4th ODI Cricket Preview – Sri Lanka v Australia
Wednesday August 31, 7:00pm AEST – Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium
Plenty of critics were out in force by the decision of the Australian selectors to send skipper Steve Smith home early from Sri Lanka with the ODI series in the balance, but the Australian side responded with a two-wicket win to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
David Warner looked composed in his first International match as captain, but would have once again liked a better return with the bat. Meanwhile, Australia’s most experienced ODI player George Bailey was instrumental in the victory with a well-composed 70 and received good support from Matthew Wade (42) and Travis Head (36). The issues with the top order continue to be a problem for Darren Lehman’s men!
Sri Lanka could only post a modest total of 226 despite the best efforts of Dinesh Chandimal (102) and it proved to be the main factor in the match. Chandimal now has scores of 102, 48, 80*, 53, 63, 62 and 52 in his last eight innings and will be a key figure once again if Sri Lanka is to keep the series alive.
Australia recorded the victory on the back of their bowlers to restrict Sri Lanka’s total with leg-spinner Adam Zampa leading the way with 3/38 and is also the fourth-leading wicket-taker in the series behind James Faulkner, Mitchell Starc and Amila Aponso.
The issue for Australia other than their headaches against the turning ball, is their ability to make smaller run-chases a tricky task. They were cruising at 4/187 with Bailey and Wade set at the crease, before the spinners intervened to almost pull off an unlikely victory. Sri Lanka simply needed a bigger score to bowl to from their batsmen and Chandimal needed better support from the top order, despite the best efforts of the outgoing Tillakaratne Dishan (42).
The Wolf feels like the Sri Lankan spinners can bounce back in this match being played at the Dambulla International Stadium – the same venue as the 3rd ODI, especially with wicketkeeper-batsman Wade the current top scoring batsman for the series for Australia.
The series is on the line and if Sri Lanka’s batsmen pull their weight, the spinners will do the rest against the shaky Australians.
Match Result – Sri Lanka ($2.20)
Sri Lanka Most Runs – Dinesh Chamdimal ($4)
Australia Most Runs – George Bailey ($5)
Sri Lanka Most Wickets – Amila Aponso ($3.75)
Australia Most Wickets – Adam Zampa ($4)
Best Bet – Sri Lanka ($2.20)