Mathews heroics in vain as Sri Lanka loses

Courtesy: International Cricket Council

Sri Lanka rode on Angelo Mathews’ heroics to very nearly pull off a sensational victory before falling short by just five runs against Australia in a nerve-wrecking cricket tri-series match here today.

Chasing a modest target of 232, the islanders were in the dumps as they were 180 for nine in the 45th over before all-rounder Mathews (64) staged a remarkable fightback to give a scare at the Australians at the WACA.

Mathews unleashed a flurry of strokes at the dying stages to raise visions of a stunning come-from-behind victory with a 46-run partnership with Dhammika Prasad but eventually fell in the penultimate ball to give the hosts their second successive win in the tournament.

Mathews faced 76 balls and hit four boundaries and a six in his entertaining knock.

Australia had earlier beaten India by 65 runs in their first match on February 5 at the MCG. For Sri Lanka, who wasted a fine bowling effort by their bowlers to restrict Australia for 231, it was their second successive loss in the tournament having beaten by India by four wickets in their first match at the same venue here on Wednesday.

Left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty was the pick of the Australian bowlers as he scalped two wickets for 24 runs in his 10 overs. Pacer Daniel Christian also bagged two wickets for 47 runs.

Captain Clarke used as many a six bowlers, including himself and all of them claimed at least a wicket. Pacers Ryan Harris, Mitchell Starc and Clinton McKay as well as Clarke picked a wicket each.

Earlier, Australian batting collapsed in the face of a disciplined Sri Lankan bowling effort as the hosts were bundled out for 231 in their second match of the ODI cricket tri-series here today.

Skipper Michael Clarke’s 57-run knock was the only standout performance among the Aussie batsmen, who were stifled by Sri Lanka’s accurate bowling and folded up in 49.1 overs at the WACA Ground.

Put into bat, Australia were off to a wobbly start when opener Matthew Wade was dismissed for just one run by Nuwan Kulasekara.

Wade, who was impressive in his debut match against India scoring 67 runs, lasted just five deliveries today before being caught behind by wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara.

David Warner (34) was his usual attacking self but the fireworks didn’t last long as an Angelo Mathews delivery sneaked in between his bat and pad to rattle the stumps.

The left-hander smashed four boundaries and a six during is 29-ball stay at the crease.

Veteran Ricky Ponting (1) flopped yet again and the scintillating Test form was nowhere to be seen as he was trapped leg before by Lasith Malinga.

With the top three coming a cropper, it was left to the middle-order to do the damage control and skipper Clarke took charge of the proceedings with his typical mix of caution and aggression.

But with wickets falling at other end at regular intervals, partnerships were just not coming through for Australia.

  • muhammadh rikzy

    you have mentioned the names of no. Of youngsters but do you think thitmanne is suitable for the team, yes it is true that he performed well in the last ODI against SA but when we look at his 50 over stats he averages only 26 with a poor stike rate and Chinthaka Jayasinghe is better than him who is a big hitter with the same average and can be very useful for the finishers role.

  • Ravi K

    It’s great to see team work and “fighting fire with controlled agression….well done to Mahela and the team primerily and all support and guldence provided by the team management.It was refreshing to see Mattews’ intensity…!!!

    Suggesttion…… you may want to consider Mahela to open in place of Tharanga and bring in maharoof or Herath instead ? Stats say that mahela has the best average as an operner !!!! just a thought….!!!

