Australian Go 1 Up
Australia scored a gritty 3 wicket win at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo thanks in large parts to half centuries from Aaron Finch (56) and captain Steve Smith (58). On a dry, turning track in front of a large and boisterous home crowd the tourists put together their best batting performance of the tour as they chased down Sri Lanka's 8/227, with 3.1 overs to spare. Whilst Australia were largely always in control of the chase after Smith, Finch and Bailey's (39) contributions they did have to survive a late flurry of wickets with James Faulkner and Mitchell Starc edging them over the finishing line. Mitchell Starc was again the chief destroyer for Australia, remarkably taking a wicket in his first over again on his way to 3/32 off 10 overs. In the process Starc became the fastest man in ODI history to 100 wickets in 52 games, breaking Saqlain Mushtaq's record that that stood for near two decades. James Faulkner claimed the key wicket of Kusal Mendis (67) on his way to career best figures of 4/37. Dinesh Chandimal carried over his excellent form from the 3rd Test in providing the anchor of the Sri Lanka innings with 80 not out.
Teams Meet Again At The Premadasa
The 2nd ODI of the series once again takes place at the Premadasa Stadium on Wednesday Night as the hosts look to square the ledger. All Australian eyes will be on the wicket after Aaron Finch was heavily critical of the surface describing it as "poor" after Australia's win on Sunday. Several balls went through the top of the surface and the pitch took substantial turn from ball one on Sunday. The wicket being used for this game did not look quite as dry however that could change very quickly in the lead up to Wednesday night's game. Sri Lanka have now lost their last 4 ODI's and will need to rebound with a win here if they want to remain a good chance of taking out the series. Whilst the hosts will be suited by the conditions, Australia showed a much steelier resolve on Sunday batting according to the conditions. Australia attacked early when the ball was new and were content to fight and scrap as the innings progressed rather than the gung-ho approach they adopted in the Tests. Sri Lanka need to rectify their opening partnerships quick smart as they have continued to lose wickets right from the get go in the Tests and ODIs. Both sides are likely to go into the game with unchanged line ups.
Head, Henriques Need To Make Opportunity Count
Both Moises Henriques (6) and Travis Head (10) missed their chance for some red link on Sunday as Australia flopped their way over the line in the First ODI. The dropping of Glenn Maxwell from the entire squad and the demotion of Usman Khawaja to the bench shows the batting spots are up for grabs in Australia's 50-over side. Head played just his second ODI in Sunday's win, however has his name up in lights right now. He has come off an impressive 12 months where he amassed a double century in the Matador Cup, 3 big Shield hundreds and an explosive performance for Adelaide in the Big Bash. Head was called up to Sri Lanka early to spend a week with the Test squad in an indication that he is being highly considered for Australia's Test Tour of India in February. Head will no doubt be eyeing Maxwell's position full time as the explosive batsman that can bowl some off spin and be a live wire in the field. Head was given 4 overs on Sunday and whilst his off spin is raw he has potential to become a steady option in the 50 over format. Now South Australia's captain, Head will be eyeing some contributions with bat and ball here in Sri Lanka before a big summer back home. Henriques has the inauspicious ODI record of just 42 runs from 7 games at an average of 7. Henriques is a powerful batsman that can take a moderate attack apart at his best, however he has not quite found his feet at international level as yet. Despite having wickets at a respectable economy of 4.76 Henriques is in the side to get runs and he must produce at some point during this series. I get the feeling he is a real confidence player and one break out innings is all it might take for him to feel like he belongs at this level.