Nuwan Kulasekara ripped through the Australian top order at the Gabba. Picture: Reuters/smh.com.au
Sri Lanka can seal just its second ODI series win against Australia since 1999 with a win over its hosts in the 4th One Day International between the sides at the SCG on Sunday. After suffering a comprehensive 107 run defeat in the series opener at the MCG, the tourists bounced back in style with an 8 wicket win in Adelaide before surviving a few scares in their pursuit of 75 at the Gabba to take a 2-1 series lead.
The much publicised return of superstar batsman David Warner and skipper Michael Clarke counted for nothing on Friday with Warner making just four and Clarke nine. They were not alone in failing to make an impression in the scorebook, with the top eight batsmen all failing to make double figures. Since scoring a century on debut in Melbourne, Phil Hughes has scored just six runs in his following two innings and will want to keep his place in the side when Shane Watson returns to full fitness.
Nuwan Kulasekara was Man of the Match in Brisbane after collecting 5/22 from his 10 overs and will again be a key man for Sri Lanka at the SCG. While all of the paceman have done well in the past two matches, his wickets at the top of the order have been a crucial part of the sides success and the fact that he has conceding just 2.5 runs per over in the same period is an added bonus.
For all of the bowler success, Lahiru Thirimanne remains the only batsman to have come to terms with the bouncy Australian pitches after scoring an unbeaten century in Adelaide. Skipper Mahela Jayawardene was dismissed for just one after elevating himself to the top of the order in Brisbane but will be expecting a better return at the SCG. He has scored half centuries in three of his past five ODI innings at the ground and averages 47.45 at the top of the order as opposed to a career mark of 33.18.
Australia has won five of its past seven 50 over matches at the SCG, but both defeats during that period came against Sri Lanka, who scored an eight wicket win here less than twelve months ago.
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