' technique through 'soft hands' really tested. The all-rounder does well, for the most part, making sure that the host of close-in fielders' hopes for a catch are thwarted by plenty of deadbatting.
Over 54 Johnson 0-0-0-0-0-0
122-5 - The left-armer picks up the attack from over the wicket to the right-handed Jayawardene, with heavy clouds rolling in in the background - Australia in a race against time here. He affords the former Sri Lanka captain far too many deliveries outside the off-stump to leave alone, but learns a quick enough lesson in tweaking his line to have the right-hander defending out the duration of the over.
Over 53 Clarke 2-0-0-0-0-0
122-5 - With enough runs to play with, Clarke affords himself the first ball of the day. The part-time spinner finds some early pop off the deck, but not quite enough to have Mathews spring a catch into the covers. Three close-in fielders in place - all of them to the off-side. A deep point too. Tidy opening over from the Aussie skipper.
First Session, Day Four
Batsman Jayawardene and Mathews, umpires Dar and Kettleborough and the buoyed Australian XI out in the middle and good to go. Strap in for the ride, folks. Here we go.
Hello and welcome to our over-by-over commentary of day four to the first match of the three-Test series between Sri Lanka and Australia at the Galle International Stadium. The hosts are in pursuit of 259 more runs for victory, while the tourists are chasing a further five wickets for first blood. The weather is sitting pretty enough, so either way it looks as though we are in for a finish inside four days.
- 31st Aug - 3rd Sep 2011
- Aleem Dar and R A Kettleborough
sri lanka BATTING CARD
|Paranavitana||lbw b Harris||0|
|Sangakkara||c Hussey b Watson||17|
|Samaraweera||c Haddin b Johnson||0|
|Randiv||c Clarke b Johnson||0|
|Herath||c Copeland b Harris||12|
|Lakmal||c Johnson b Lyon||5|
|Extras||1w, 1b, 1lb||3|
|Total||All out, 95.5 Overs||253|