Wednesday, 6 July, 2022

Sri Lanka aim for back-to-back wins

Sri Lanka produced a stirring victory in game two to level the series thanks to an excellent bowling and fielding display. Australia collapsed under the pressure of a chase to lose 5 for 19 and be bowled out for just 189. It was Sri Lanka's spinners, in the absence of Wanindu Hasaranga, who sparked the collapse with Dhananjaya de Silva and Dunith Wellalage taking two wickets each before Chamika Karunaratne and Dushmantha Chameera tore through the lower order. Karunaratne took the key wicket of Glenn Maxwell and produced a fine run out to remove Alex Carey to finish player of the match. Adding salt into Australia's wounds, Steven Smith hurt his left quad while batting and is under a cloud heading into the 3rd ODI as the visitors' injury toll continues to mount, reports Cricinfo.

Sri Lanka will take a lot of confidence from their performance having won without Hasaranga. The successful use of Dhananjaya, particularly in the powerplay to Australia's openers, is a blueprint they will surely repeat again in this series. They do need more returns with the bat though as their entire top eight reached double figures but no one kicked on to make more than 36.

Australia are also frustrated that their top order were unable to kick on in Pallekele. David Warner and Smith both played well but made errors at important times.