Sri Lanka 294 (Lahiru Thirimanne 91, Mahela Jayawardene 72, Jackson Bird 4-41, Mitchell Starc 3-71) vs. Australia
The pace attack of Australia once again ruled the opening day by dismissing Sri Lanka besides courageous fifties from Lahiru Thirimanne and Mahela Jayawardene.
Sri Lanka scored 294 runs when they were bowled out in their first innings after using 87.4 overs.
The third and final Test commenced on January 3, 2013, at the famous Sydney Cricket Ground.
Earlier, Michael Clarke won the toss for Australia and sent Sri Lanka in to bat and the innings was opened by Dimuth Karunaratne and Tillakaratne Dilshan. The first two overs produced four runs as Dilshan hit 3 fours in the following overs. The first wicket fell at 26 when Karunaratne was gone for just five runs and he was replaced by the Islanders’ skipper, Mahela Jayawardene. The latter was dropped by Michael Hussey in the slip off Peter Siddle at four on the first ball of the 11th over. The 16th over witnessed the first fifty of the innings as Jayawardene and Dilshan started playing their shots.
The score reached 72 after 21 overs as Tillakaratne Dilshan was caught behind by the wicket keeper Matthew Wade off Jackson Bird for 34. Lahiru Thirimanne walked in next as Jayawardene hit a couple of fours in the 27th over. Thirimanne followed him with the same result four overs later as the score moved past the hundred runs mark. Mahela Jayawardene attained his 44th Test fifty on the second ball of the 36th over with a four and that was his first half century on foreign soil nearly after three years. He continued his aggressive innings by dispatching 1 six and 1 four in the 42nd over as Thirimannae secured his end without any panic.
The score was enhanced to 134 when Mahela Jayawardene was caught by Clarke in the first slip off Starc for 72 from 110 balls with 1 six and 12 fours. Lahiru Thirimanne played an anchor’s role and crafted his innings nicely as the visitors touched 169 runs in 54 overs after losing four wickets at tea interval. Angelo Matthews got together with Thirimanne who achieved his 2nd Test fifty in his 8th Test in the 57th over. Thirimanne added 2 fours in the 62nd over as the score board displayed 206 runs after that over. He tasted the first six of his innings four overs later as Angelo Mathews became the next victim after scoring 15 runs.
Lahiru Thirimanne changed his gears again by getting another 2 fours in the 71st over as Dinesh Chandimal joined in next with him. Chandimal got into rhythm by gathering 2 fours in the following over as Lahiru Thirimanne was unluckily caught nine runs short of his maiden Test ton by David Warner at cover point off Nathan Lyon. He got 91 runs from 151 deliveries with the assistance of 1 six and 13 fours. Dinesh Chandimal scored 24 runs as the lower order batting crumbled against the quality pace attack of the Kangaroos. The innings of the Lankan Lions was folded back for 294 runs after they utilized 87.4 overs.
Jackson Bird was the highest wicket taker with four, Mitchell Starc held three, Peter Siddle two whereas Nathan Lyon claimed one wicket.
Sri Lanka has scored a reasonable total and they have to get back in the match with their calculated bowling by shrugging off the strong and in form Australian batting line up.