Sri Lanka were handed another humiliating defeat in the hands of the resurgent Aussies in the 2nd Test as the 2-Test series came an end with a 2-0 margin in favour of the hosts, Australia. Sri Lanka chasing down a huge target of 516 were bowled out for 149 runs as Mitchell Starc starred for Australia with 5 wickets handing them a 366-run victory at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.
The Sri Lankan openers, Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne resumed their task from 17/0 as day 4 of the 2nd and last Test kicked-off after Sri Lanka’s National Anthem was sung to mark the country’s 71st Independence Day.
With so much expectations and also with the prediction of rain by the weather forecast imminent, Mitchell Starc went through Karunaratne’s forward push, cleaning him up for his overnight score of 8.
Captain Dinesh Chandimal’s misery continued as he was caught by Marnus Labuschagne at 3rd slip off a Starc delivery for 4 runs. Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella was promoted up the order and showed some promise, batting at number 4 as he together with Thirimanne, hung around for 10 overs adding 30 runs for the 3rd wicket, before Thirimanne was dismissed by a surprise short ball by Pat Cummins, caught and bowled.
Kusal Mendis walked in at number 5 to replace Thirimanne who was dismissed for 30, got off the mark in just his 2nd delivery with a glorious boundary. The 25-run 4th wicket stand between Dickwella and Mendis was broken by Starc as he took 2 wickets in 2 deliveries in the penultimate over before lunch.
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Dickwella was the first to go for 27 runs as he was beaten for pace and bowled by a delivery which also kept low. Kusal Perera lasted just one delivery as his footwork-less drive gave an easy catch to wicket keeper Tim Paine off an inside edge. Perera who got hit by a Jhye Richardson bouncer yesterday underwent a concussion test early in the day and was cleared to bat.
Mendis remained unbeaten on 13 along with Dhananjaya de Silva on 1 when play was stopped for lunch with Sri Lanka still 429 runs behind the target set by Australia. It didn’t take much time for the Aussies to separate the pair after lunch as De Silva chipped a Jhye Richardson delivery straight to Travis Head at mid-on for 6 runs.
Debutant Chamika Karunaratne, who walked in next after a duck in the 1st innings started nervously, but settled in soon to get going along with Mendis, who looked in prime touch. The duo added 46 fluent runs for the 7th wicket.
Mendis although was middling the ball quite nicely was lucky enough to beat the fielder on a couple of occasions as one miscue sailed over the fielder for six and the other fell just inches away from the diving Richardson at mid-on. Karunaratne was in fact dropped by Usman Khawaja at slip off a Labuschagne delivery flashing hard at the ball turning away from him.
It was Labuschagne, who eventually provided the breakthrough for Australia as Mendis gave an easy catch to Kurtis Patterson at extra-cover, just after the drinks break. The 42 Mendis made was his best score on this tour. Following his dismissal, Karunaratne edged a Cummins delivery in the very next over for 22 runs giving Australia the wickets of both set batsmen in the space of just 5 deliveries.
The last 3 wickets were shared by Starc and Cummins, as the former ended the match with a 10-wicket haul, the 2nd in his Test career. The 5-wicket haul in the 2nd innings was also his 11th.
With this drubbing Sri Lanka were pushed back for yet another cleanly swept Test series defeat following their 3-0 loss to England at home. Following the 2-0 loss Sri Lanka will be flying to South Africa, most probably with a few more new faces in the squad, for a 2-Test, 5-ODI and 3-T20I series with the 1st Test scheduled to start on the 13th of this month at Durban.
534/5 & 196/3
215/10 & 149/10
AUS won by 366 runs
Australia’s 1st Innings
|Marcus Harris||c C Karunarathne b V Fernando||11||18|
|Joe Burns||b K Rajitha||180||260|
|Usman Khawaja||c K Mendis b V Fernando||0||3|
|Marnus Labuschagne||c N Dickwella b C Karunarathne||6||11|
|Travis Head||lbw by V Fernando||161||204|
|Kurtis Patterson||not out||114||192|
|Tim Paine||not out||45||114|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||20||2||60||0||3.00|
Sri Lanka’s 1st Innings
|Dimuth Karunarathne||c K Patterson b M Starc||59||95|
|Lahiru Thirimanne||c U Khawaja b N Lyon||41||105|
|Dinesh Chandimal||c T Paine b M Starc||15||28|
|Kusal Mendis||b P Cummins||6||4|
|Kusal Janith||not out||29||57|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||b M Starc||25||63|
|Niroshan Dickwella||lbw by M Labuschagne||25||22|
|Chamika Karunarathne||c M Starc b N Lyon||0||5|
|Dilruwan Perera||c T Paine b M Starc||10||25|
|Kasun Rajitha||not out||0||5|
|Vishwa Fernando||b M Starc||0||2|
Australia’s 2nd Innings
|Marcus Harris||c K Mendis b K Rajitha||14||13|
|Joe Burns||c K Mendis b V Fernando||9||21|
|Usman Khawaja||not out||101||136|
|Marnus Labuschagne||c N Dickwella b K Rajitha||4||23|
|Travis Head||not out||59||93|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||4||0||19||0||4.75|
Sri Lanka’s 2nd Innings
|Dimuth Karunarathne||b M Starc||8||21|
|Lahiru Thirimanne||c & b P Cummins||30||81|
|Dinesh Chandimal||c M Labuschagne b M Starc||4||9|
|Niroshan Dickwella||b M Starc||27||42|
|Kusal Mendis||c K Patterson b M Labuschagne||42||69|
|Kusal Janith||c T Paine b M Starc||0||1|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||c T Head b J Richardson||6||13|
|Chamika Karunarathne||c T Paine b P Cummins||22||38|
|Dilruwan Perera||c T Paine b P Cummins||4||9|
|Kasun Rajitha||not out||0||0|
|Vishwa Fernando||not out||0||0|