Miserable captaincy return for Ricky Ponting as Sri Lanka crush Australia

 

Ricky Ponting's return to the Australia captaincy ended in a crushing
eight-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka following a rain-affected one-day
international in Sydney.

Sri Lanka secured their first win of the Commonwealth Bank Series in emphatic style as they first bowled Australia out for 158 before making light work of a revised chase.

Ponting's opposite number Mahela Jayawardene led the way with 61, from 66 balls, while Kumar Sangakkara became the third Sri Lankan to post 10,000 ODI runs as Sri Lanka got home with a massive 101 balls to spare.

It meant defeat for Ponting who, in the absence of the injured Michael Clarke, took over the captaincy for the first time since standing down after last year's World Cup.

The veteran endured a miserable day, adding just two to a poor series with the bat so far, although he looks set to get a chance at redemption against India on Sunday with Clarke revealing he is still struggling with a hamstring problem.

"I've got a little hamstring strain. It's on the mend. It's probably unlikely I'll be picked for Brisbane, though," he told Channel Nine.

"I've done a lot of work over the last couple of days and team physio Alex Kountouris would prefer me to rest but I'm not far away at all."

To further sour Australia's mood it was confirmed upcoming all-rounder Mitch Marsh looks set for a lengthy period on the sidelines after complaining of back pain in the SCG nets.

Sri Lanka were unconcerned by their hosts' travails, though, as they produced a bonus-point success to revive their bid to reach the final of the triangular tournament.

After sharing the wickets in an impressive display in the field, bowling out Australia for 158 with one ball left in a revised 41-over game, their batsmen opted for aggression.

The target was revised to 152 under the Duckworth-Lewis method and was always in hand when Jayawardene and former skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan crashed 74 inside the first 12 overs.

Dilshan thrashed 45 from 41 balls before he was caught at slip off Clint McKay, but Jayawardene made sure he guided his side home with a composed half-century.

Along the way Sangakkara (30) joined him in reaching 10,000 ODI runs, although the left-hander holed out off Brett Lee with just 20 needed.

Soon afterwards Jayawardene reached his 50, off 58 balls, before seeing out the win.

Earlier, Australia relied on David Hussey's battling 58 to give them any hope of victory.

Ponting's decision to bat first was immediately undermined as his side crashed to 88 for six before the rain break reduced the match to 41 overs.

Lasith Malinga made the initial breakthrough when he continued David Warner's run of low scores, the opener spooning a simple catch to Farveez Maharoof for 13.

Maharoof was in the thick of the action, claiming the wickets of Ponting, who he outfoxed with a slower ball he could only pat back, and Peter Forrest.

Forrest's stay was blighted also by a terrible mix-up which saw Matthew Wade run out while Mike Hussey edged behind off Angelo Mathews a ball after launching him for six.

Dan Christian was caught lbw by Perera just before the rain delay while Clint McKay and Brett Lee fell quickly after the restart.

Sri Lanka's only blip in the field was in dropping David Hussey twice, Malinga and Mathews the culprits, and while he embarked on a recovery mission of sorts, with 58 from 64 balls, it was not enough.

After the game Cricket Australia confirmed Clarke's absence in Brisbane and called up Twenty20 skipper George Bailey as a stand-by replacement.

"Michael Clarke is progressing well in his recovery from a right hamstring injury but remains unavailable for selection in Brisbane," Kountouris said.

"His availability for the ODI in Hobart will be determined early next week."

A statement from CA confirmed Bailey's call-up, saying: "George Bailey has been added to the Australian squad as a standby batsman for this match in Brisbane.

"While it is not ideal having to take George away from the Sheffield Shield match currently underway in Hobart, we feel it is important we have sufficient batting cover in our squad."

PA

Suggested Topics
News
peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
Voices
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum