Sri Lanka v Australia, 5th ODI – Sunday 4th September at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium
With a double victory in Dambulla, the touring Australia side sealed a much needed ODI series win earlier this week. With an unassailable 3-1 lead with one to play, the hosts will be keen to ensure they don’t lose any more momentum after the Test series white wash before next weeks two t20 internationals that conclude the tour. Sri Lanka will likely be missing skipper Angelo Mathews from this fixture who returned to the crease after retiring hurt in Wednesday’s defeat – expect in form Dinesh Chandimal to stand in as captain – meaning both Steve Smith and Mathews who started the series in charge will be absent come the conclusion.
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Palekelle, or Kandy, is high up in the Sri Lankan hills and has a tropical climate that can bring rain throughout the year. Luckily early morning showers should have passed through before this day-night affair begins.
Sri Lanka have won five of the last six ODI’s here whilst Australia won their only ODI at Pallekele, played back in 2011.
Here is a list of recent first innings scores made at Pallekele going back to November 2012, not including two rain reduced innings –
287, 292, 239, 267, 238, 223, 302, 250 – Average 262
First Innings Runs
Here is a list of the last eight scores Sri Lanka have registered when batting first in ODI’s –
212, 226, 288, 227, 305, 248, 257, 286 – Average 256
And here are Australia’s last eight scores when batting first in ODI’s –
270, 265, 288, 330, 348, 299, 309, 305 – Average 301
The revolving door that is Sri Lanka‘s opening batsmen continued in Dambulla, with 18-year-old Avishka Fernando shoved out of the door to continue the run of failures inflicted by Mitch Starc on this tour – a duck on debut was not a surprise. Dhananjaya de Silva played well in just his 5th ODI, scoring 76 of his sides 212 run total. Kusal Mendis looks to have world-class potential and averages over 35 in the series having scored his runs at a SR of 81. The three middle order Perera’s – Kusal, Thisara and Dilruwan – have all struggled so far. A combined 177 runs in 12 innings is a reflection on the hosts reliance on Kusal Mendis, Chandimal (below) and Mathews. The spin dominated bowling attack has shown glimpses of what it can do, but needs a slow, turning surface to be effective. Dilruwan has chipped in with six wickets whilst left armer Amila Aponso has seven victims at 21 apiece and a economy rate of sub four an over.
With Australia winning the series in Dambulla, we could see changes to the starting XI before the t20’s begin. The tourists have chopped-and-changed throughout the ODI’s having fielded 16 players so far. Stand in skipper Dave Warner is hopelessly out of touch, a top score of 19 is the polar opposite to opening partner Aaron Finch who bludgeoned a 19 ball half-century in the last ODI. Matthew Wade has enjoyed an elevated role up the order and averages 50 in the series whilst fellow left handed Travis Head has shown signs of adapting to international cricket with 117 runs. Mitch Starc has as ever bowled brilliantly, nine wickets at an average of 19 matches what is turning into a mighty fine ODI career record. All-rounders John Hastings and James Faulkner have shared 17 wickets bowling cutters and slower balls with great affect, whilst leg-spinner Adam Zampa’s seven victims at 20 apiece is a promising return.
Ones to Watch
Sri Lanka wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Chandimal is in a rich vein of form in ODI cricket. He has passed 37 in ten of his last 12 innings, including scoring two centuries and five half-centuries. Likely to be leading the side in this fixture, he will no doubt be keen to ensure his fine form continues.
Gritty – that is the polite word to describe George Bailey‘s batting technique. An unbeaten 90 in the previous ODI saw his Australia side comfortably home and took his career average up to a more than handy 42.5 to go with a SR of 85.
If Sri Lanka bat first, I recommend taking any UNDER RUNS around the 247-250 mark.
If Australia bat first, I recommend taking any UNDER RUNS around the 277-280 mark.
Top Batsman Market
How can Warner and Aaron Finch both be the same price? Let us take the in form Finch to top score for Australia at 4.5 @ Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage.
Prices correct at time of writing.