Match Preview - Australia vs Sri Lanka at Melbourne, CB Series 2012
Had Kohli not scored his career best innings of 133* and helped India reach the target within 40 overs in the last match, Friday’s match between Australia and Sri Lanka would have served as nothing but a warm up match before the all important best-of-3 finals. But it isn’t. It is a decisive game for Sri Lanka. Their motive will be simple, win the match and book a place in finals. On the other hand, back at home, millions of Indian fans will be supporting Australia in the match, despite Australia thrashing India throughout the tour. An open spot up for grabs till the last league match clearly indicates the competition among the teams in the Tri-series. Sri Lanka were initially hurt by some close losses against Australia and India. But after that, they picked themselves to boost their team up in Tri-series. They were clearly peaking at the right time until they met India at Hobart. Malinga had a day that he will never forget. Quoted as Best ‘Death Bowler’, Malinga looked like a shadow of himself in Tuesday’s match. He would like to put all those bad hours behind him and would like to start on a positive note. On the other hand, Australia’s bowling line up can avail the services of James Pattinson, who was called as a cover-up for Ryan Harris. Stand-in Skipper Shane Watson was off-colour in the first match. Having received the Allan Border medal for best T20I and ODI player category, Watson would be keen to start on a high note.
Ground: Melbourne Cricket Ground,
Timings: 0850 hrs IST
Channels Telecasting: Star Cricket, Star Cricket HD, ESPN
Australia v Sri Lanka at Hobart
Aus 280/6 (50) | SL 283/7(49.2) | SL won by 3 wickets
Probable Playing XI:
1 David Warner, 2 Shane Watson (c), 3 Peter Forrest, 4 Michael Hussey, 5 David Hussey, 6 Matthew Wade (wk), 7 Daniel Christian, 8 James Pattinson, 9 Xavier Doherty ,10 Brett Lee, 11 Clint McKay.
1 Mahela Jayawardene (c), 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Lahiru Thirimanne, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Sachithra Senanayake, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Rangana Herath.
Players to watch out for:
Peter Forest: He is the find for Australia in this tour
Mahela Jayawardene: Despite looking good many times, he only has two half-centuries to his name in this series. He’ll be looking for a big score at the top of the order.