Lankan batting from GUTLESS to SPINELESS
*Aussies retain series with over two days to spare
*Lose game and series by innings and 201 runs
If the Sri Lankan batting in the first innings was GUTLESS, then the
batting in the second innings could be best described as SPINELESS as
the Sri Lankans just capitulated for 103 in just 24.2 overs in 130
minutes of batting.
It was one of the most sickening batting efforts not seen for a long
time. None of the batsmen could read the pace and the swing of Mitchell
Johnson 2 for 16, Jackson Bird 2 for 29 and the seven who took strike
were blown off like a pack of cards.
Mitchell Johnson throws himself at the stumps to run out
Dimuth Karunaratne. Getty Images
The Lankans made 156 and 103 and Australia 456 to lose by innings and
201 runs with over two days to spare. The Third Test beginning on
January 3 at the Sydney Cricket Ground will be of no significance. But
the Lankans will have to regroup and show more fight and avoid another
A few showers
As predicted a few showers fell in the morning, but it was not going
to spoil the Test and the ground staff had covered the wicket and not
the entire ground like we do on all our grounds. It was gloomy when play
began and with three more days remaining, including this one, there was
nothing that the Sri Lankans could do to stall the Australians victory
push and crushing the Lankans well inside the distance and up wrapping
up the series. Injuries to Prasanna Jayawardene, hairline fracture of
the thumb, Chanaka Welegedera torn hamstring and Nuwan Kulesekera a rib
injury has pushed the Lankans back.
With the Lankans lining up before the Australian firing squad and
with Jayewardene struggling to hold a bat and with Welegedera not likely
to bat, the Aussies will have their task of shooting down made much more
easy because they have to knock out only 8 Sri Lankan batsmen.
To recap on the second day’s play – The day belonged to Australia’s
captain Michael Clarke who batting practically on one leg, not wanting
to aggravate the hamstring injury which nearly kept him out of this
In scoring a century, he went past Ricky Ponting’s record for the
most number of runs in a calendar year. It has been a lucrative year for
the stylish right hand batsman who has reeled out half centuries,
centuries and double centuries with ease.
He set up a new fourth wicket record partnership 194 with his vice
captain Shane Watson who made 83. It was later revealed that Watson was
suffering with a calf injury and had been ruled out of the final Test in
While the Sri Lankan fielders were dropping catches as though they
were hot potatoes, it was joy to watch the catch that Rangana Herath
took to get rid of another free scoring Aussie batsman another Michael
With the ball swirling over him because of the strong wind, Herath
showed good judgement and when the ball seemed past him and on the way
to the boundary, with marvellous anticipation he stuck out a left hand
and it stuck. A lesson in catching to his team mates.
With Australian wicket keeper Matthew Wade running back nearly 30
metres to clutch a Sangakkara catch, and the Herath catch to cut short
Hussey’s innings, the two catches should rank as the best catches for
the year 2012.
The Australian innings did not take long to end. Johnson looking for
his second century in Test cricket started with some lusty blows, but
ran short of partners and remained unbeaten on 92 when last man Jackson
Bird was bowled by Eranga for a debut duck.
Earlier overnight not out Nathan Lyon went dollying a catch to Dimuth
Karunaratne at short mid wicket off Angelo Mathews for 1 at 451 and th
innings ended at 460 a lead of 304.
The wicket takers were Dhammika Prasad 3 for 106, Shamindra Eranga 3
for 109 and Angelo Mathews 2 for 60. Had they bowled a better line and
length and made the batsmen play they could have had better figures.
Here’s how the Sri Lanka batting procession went in innings two
before and after lunch.
1. Dimuth Karunaratne played to the off scampered a single and
insensibly went for a second run that proved suicidal.
Warner from short mid off threw the ball to bowler Johnson who broke
the stumps with the batsman yards out.1 for 0.
2. Tillakeratn Dilshan was caught off bat and pad by Ed. Cowan off
Mitchell Johnson 2 for 1. The ball took bat and lollied up for the
fielder to run and goble the catch. 2 for 0.
3. Skipper Mahela Jayawardene trying to leave a delivery from Jackson
Bird dragged the delivery onto his stumps. He was late in pulling his
bat – 3 for 3.
