Aussie frailties exposed before rain intervenes

Reuters and AFP, SYDNEY

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 - Page 19

The fourth one-day international between Australia and Sri Lanka was abandoned due to rain and a wet outfield yesterday, but not before the hosts’ batting frailties were exposed again.

Bowled out for 74 inside 27 overs on Friday in Brisbane, Australia wobbled again before reaching 222-9 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Mitchell Starc hit a career-best 52 not out off 37 balls to lead a recovery from 130-6 and Sri Lanka were 14 for no loss in 3.2 overs before rain forced the umpires to take the players off.

The match was abandoned two hours later.

Phillip Hughes fell in the second over, caught behind off seamer Nuwan Kulasekara for 1.

Lasith Malinga came on in the sixth over and Australia were soon in trouble, the paceman trapping Clarke LBW for 20.

He then had David Hussey caught in the slips to leave Australia 53-3 in the 13th over.

George Bailey dug in and made 22, only to lob spinner Rangana Herath straight to Thisara Perera at mid-on and David Warner fell to a bad decision from umpire Marais Erasmus. Television replays showed a thick inside edge on to his pad off Herath.

Moises Henriques had only 3 to his name when Herath hit his pads and Paul Reiffel missed another inside edge when giving him out.

Malinga did not need any help with another LBW though as he trapped Mitchell Johnson with a scorcher and Matthew Wade skied an Angelo Mathews delivery straight to Kulasekara at third man for 31.

Clint McKay went to a slower Kulasekara delivery for 2, but paceman Starc showed his 22 not out in a total of just 74 in Brisbane on Friday was no fluke as he blasted 52 not out off 37 balls.