Rain Denies Sri Lanka After Bowlers Restrict Australia
Australia 222-9 (Kulasekara 3-30) v
Sri Lanka 14-0
Match abandoned due to rain
Fourth One-Day International, SCG
Report by Daniel Grummitt
Rain perhaps saved Australia from a series defeat at the SCG, with it arriving with Sri Lanka on 14 for none in their pursuit of Australia’s modest 222 for nine. The hosts must now win the final match in Hobart if they are to earn a share of the spoils.
The Australia innings had followed a similar pattern to that of their humiliation at Brisbane, with Nuwan Kulasekara again doing the bulk of the damage with his well-controlled swing bowling and Mitchell Starc adding an air of respectability to the total with a sprightly knock from number nine. The only difference on this occasion was scale.
Kulasekara had taken five wickets in Brisbane to help reduce Australia to 40 for nine, whereas today he took two early on as they slipped to 145 for seven. Starc top-scored with 22 on Friday. However, today his unbeaten 37-ball 52 did not better David Warner’s 60 at the top.
Kulasekara’s swing accounted for Phil Hughes in his first over, with captain Michael Clarke trapped in front in his fifth despite wasting his team’s review - a fact that would prove crucial later. David Hussey then fell to Lasith Malinga, who also found prodigious swing after Michael Clarke had elected to bat under cloudy skies, with George Bailey looking nervy before having his innings ended at 22 by Rangana Herath.
It was then that Clarke’s earlier impetuosity with regard to a review began to tell as David Warner and Moises Henriques were each adjudged leg before via an inside edge. That made it 130 for seven, with Mitchell Johnson’s subsequent departure to Malinga making it 145 for seven.
Starc then joined Matthew Wade and despite losing his senior partner, as well as new man Clint McKay, during his innings found enough support from last man Xavier Doherty to notch up his maiden one-day fifty.
That gave Australia a modest 222 for nine to defend, but any hopes that Sri Lanka had of taking advantage of their bowlers’ excellence were soon thwarted by the New South Wale weather.
© Cricket World 2013
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