The high scoring ODI opener that Australia prevailed over Sri Lanka beating down a 300 total has generated a momentum build up as the two sides renew rivalry again in the hill climes of the Pallekelle International Stadium in the second of the best of five on Wednesday. While the Lankans whipped up the starter to adrenaline pumping high drama by that sky high target, that Aaron Finch’s Aussies went the extra mile to coming thumbs was insulating cricket.
Of course, full marks to Skipper Dasun Shanaga’s batsmen for taking apart the highly professional Aussie bowling attack. While the Lankan bowling attack was put to sword by the blade of pinch hitting Glen Maxwell,.that the Aussie run machine came good with the likes of star batsman Steve Smith holding forth to paving victory made the difference between the two sides in the final analysis.
The defeat from the high glow of a maximum run harvest will certainly be business the Lankan camp will need to address as to bridging an obvious gap between the two sides. It will demand new options for Shanaka and his players to explore primarily in the bowling department which sagged in the critical stage that saw Australia, on the ropes on 250 odd for 8, recover in the face of Maxwell’s onslaught.
During that Maxwell cameo no bowler was spared with Hasaranga and strike bowler Dushmantha Chameera and Hasaranga taking a bad beating. It has put pressure on the Lankans to getting their act right in the death overs where the Australians have underlined a decisive edge as Shanaka and company strive to come back to sound the winning board to equalling the series. Therein, today’s day-night encounter will be decisive for the hosts to stopping the strong Aussies going 2-up to staying in contention on an equal keel where Sri Lanka will have to make up for the handicap of their prime wicket taker Wanindu Hasaranga’s absence through injury.
On that note it is relevant as to asking why the fast the most economical bowler Chamika Karunaratne was brought on just four overs despite his varied slowing down pace which was a let off to the Australians?