2nd ODI Cricket Preview – Sri Lanka v Australia
Wednesday August 24, 7:00pm AEST – R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Australia bounced back from their disappointing 3-0 Test series loss to Sri Lanka by winning the first of five ODIs against Angelo Mathews’ men. Both sides were critical of the wicket at the R.Premadasa Stadium with the ball turning square and breaking through the surface on occasions. Australia restricted Sri Lanka to a modest total of 8/227 courtesy of good spells by James Faulkner (4/38) and Mitchell Starc (3/32). The turning point for Sri Lanka was the period which saw them slip from 2/124 to 5/132, despite the best efforts of wicketkeeper batsman Dinest Chandimal (80*) to post a competitive total. Not only was Australia’s victory set up by Faulkner’s bowling, but the efforts of Aaron Finch at the top of the order against the new ball. He blasted 56 off 46 balls to ensure Australia was in a strong position before Sri Lanka’s spinners took control in the spin-friendly conditions. Finch was well supported by Steve Smith (58) as Australia did enough to record a three-wicket victory.
The upcoming 2nd ODI will be played at the same venue and while the pitch might not be as dry, it will definitely offer assistance to the spinners. Sri Lanka has won 6 of the past 10 matches at the R.Premadasa Stadium and will most likely stack their side with spinners once again. 6 of the 7 Australian wickets in the 1st ODI were taken by spinners with Dilruwan Perera leading the way with 3/48. He was well-supported by debutants and fellow spinners Lakshan Sandakan (2/33) and Amila Aponso (1/27).
Sri Lanka represent great value at $2.75 in this match, especially with Australia’s well-documented issues with spin as highlighted by the recent Test series. There’s no doubt Australia will try to explore similar tactics to the 1st ODI and give David Warner and Aaron Finch a free licence to attack the new ball and make the job easier for the middle order against the turning ball. It’s a game plan that is good in theory but hard to replicate especially in the conditions of the subcontinent.
The Wolf thinks the home side has more weapons at their disposal, and despite the loss in the opening ODI, will rebound on the back of their Test series whitewash.
Match Result – Sri Lanka ($2.75)
Sri Lanka Most Runs – Kusal Mendis ($5)
Australia Most Runs – George Bailey ($6.50)
Sri Lanka Most Wickets – Amila Aponso ($5.50)
Australia Most Wickets – Mitchell Starc ($3)
Best Bet – Sri Lanka ($2.75)