Match preview – Australia vs Sri Lanka, second CB Series final
Australians are known to raise their game up a few notches when it matters the most and for most of the first CB Series final in Brisbane, they were the better team. But for once the ruthless Aussies let their guards down and the Sri Lankan tail gave them a real scare, almost pulling off an improbable win. With very little to choose between the two teams, the action now moves to Adelaide for the second final on Tuesday. While Australia will like to seal the series with a win here to cap off a brilliant summer, the Lankans will look to bounce back and take the draw to the decider.
Despite the scare, the hosts are likely to field the same playing XI at Adelaide. The batting, after an indifferent start to the series, has peaked at the right time and it’s hard to find a weak link in it. Once again the start provided by Mathew Wade and David Warner will be crucial before the experienced lot of Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey and David Hussey take over. Speedster Brett Lee, back from an injury break was very much among the wickets and once again he will be the spearhead of the Aussie attack. James Pattinson and Ben Hilfenhaus had combined figures of 0/95 in 9 overs at Brisbane but given their form throughout the summer it is highly unlikely that either of the two would be dropped. A big positive for the home side has been the effectiveness of non regular bowlers – like Daniel christian, Shane Watson and David Hussey, who have filled in brilliantly for the under performing frontline bowlers.
But for the huge effort by the late order, Sri Lanka looked listless in Brisbane. Their attack seems to be too dependent on the inconsistent Lasith Malinga and the unbalance created by the absence of allrounders Angelo Mathews and Thisira Parera was clearly visible. While it is certain that Parera will not take any further part in the CB Series, Mathews might get back to the playing XI instead of Upul Tharanga. With the wicket at the Adelaide Oval expected to be a dry and on the slower side, skipper Mahela Jayawardene might prefer going in with two spinners, Rangana Herath and Sachitra Senanayake. As far as batting is concerned, the Lankans have done pretty well in the tournament but as it happened in Brisbane, while chasing the top order collapsed under pressure. Once again it will be the old guards Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakarra who will be key to how Sri Lanka fares with the bat.
Ground: The Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
Timings: 0850 hrs IST
Channels Telecasting: Star Cricket, Star Cricket HD, ESPN
Australia vs Sri Lanka at Brisbane
Aus 321/6 ( 50) | SL 306 allout (49.2 ) | Australia won by 15 runs
Probable Playing XI
1 Matthew Wade (wk), 2 David Warner, 3 Shane Watson, 4 Michael Clarke (c) 5 Michael Hussey, 6 David Hussey, 7 Daniel Christian, 8 James Pattinson, 9 Xavier Doherty ,10 Ben Hilfenhaus, 11 Brett Lee
1 Mahela Jayawardene (c), 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Lahiru Thirimanne, 6 Angelo Mathews/Upul Tharanga, 7 Fervez Maharoof 8 Nuwan Kulasekara,9 Sachitra Senanayake 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Rangana Herath
Players to Watch out for:
David Warner: After getting his maiden ODI ton, his confidence will be sky high and with a flat track at Adelaide on offer, he would be looking for another long stay at the wicket.
Kumar Sangakarra: The elegant left hander has been in good touch in the series but save the hundred against India at Hobart, Sangakarra hasn’t done much of note. With the series at stake, the second final gives him the perfect platform to make an impact.