  • PremasiriS

    We‘ve b’n a very inconsistent Team for the last 25 y’s becos the selectors have always preferred to reckless hitters to quality batters the class of S’weera or T’dulkar for that matter. Any level of consistency can’t be achieved by employing batsmen who offer too many risky (false, edgy & lofted) strokes from the very 1st ball they face. The Country needs batters whose success rate at least 4 out of 5 innings played ( i.e. batsmen who can get a chance-less (50) substantial score). Unfortunately the selectors have always gone for batters who lacked in skills to last at least for 5 overs. What the selectors should do is to go for batters the likes of M’hews,C’dimal & T’manne who have had maintained consistency since the age of 15 years that has 1st Cla. Bat. Avs. around 45. At present both the 1st&2nd XI teams have been filled with too many unreliable batsmen. Our series lost to England 2XI team that toured the Country recently is a good example to estimate the selectors’ ignorance. For information of all Ardent Cricket lovers of the Country that though our 2nd XI team lost the series to its counter parts of England 2-3, the B’desh 2nd XI team able to draw series 4-4 against the same team. It is not that we lack talent but the selectors liking for reckless hitters. Another factor that dishearten the fans are the SLC inability arrange International matches for our juniors teams in contrast all our neighbour Countries arrange International matches for their Jouniors very frequently.

  • PremasiriS

    If India can drop a player likeTendulkar , why can’t our selectors drop all these under performing seniors? Even though we have been losing matches series by series since 2007, the selectors have kept a blind eye to all these pathetic batting debacles of these seniors. It seems like they aren’t qualified (.Fans were made to believe so because: they took long time to identify the immense talent in Chandimal.) enough to pick even a highly talented young player like Chandimal at the right time, who bats like a professional from his very 1st match,while the seniors who have experience around 500 International innings play like amateurs. Angelo Perera, Khausal silva, Rosen Silva, Dimuth Karunarathna, Bhanuka Rajapaksha, who’re equally good players in the same class of Mthews ,Chandimal & Thirimanne, have been maintaining consistency from very young age as 15 ys should be brought into the side in place of under performing seniors…

  • muhammadh rikzy

    its past now and now need to focus on the rest of the matches in the series. And by the way its a good news for sri lanka and i am very glad to give you the news of young DULANJANA MENDIS who is another hidden talent in sri lankan domestic cricket and verh much suitable for ODI’s. He 21 years old having played in 16 first class matches has taken 108 wickets with an AVERAGE OF 15(this happens very rarely) and having played 16 list A matches has taken 33 wickets with an AVERAGE OF 13(this too happens very rarely) so another MENDIS has born who bowls legbreaks and very affective whom is only 21 years.One Mendis has the ability to turn the ball towards the off stump and another Mendis yet again whom has the ability to turn it towards leg stump. SO WE NEED TO HAVE AN EYE ON HIM TOO AND PICK HIM TO AN UPCOMING INTERNATIONAL TOUR AND I AM REALY CONFUSSED OF WHY HASNT HE BE INCLUDED FOR THE SQUAD AGAINST ENGLAND A.

    • Raja

      Dulanjana’s name & his skills have been mentioned many times in this very Website since 2010 after he became the highest wicket taker in the Premier League Tier B. Have you been sleeping all this while?

      • muhammadh rikzy

        you havent uderstood my comment i have said that the slectors often foget him though his performance are extra ordinary. I HOPE YOU WERE NOT WEARING A SPECTACLE WHEN READING MY COOMENT.

  • PremasiriS

    While the youngsters bat like professionals, the seniors that don’t deserve places in this Side bats like schoolboys. Though the Jokers have regarded them as World Class and indispensable, they always bat like in this fashion. The front-liners should have followed the way Tendulkar, Trott, Chandimal, or Amla handle things. When the top-order tries to survive with too many risky (false,edgy, lofted) strokes, they make life difficult for the young batters to follow as their reckless batting would certainly increases confidence level of the opposition bowlers. They should have been dropped long time before for their reckless approach to batting but, it didn’t happen as the Jokers have been very much ignorant and have always disregarded their pathetic performances, as a cover for them to include henchmen (VIPs) in the National sides from time to time.

  • PremasiriS

    These elite umpires’ Benefit of Doubts have always gone in favor for the countries where the strong Cricket Boards are, thus their positions in the Elite Panel are always safe. If this kind of decisions go against a powerful Cricketing Nations as in the case of Asoka de Silva & Daryl Harper, their lives as Elite Umpires would be very short. On the other hand an umpire is always at a better position to fix a match than player. The UDRS with better technology would do a World of good for the Countries like SL, ZIM, B’desh.