4. Ten runs later Thilan Samaraweera was leg before wicket to a Bird
delivery that cut in- 4 for 13. It was poor and unacceptable batting on
a wicket that was still playing true.
When survival was the name of the game in the second innings to stay
at the wicket as long as possible and deprive the Aussies of running
away with victory and the series, the approach at this level was all
Why Karunaratne had to look for a second single was inexplicable. It
was a shock start that energized the Australians as they sent back three
other batsmen and with the board reading 4 for 13, it was a house of
horrors. It was left to Kumar Sangakkara to one again show the batsmen
how to play sensibly and and with Mathews took the team to lunch at 43
without further loss, still 261 runs behind and two sessions to go.
Sangakkara was on 22 and Mathews 17.
5. After lunch disaster struck when Sangakkara was hit a nasty blow
on his left index finger from Johnson and had to retire with score on 27
score on 62 and was taken to hospital for an Xray and was not expected
to bat in this Test.
6. Angelo Mathews who was dropped after lunch, seemed in a hurry as
he wanted to hit the covers off the ball and trying to cut dragged a
ball from Johnson on to his wicket. 74 for 5.
7. Dhammika Prasad played the 50-over game hitting Nathan Lyon for
two sixes, one over mid on and then over mid off and then trying a third
six in a row, skied to David Warner at mid off for 17. 102 for 6
8. The final rites were performed when Cowan at short leg took the
catch offered by Shamndra Eranga off Peter Siddle – 7 for 103. Kumar
Sangakkara did not resume batting. Prasanna Jayawardene and Chanaka
Welegedera also did not bat. 103 for 7, but good as all out. Melbourne
Cricket Ground, Friday
Sri Lanka 1st innings 156
Australia 1st innings
EJM Cowan c DPMD Jayawardene b Prasad 36
DA Warner c Prasad b Mathews 62
PJ Hughes run out (Dilshan/Sangakkara) 10
SR Watson c Samaraweera b Prasad 83
MJ Clarke c DPMD Jayawardene b Eranga 106
MEK Hussey c Herath b Dilshan 34
MS Wade c Eranga b Prasad 01
MG Johnson not out 92
PM Siddle c DPMD Jayawardene b Eranga 13
NM Lyon c sub (LD Chandimal) b Mathews 01
JM Bird b Eranga 00
Extras (b 9, lb 5, w 6, nb 2) 22
Total (all out; 134.4 overs) 460
Fall of wickets 1-95 (Warner, 17.3 ov), 2-117 (Hughes, 22.6 ov)
3-117 (Cowan, 23.6 ov), 4-311 (Clarke, 87.4 ov)
5-313 (Watson, 88.6 ov), 6-315 (Wade, 90.4 ov)
7-376 (Hussey, 111.3 ov), 8-434 (Siddle, 126.2 ov)
9-451 (Lyon, 131.4 ov), 10-460 (Bird, 134.4 ov)
Bowling: UWMBCA Welegedara 14.4-6-38-0
RMS Eranga 27-2-109-3
KTGD Prasad 26-2-106-3
AD Mathews 16-3-60-2
HMRKB Herath 39-7-95-0
TM Dilshan 12-1-38-1
Sri Lanka 2nd innings
FDM Karunaratne run out (Warner/Johnson) 01
TM Dilshan c Cowan b Johnson 00
KC Sangakkara retired hurt 27
DPMD Jayawardene b Bird 00
TT Samaraweera lbw b Bird 01
AD Mathews b Johnson 35
KTGD Prasad c Hughes b Lyon 17
HMRKB Herath not out 11
RMS Eranga c Cowan b Siddle 00
HAPW Jayawardene absent hurt --
UWMBCA Welegedara absent hurt --
Extras (lb 10, nb 1) 11
Total (all out; 24.2 overs) 103
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Karunaratne, 0.3 ov), 2-1 (Dilshan, 0.4 ov)
3-3 (DPMD Jayawardene, 1.6 ov), 4-13 (Samaraweera, 5.3 ov)
4-62 (Sangakkara, retired not out, 16.2 ov), 5-74 (Mathews, 18.5 ov)
6-102 (Prasad, 23.3 ov), 7-103 (Eranga, 24.2 ov)
Bowling: MG Johnson 8-0-16-2
JM Bird 9-1-29-2
PM Siddle 5.2-0-32-1
NM Lyon 2-0-16-1