December 12, 2017

Mathews and Malinga clobber Aussies

The winning smile. Malinga has got his going well but Mathews is still looking a bit serious.

Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga put on a world record ninth wicket partnership to carry Sri Lanka to a remarkable cricket victory over Australia.

Australia made 239-8 and had Sri Lanka down and out at 107-8. Aussie spinner Xavier Doherty was a star taking four wickets.

The Melbourne crowd were probably hoping that Malinga and Mathews might provide some fireworks before the inevitable defeat. What they got was a relentless dismantling of the Australian bowling attack.

Mathews (77 not out) and Malinga (56) put on 132 runs and brought the scores level before Mathews managed to get Malinga run out. There followed a nervous few balls as Muttiah Muralitharan ended up facing and thankfully for Sri Lanka hit the winning runs.

This has to be one of the most remarkable fightbacks in ODI history. As incredible as the Sri Lankan charge was, it has to be said that the ineptitude of the Australian bowling attack and Clarke’s captaincy in the latter overs was a factor.

Clarke persisted with pace even though he and Steve Smith were available. The pace bowlers persisted in bowling short which allowed both batsmen to get under the ball and hammer boundaries.

When Clarke eventually put himself on at the end he had the batsmen in trouble, missing and edging many of the deliveries.

Sri Lanka is now 1-0 up in the three match series and Australia has just tasted its sixth defeat in a row. In Australia’s defence they are distracted by the fast apporaching Ashes series with England and they were without Ricky Ponting.

Sri Lanka 9 for 243 (Mathews 77*, Malinga 56, Doherty 4-46) beat Australia 8 for 239 (Hussey 71*, Perera 5-46) by 1 wicket.