SL vs Aus,1st ODI Match,Kandy – Video Highlights Online Free.
Sri Lanka 191 (41.1 ov)Australia 120/2 (20.0 ov)Australia require another 72 runs with 8 wickets and 30.0 overs remaining
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A six-wicket haul from Mitchell Johnson put Australia in a strong position to take an early lead in the one-day series as they bowled Sri Lanka out for 191. Johnson finished with 6 for 31, the fourth-best figures by an Australia bowler in an ODI, and while pace was the key for the visitors, they will still need to handle the high-quality spin of Sri Lanka to capitalise on their work in the field.
Although Australia were happy to restrict Sri Lanka after Tillakaratne Dilshan won the toss, the total could have been much lower as Johnson ran through the middle order and left Sri Lanka at 117 for 7. But a 60-run partnership from Suraj Randiv and Nuwan Kulasekara gave the crowd at Pallekele something to cheer, and the team something to defend with the ball.
But the lower-order men couldn't see out the 50 overs, as Randiv tried to launch Johnson out of the ground only to be caught at long-off for 41. Later in the same over - the 39th of the innings - Johnson came around the wicket and knocked back the off stump of Ajantha Mendis to secure his first six-wicket haul in an ODI.
The fightback quickly fizzled out when Kulasekara (34) pulled to deep midwicket where a good catch low to the ground from Michael Hussey gave Brett Lee his 350th one-day international wicket. It was a fine way to finish the innings for Australia, who had lost the two Twenty20s under the captaincy of Cameron White but displayed a new-found spark in the 50-over format with Michael Clarke in charge.
The match had started so promisingly for Sri Lanka after Dilshan chose to bat. He and Upul Tharanga, who was returning after serving his three-month suspension for failing a drug test, put together a 54-run opening stand that featured some excellent drives, square and down the ground against the fast men.
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But the introduction of spin changed things, when Tharanga (34) tried to cut against the turn of Xavier Doherty and was bowled. Even the part-time spin of David Hussey tied Sri Lanka down, and Dilshan would have been frustrated at his dismissal, when he tried to lift Hussey over mid-off but failed to clear the field and was caught for 29.
That was the first wicket in a costly spell for Sri Lanka, in which they lost three wickets for 13 runs. That the other men to fall during that period were Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara was an enormous bonus for Australia. Jayawardene flashed at a wide one from Johnson and was caught low to the ground by Brad Haddin, eventually departing after the third umpire confirmed Haddin had got his gloves under the ball.
Johnson then deceived Sangakkara (16) with a good fullish slower ball that drew the batsman into a drive that lobbed to Steven Smith at short cover. And when Clarke hurled his left hand out to snare Chandimal for 12 off the bowling of Doug Bollinger, Sri Lanka were 101 for 5 and the contrast from the T20 series could not have been more plain.
Watch Live StreamingAnother two wickets to Johnson came soon after, and Sri Lanka's pain was compounded. A quick yorker rattled the stumps of Jeevan Mendis for 2, before Angelo Mathews had a brain-freeze and was caught at mid-off, trying to send Johnson to the boundary, and Shane Watson took the catch.
Like Dilshan, Mathews had thrown his wicket away, and it was left up to the Nos. 8 and 9 to rebuild. Randiv showed his intent with a wonderful six over long-off from the bowling of Johnson, and for a time Clarke seemed unsure how to prise Randiv and Kulasekara apart. Both men batted sensibly until Randiv holed out, and the end came quickly.
From where they were at the halfway point of the innings, 191 was not a bad result for Sri Lanka, but their spinners will need to cast a spell over Australia to secure victory. And as they showed in the T20s, that's an entirely possible scenario.