Recent Match Report – Sri Lanka vs Australia 1st Test 2022
Tea Australia 233 for 5 (Khawaja 71, Green 48*, Carey 43*, Ramesh 2-74) lead Sri Lanka 212 (Dickwella 58, Mathews 39, Lyon 5-90, Swepson 3-55) by 21 runs
Khawaja made an outstanding 71 and shared a 57-run stand with Green before Carey and Green bettered it with a fabulous unbeaten 76-run partnership from just 80 balls to take Australia into the interval 21 ahead. Green looked increasingly assured on 48 not out at tea while Carey’s sweeping masterclass yielded a run-a-ball unbeaten 43.
Play on day two was delayed by 3 hours and 45 minutes after a storm had thrashed Galle international stadium overnight. The roof collapsed on one temporary stand while a pane of glass was blown over on another tent. Several camera structures were damaged as was the sightscreen.
The players arrived to see the ground entirely covered and soaked by the rain. The Australian team briefly contemplated leaving the venue and heading back to the hotel but the clouds parted and the strong winds dried the ground quickly as play started at 1.45pm local time, with 59 overs scheduled for the day across two sessions.
But where Head looked all at sea without a paddle, Khawaja and Green brought out their brooms and executed their plans to perfection. They rotated the strike with ease using crisp, precise footwork and sharp decision-making. Both men moved up and down the crease in addition to consistently sweeping to not allow Sri Lanka’s spinners to settle on a length or line.
Khawaja cracked two magnificent slog sweeps forward of square, while Green unveiled a superb sweep of his own to dissect two men in the deep and showcase the power of work he had done in the lead-up to this series.
The strong wind did not help Sri Lanka’s spinners settle but the surface was still playing tricks and the Australians needed some luck. Green survived a very close lbw shout sweeping at the wrong length from Ramesh. He was given not out and survived a razor thin review. He was hit in line and the ball was clipping leg stump, but the umpire’s call stood. He also could have been stumped two overs later when an offbreak from Ramesh ragged through the gate after he skipped down but it spun too sharply for keeper Niroshan Dickwella and ran away for four byes.
Khawaja was beaten repeatedly but he cleverly played for the ball that didn’t turn and never followed it as it exploded past his outside edge from a surface that is crumbling by the hour.
But Carey upped the ante from the moment he walked out. He reverse swept his first ball and scored off 11 of his first 12 deliveries, including a stunning reverse sweep for four in front of point against the turn of Vandersay.
Carey’s relentless sweeping could not be contained as Green calmly fed him the strike. Dimuth Karunaratne turned back to the pace of Asitha Fernando in the 45th over for just his second over of the match. Carey slapped him twice contemptuously through cover for four.
Australia raced past 200 inside 47 overs and into the lead two overs later. Green played one of the shots of the day, skipping down to Vandersay to whip him against the turn wide of mid-on. Carey then delivered another outrageous reverse sweep to find the rope.