All bow for the Honourable Mr Warner – Australia’s 23rd ODI captain. Given his form captaining Sunrisers Hyderabad to the IPL title in May, you can’t say he hasn’t deserved this opportunity.
ODI 2 – Colombo
Sri Lanka win by 82 runs
One to forget for the boys in yellow. Despite yet another toss loss, Australia had the hosts on the ropes at 2-12 in the fourth over, with GOAT Lyon sharing the new rock with Mitch Starc.
From there, the increasingly impressive Sri Lankan middle order got on top, through the Kusals (Mendis and Perera), captain and vice-captain.
Zamps claimed 3-42 from his ten and bowled a great spell in the middle overs, getting 3-27 from seven overs.
Following on from a career best in the first ODI, Faulks snared the first ODI hat-trick of his career with the scalps of Kusal Perera, Angelo Matthews and Thisara Perera over two overs. Most viewers were unaware and the commentators almost forgot, but the Taswegian certainly celebrated accordingly.
The run-chase of 289 never looked likely especially with Warner and Finch gone within four overs.
Skipper Smith got to 30 before hitting out. He left the field and the country in one swift, but bizarre move.
Matty Wade showed excellent application and grafted his way to a career best 76, while Travis Head also hit a PB before hitting it straight to Dilscoop on 31.
ODI 3 – Dambulla
Australia win by 2 wickets
Guess what? The Aussies lost the toss again, although they cunningly tried to trick the cricket gods by installing a new captain.
However, Dambulla presented a pitch that offered far more assistance for the pace bowler, which saw the inclusions of the Hoff and the Duke (not a Hollywood movie duo).
Dinesh Chandimal batted superbly and thoroughly deserved his hundred, his first against Australia and his first in Sri Lanka.
A really good all-round bowling performance from Australia’s attack (Zamps with another three wickets!) restricted the Lankans to only 226.
Dilscoop departed the crease for the final time via a rank full toss but was given a standing ovation regardless. And rightfully so, too.
I thought Warner’s captaincy was very good. His fielding positions always had a wicket in mind and he juggled the bolwers pretty well too, including Starc, who he utilised through the middle overs.
The green and gold entered the chase positively, but quickly had to rethink that strategy at 3-44. Gorgeous George (isn’t he just adorable) and Trav Head (maturity beyond his years) got the reply back on track.
A late collapse almost cocked things up for the tourists but a certain leg-spinner hit the winning runs with composure and grace. Well, sort of.
Honourable mention to Wade for another important contribution. Let’s hope that his doubters (which has included myself on many occasions) have been watching.
2-1 up in the series. Wrap it up boys!