About the Match
Sri Lanka scored an emphatic and historic win in the first test by defeating Australia only the second time in this format of the game; the victory came after 17 years and the hosts have received a major morale boost, which will propel them to fight harder when they meet the Aussies for the 2nd Test at Galle from 4th August. The Aussies struggled against the Lankan spinners and in the end surrendered to a 106-run defeat; but they will make amends and try to make a comeback here. Sri Lanka on the other hand witnessed something special in the performance of its youngsters and they will be eager to continue with their winning momentum.
After struggling in the test format for several months now, Sri Lanka registered a much-needed win and it came against the No.1 side Australia; Herath was exceptional with 9 wickets in total and he bowled his heart out with reigned control and discipline, giving away less than 2 runs per over. Young debutante left-arm chinaman Sandakan was a revelation as he claimed 7 wickets with his wrist-spin and can definitely repeat the magic yet again in the upcoming match. Nuwan Pradeep may be out of action in the second test, in which case others like Perera, Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva can try to outwit the Aussie batsmen with their variations.
Kusal Mendis was brilliant with the bat as he posted a superb 176 from 254 deliveries; Chandimal, Dhananjaya and Herath played useful knocks, helping set up a 268-run target for the Aussies in the second innings. Others like Mathews, Karunaratne, Kusal Perera and Kaushal Silva will need to pull up their socks and try to build steady partnerships here.
The bowlers have lifted the spirits of the team and they can surely inspire the batsmen too to put up a challenging fight against the Aussie speedsters; overall, their never-say-die attitude helped them win the first test and they can come back stronger in the upcoming game.
While the bowlers did a marvelous job by providing regular breakthroughs in both innings of the first test, the batsmen failed to impress both times being unable to face the Lankan spinners successfully. Smith was the lone fighter in the 2nd innings with a well-made 55 and the others couldn’t build the required foundation in the chase for 268 runs.
In the first innings, the middle –order tried hard to challenge the hosts with players like Voges, Khawaja, Mitchell Marsh and Smith trying to keep the scoreboard ticking but they didn’t apply themselves well enough and got all-out by the 80th over.
Starc is in very good form as seen from his 6-wicket haul and he will lead the pace attack along with others like Hazlewood, who has been consistently taking wickets. Steve O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon provide the spin tactics and they did well in the first match too, taking 3 and 5 wickets each. Their bowling unit can rescue the team from crunch situations and they will try to improve with bat too.
The hosts lead the series 1-0 and their confidence is high presently with the win; however, Australia won’t take the defeat lying low and we think that they'll surely make a comeback here with a win