Australia A thrash Sri Lanka - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Australia A thrash Sri Lanka

By Sam Lienert 07/01/2003 11:14:58 PM Comments (0)

The lights were hours from being turned on and those planning to head to the cricket after work were still at their desks when Australia A defeated Sri Lanka at Adelaide Oval.

The match was over by 5.16pm (AEDT) on Tuesday, just three hours and one minute after it started, including a 10-minute break between innings, as Australia's second-string side humiliated a self-destructing Sri Lanka by 10 wickets.

The tourists' inability to cope with a bouncy, but true, Adelaide pitch was exposed as they were skittled for 65 in just 25 overs, with veteran Hashan Tillakaratne (11) the only Sri Lankan batsman to reach double figures.

All-rounder Ian Harvey took the stunning figures of 3-2 from four overs, after opening bowlers Brad Williams and Nathan Bracken took two wickets each to lead the destruction.

In reply, Australia A openers Greg Blewett and Jimmy Maher both made 28 not out as their side reached the target in 11.5 overs and less than an hour, in one of the most emphatic victories imaginable.

Only an Australian Cricket Board (ACB) decision to stage a second, 25-overs-a-side exhibition match gave the 10,224-strong crowd and television viewers the chance to see cricket under lights.

Unfortunately for Sri Lanka, it also gave them a chance to record another loss.

In the second match, Australia made 171, Andrew Symonds starring with 81 from 59 balls, before Sri Lanka made 8-146 in reply.

Sri Lanka's performance provided little hope it could improve its winless record so far in the tri-series against Australia and England, when the competition resumes with Sri Lanka meeting Australia at the SCG on Thursday.

Australia A captain Darren Lehmann said he was surprised at how difficult Sri Lanka found batting on what he thought was a good pitch.

"Adelaide Oval's not traditionally a fast wicket, when we get on some fast wickets obviously we play really well against them, but they didn't play well at all today," Lehmann said.

Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya was also baffled.

"It was very disappointing, especially the batting, nobody seemed to occupy the crease today, it was a big problem," Jayasuriya said.

"We need some confidence in our batting, we need the batsmen to get some runs."

Remarkably, Sri Lanka's total could easily have been far lower, if not for some wayward bowling in the early overs by Williams and Bracken, with several wides which went to the boundary contributing to the 26 extras, by far the biggest component of the meagre total.

That saved Sri Lanka from recording its lowest ever limited overs score, which was 55 against the West Indies in Sharjah in 1986/87.

In some positive news, star off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan is expected to play on Thursday, after recovering from a hernia operation.

But Lehmann, who is recovering from a bacterial infection, said he was very tired after the match and not sure whether he would return to the Australian side on Thursday.

"We'll just have to wait and see really, see what the doctors say," he said.

"I had some more blood tests today ... I won't know until the team's announced on Thursday, I suppose."

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