Australia Take Series Following Sri Lanka Collapse
The news that Kumar Sangakkara has been ruled out of the remainder of Sri Lanka’s tour of Australia rounded off a thoroughly miserable Boxing Day Test for the tourists - one which had begun with Prasanna Jayawardene’s finger injury on day one; continued with Chanaka Welegedara’s hamstring tear yesterday; and reached its zenith today when they were bowled out for just 103 in their second innings midway through the second session to hand Australia a comprehensive win.
Australia only had to take seven Sri Lanka wickets to complete the win as, following Sangakkara retiring hurt after being struck a blow on the hand when on 27 by Mitchell Johnson, both Jayawardene and Welegedara remained in the pavilion nursing their respective injuries. The day had begun with Johnson being left stranded on 92 as Nathan Lyon and Jackson Bird fell to Angelo Mathews and Shaminda Eranga respectively and they were all out for 460.
This gave them a first innings advantage of 304 which proved more than enough for an injury-hit and outclassed Sri Lankan side. Dimuth Karunaratne started the collapse by being run-out in the first over, while Eranga became the seventh and last man dismissed when he fended Peter Siddle to Ed Cowan at short-leg.
In between times, Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews had provided some brief fight with a fourth-wicket stand of 49. However, Johnson sent Sangakkara packing and also benefited from Mathews dragging onto his stumps when on 35 to end with two wickets and the man of the match award. Jackson Bird, meanwhile, was again immaculate in his line and length and picked up the wickets of Jayawardene, bowled, and Samaraweera, leg-before.
Those two early strikes from Bird had left the tourists on 13 for four and they never recovered. In truth, they were never likely to save this match after being bowed out for just 156 on the first day, but, after showing fight in Hobart, they will be disappointed with the manner of their defeat here.
The third and final Test in the series begins on 3rd January at the SCG. Australia announced their squad for that today, with Shane Watson ruled out because of the calf injury he sustained during the second Test and has been replaced by Glenn Maxwell in the squad. Usman Khawaja has again been included as standby for Michael Clarke, who still has soreness in his hamstring, while Mitchell Starc is almost certain to play after being rested for the second Test.
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