Victorians destroy Sri LankaArunava Das |
The Victorian Bushrangers, led by fringe paceman Allan Wise, destroyed the Sri Lankans at the Central Reserve.
The match was the first ever List-A fixture for the ground, and close to 5000 people attended what they hoped would be a cracking contest. Unfortunately for the largely Sri Lankan supporting crowd, their team was routed for only 120 mostly because of a brilliant performance by left-arm pace bowler Allan Wise of 5/27 in 8 overs. Due to overnight and early morning rain, play was delayed leading to the match being shortened to 40 overs per innings.
The Sri Lankans began poorly, losing Tharanga in the first over. The rest of the top order soon followed, leaving Sri Lanka in a precarious position at 6/57. It was then down to Sangakkara to lead a brief revival with all-rounder Farveez Maharoof. They put on 43 on 75 balls before was caught behind for 20. From there on, Sangakkara did his best to push things forward but with only the tail for company he fell for 33, leaving Extras as the top scorer with 34, including 25 wides, out of a total of 120.
The Victorian run-chase started similarly to the Sri Lankan innings, with Moss departing in the first over. Soon after, Hussey was caught in the deep off the bowling of Fernando for 9 leaving the Bushrangers 2/29 and the Sri Lankans saw a glimmer of hope. The new batsman, skipper Cameron White rode his luck caught first ball off a no-ball and was gone soon after mistiming a hook to fine leg.
However, that glimmer of hope evaporated with an unbeaten 77 run partnership between Klinger and McDonald. The pair began slowly but as the target came within reach, McDonald in particular opened up with 2 sixes to finish unbeaten on 45 off only 43 balls. At the other end, Klinger scored an unbeaten 51 and the Victorian Bushrangers ended up victorious by 7 wickets, achieving the target in only 24.3 overs.
The Sri Lankans will be very disappointed with such an emphatic loss to the Victorians. Both sides were resting some key players, with Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas not playing for Sri Lanka while the Vics did not play Shane Warne, Brad Hodge or Mick Lewis. Sri Lanka will need to quickly improve if they are to compete in their first VB Series match at the Telstra Dome on the 13th of January.
Sri Lankans 120
KC Sangakkara 33, MF Maharoof 20
AB Wise 5/27, GP Lindsay 2/10
M Klinger 51*, AB McDonald 45*
CRD Fernando 2/34
Victoria won by 7 wickets
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