Clarke blunder sends Australia stumbling to seventh straight defeat

Sri Lanka 213-3 Australia 210

In Perth the sun shone on England; in Sydney it rained on Australia.

With the Ashes only 19 days away, the home side have now entered a full-blown crisis after they were beaten again by Sri Lanka for the third time in a week in a rain-interrupted contest at the SCG, their seventh successive loss in all forms of the game. It is their worst run for 13 years.

It was another unwanted first for Ricky Ponting, already twice an Ashes losing skipper, as no Australian captain had ever lost a home one-day series against Sri Lanka before. The sense of gloom enveloping cricket Down Under is visibly taking its toll as only 11,495 Sydneysiders turned up to watch the day/night game, the ground's lowest attendance for a one-day international in 17 years.

Those that did attend witnessed another shambolic performance both in the field and with the bat. It was summed up by one farcical attempt to run out Upul Tharanga, Sri Lanka's top scorer. Michael Clarke, who was later to fail again with the bat, making 25, hurled the ball from close range at the stumps only to hit Shane Watson, leaving the Chieftain tank-sized all-rounder hoping around in pain as Tharanga scampered home.

Set a revised target of 244 from 39 overs, Australia never looked like chasing it down, Watson's 40 the top score. Ponting made 10 before falling to an attempted pull, a mode of dismissal that illustrates once more that time is slowly catching up with one of the modern-day greats.

Such is the concern with the captain's form that he will not play in Brisbane tomorrow in the final game of the series, in order to get some extra practice playing for Tasmania.

"There's a lot of doom and gloom around about this team and about Australian cricket, I think we all feel a lot more positive inside the dressing room compared to what it looks like from the outside," claimed Ponting afterwards. "But we can change what it looks like from the outside by starting winning games, we're all very aware of that. That's why I'm a bit disappointed about the result, I would have thought the guys would have bounced back a bit better. It's about time we got back to playing the brand of cricket we know we are capable of and if we do that I am sure we will win some games."

Greg Chappell, a member of Australia's selection panel (NSP), said: "As the series against Sri Lanka has been decided the NSP has an ideal opportunity to provide Ricky with two solid weeks of red-ball cricket. This allows him what we believe to be the best preparation to lead the Australian Test match team in Brisbane."

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week