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Sri Lanka v Australia II ODI, Colombo - Preview

Mitchell Marsh sent home to recharge before South Africa series; Pradeep, Lakmal back in contention for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka v Australia II ODI, Colombo - Preview - Cricket News
A wobbly middle order will be among Australia’s primary concerns as it seeks to open up a commanding lead in the five-match One-Day International series against Sri Lanka.
 
Having squandered a comfortable position and eventually gotten over the line for a three-wicket win in the first game on Sunday, Australia will look for a more convincing all-round display in the second match, also at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, on Wednesday (August 24).
 
Sri Lanka had a fairly modest outing, only mustering 227 for 8 on being put in by Steven Smith and then allowing Australia to reach 190 for 3 towards the end of the 38th over through some sloppy fielding and ordinary bowling from its spinners. But once Smith was dismissed by Dilruwan Perera, Sri Lanka put the pressure on, picking up four wickets for 32 runs to create some artificial excitement before Mitchell Starc and James Faulkner, the bowling heroes, sealed the deal for the visitor.
 
For Sri Lanka, Amila Aponso, the debutant left-arm spinner, caught the eye on his way to 1 for 27 from his full complement, though Lakshan Sandakan, the chinaman bowler also on debut, and Dilruwan had less impressive outings though both were among the wickets.
 
David Warner is due a score. Another cheap dismissal on Sunday set Australia back at the start of its chase but Aaron Finch settled the nerves with a series of beefy strokes either side of the Warner dismissal on his way to a 46-ball 56. Smith top-scored with a stodgy 58 while Matthew Wade (26) and George Bailey (39) brought their experience into play.


 
In contrast to the Sri Lankans, who had just 12 overs of fast-medium bowling, Australia was heavily reliant on pace with Starc, Faulkner and Josh Hazlewood all bowling out and Moises Henriques chipping in with a further nine overs. That ploy paid handsome dividend for apart from Test heroes Kusal Mendis (67) and Dinesh Chandimal (80), no other batsman touched 25.
 
Faulkner did the bulk of the damage on his way to career-best figures of 4 for 38 that won him the Man of the Match award, while Starc became the quickest to 100 ODI wickets when, in his 52nd match, he got rid of Dhanajaya de Silva to supplant Saqlain Mushtaq’s 19-year-old record. The Pakistan offspinner had taken his 100th wicket in his 53rd ODI.
 
Australia used just 11 overs of spin with Adam Zampa, the leggie, conceding 34 in his seven overs and Travis Head, the occasional left-arm spinner, going for 18 in his four.
 
Sri Lanka was forced to make a change for the rest of the series after Nuwan Pradeep, the paceman, was ruled out with an aggravation of a hamstring strain just minutes before the toss on Sunday. His place has been taken by Angelo Perera, the 26-year-old middle-order batsman who played the last of his three ODIs against Bangladesh in February 2014.
 
Angelo Perera had initially been called up as cover for Mendis and/or Chandimal, who had sustained blows to the fingers and the ribcage respectively. Fortunately for Sri Lanka, both half-centurions from the previous game have been cleared fit to play.
 
Teams (from)
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (capt), Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dhananjaya de Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Avishka Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka, Angelo Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Dilruwan Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Lakshan Sandakan and Amila Aponso.

Australia: Steven Smith (capt), David Warner, George Bailey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Shaun Marsh, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade (wk), Adam Zampa.
 

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