About the Match
Sri Lanka registered a thumping win against Australia in the second test by 229 runs to wrap up a series win; the two teams will play the 3rd Test at Colombo starting from 13th August and although a dead rubber, Australia will try to redeem themselves with a win here. The Lankan spinners managed to demolish the Aussie batsmen in both matches so far and it needs to be seen if the visitors can formulate a better strategy to turn things around here; the contest will be eagerly fought and whichever team can dominate in all departments of the game will be better placed to win.
Spinner Dilruwan Perera’s amazing 10-wicket haul led to the Aussie defeat by 229 runs and he has been consistently performing well with his economical spells. Along with other spin specialists like Herath and Sandakan, who led the onslaught in the first test, Sri Lanka has proved to be a formidable force to reckon with. Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva bring variety to the attack and can use the home advantage to dominate yet again. Fast-bowler Nuwan Pradeep is doubtful for the last test due to injury and this might give youngsters like Vishwa Fernando a chance to showcase their abilities.
Perera’s all-rounder skills were on display when he scored a superb 64 off 89 in the 2nd innings of the last test and can help stabilize the middle order along with players like Chandimal, Dhananjaya and captain Mathews. Kusal Mendis is in good form as he posted a well-made 86 in the first innings while Kusal Perera and Mathews can build the foundation. Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva haven’t performed well in both the matches and they can try to do a better job in the upcoming game.
Overall, player morale is high and they will try to make this a 3-0 whitewash. With a power-packed spin attack and a good batting line-up that has stood strong, Sri Lanka looks tough to conquer.
The batting line-up yet again fell to the Lankan spin tactics and they will have to approach differently in the upcoming game if they want to score a face-saving win; with a 413 runs target to win, the Aussies top order collapsed like a pack of cards with Warner being the lone fighter as he scored 41 runs. Smith tried to revive the innings from the middle order but he too lost to Perera; the first innings was a horrific show as the entire batting line-up was trampled barring a few exceptions like Warner and Marsh but they were all-out for a humiliating 106 runs on board.
Batsmen like Khawaja, Voges and Burns can try to put their best foot forward here in order to combine with in-form Warner and Smith; the bowlers fought hard as Starc finished with 11 wickets in the second test while Hazlewood, Holland and spinner Nathan Lyon have been providing regular breakthroughs with pace and spin.
The bowling unit exudes confidence and they can definitely try to outwit the hosts provided they get better backing from the batsmen.
Having won the series already Sri Lanka will play freely without pressure but they won’t take the Aussies, who are capable of making a comeback, any lightly. Both teams have match-winners who can lift their team on the shoulders but Australia is not the team to be bogged down when having their back against the wall. We feel that Australia will bounce back and win this test here