Finch, Head cameos help Aussie post 291 runs


Cameos from skipper Aaron Finch and Travis Head helped Australia set a target of 292 for Sri Lanka in the third One Day International at RPS yesterday. 

Australia were off to a poor start as their in-form batter David Warner was sent packing in the third over, courtesy of an excellent bouncer from Dushmantha Chameera which Warner attempted to pull towards forward of square, but the ball flew off a top edge to fine leg where Theekshana completed the job.

After the early breakthrough Australia, looked to build their innings with skipper Aaron Finch and Mitchell Marsh in the middle, but young Dunith Wellalage rose to the task as he claimed the wicket of Mitchell Marsh (10) in the 11th over to pin Australia back early in their innings.

With Australia reeling at 2-47 and 12 overs done and dusted, Finch together with Marnus Labuschagne added a 69-run partnership for the third wicket. Leading from the front, Finch went onto score 62 runs off 85 deliveries including 5 boundaries and a six to revive their innings, while Marnus played a supportive role with a watchful 29 runs off 36 deliveries.

At a time Australia looked settled in the middle, Jeffrey Vandersay struck with a double blow when he sent set batters Finch and Marnus in quick succession to halt Australia’s charge.

With two new batters at the crease (Alex Carey and Travis Head), Sri Lanka had another golden chance to add salt to Australia’s wound, but they missed a trick in the 31st over by not reviewing a LBW, which if they did, would have been the end of Head’s innings.

Taking the maximum of the given opportunity, Head went onto to score 70 runs off 65 balls including 3 boundaries and 3 sixes. He was well supported by wicket keeper Alex Carey (49 off 51).

The duo engaged in a 72 run partnership for the fifth wicket until Dhananjaya de Silva got the breakthrough in the 40th over, when attempted sweep shot struck Carey plumb in front to end his innings 1 run short of a well-deserved half century.

With 10 overs left, Glenn Maxwell was given a life off the second ball he faced when he mistimed a lofted inside out over cover, where Dhananjaya ran back from the circle and got both hands to it but couldn’t hold on as he hit the ground to pin drop silence in the packed stadium.

Maxwell in the middle has always been a threat to the Lankans, which he proved once again, smashing the ball all over the park to score a quick 33 runs off 18 deliveries. However, the Lankans had the last laugh as the explosive batter was caught at mid-on off Jeffrey Vandersay’s bowling, when Dunith Wellalage ran back from the circle to complete a fantastic catch.

With 4 overs left the visitors added another 48 runs to post a fighting 292 runs in their allotted 50 overs.

Jeffrey Vandersay was the pick of the bowlers claiming 3 wickets.



D Warner c Theekshana b Chameera              09

A Finch c de Silva b Vandersay                        62

M Marsh c Mendis b Wellalage                         10

M Labuschagne st †Dickwella b Vandersay     29

A Carey lbw de Silva                                          49

T Head not out                                                    70

G Maxwell c Wellalage b Vandersay                33

C Green not out                                                   15

Extras (b 5, lb 4, nb 3, w2)                                 14

Total (50 overs)                                             291-6

Fall of wickets: 1-14 (David Warner, 2.3 ov), 2-47 (Mitchell Marsh, 10.3 ov), 3-116 (Marnus Labuschagne, 24.2 ov), 4-121 (Aaron Finch, 26.4 ov), 5-193 (Alex Carey, 39.6 ov), 6-233 (Glenn Maxwell, 44.3 ov)

Bowling: Jeffrey Vandersay 10-0-49-3, Dunith Wellalage 10-0-56-1, Dhananjaya de Silva 6-0-35-1, Dushmantha Chameera 8-0-49-1

(Pix by Kelum Chamara)

By Mustaq Sydeen from R. Premadasa Stadium