Sri Lanka flatter then flop as Australia stifle a likely challenge – BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE (eLanka Sports editor)

Sri Lanka flatter then flop as Australia stifle a likely challenge – BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE (eLanka Sports editor)

Trevine Rodrigo | elankaSri Lanka threatened to end Australia’s campaign with an opening stand of 125. Then in familiar fashion collapsed dramatically to get run over, ending any hope of making it through to the second round. 

From a position of strength set up by Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Perera, the Lankans fell in a heap to be bowled out for a well under par 209.

Adam Zampa showed Sri Lanka’s inability to handle spin grabbing four wickets. He was well supported by Mitchell Stark and Pat Cummins who completed the Sri Lanka rout as wickets tumbled at a regular stream. 

Australia chased  down the required target after an early scare losing 2 for 24 as Dilshan Madushanka and Dunith Wellelage showed some fight with the ball.

Mitchell Marsh, 52 off 57, Josh Inglis 58 off 59, Manus Labuschagne 40 off 60 balls and Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stonis cruised to the target with little effort in 35.2 overs.

The focus was on Kusal Mendis proving the best successor to injured Dasun Shanaka. But it was same old, same old, as they  folded in predictable fashion to get overrun by teams better prepared to challenge the best. Captaincy is definitely not their success issues. Overall performance is.

Three thrashings have confirmed that Sri Lanka have blown their chances of making an impression in this edition and they can only hope to perhaps win one or two games.  At this stage even that seems unlikely. 

The focus should be on inconsistency issues particularly among the batters. The bowling has been understandably highlighted to be mediocre due to injuries to key players.

After a stellar performance by Nissanka and Kusal Perera, Sri Lanka fell to a well orchestrated Australian ploy as first Nissanka fell to a brilliant catch in the outfield by David Warner then Pat Cummins clean bowled Kusal Perera. It followed a stready procession as Skipper Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrema were outdone by clever bowling which let Australia back into the contest.

Rain then intervened to make it a calculated decision maker. Both teams were then in a situation of hope that the rules will decide the outcome. 

Not so,  as Sri Lanka lived upto all expectations, falling in a heap showing how far they are from the best. They were bowled out in 43.3 overs.

While teams like Afganistan with no proper structure have shown that they are not overawed by reputation,  Sri Lanka have no clue against anyone at this stage. Their game plan is not in the realistic stratosphere. 

From 125 for 0 to 204 for 9 is an ample indication of Sri Lanka’s batting woes. Dasun Shanaka had no big hand in it apart from his own failures. 

Sri Lanka have over a long period, have proved to be the worst Asian team against spin much against all expectations. 

There’s something about their coaching techniques that throw up questions about their batting ability against spin and set them apart from the rest of Asia..

They will Live in hope of turning things around in the games ahead.  Their fans are definitely not holding their breath for it to get any better. 

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