News Detail

25 July 2016 21:35

First Test preview: Sri Lanka v Australia

Sri Lanka have only ever beaten Australia in a Test once, back in 1999, and all indications are that a win for the hosts will not be on the cards in the first Test in Pallekele either.

The countries have met 26 time over the years, with Sri Lanka winning by six wickets in Kandy nearly 20 years ago. Australia don't have a great record in Asia, winning just once (in Galle in 2011) in 15 Tests since 2008, but will be confident of changing that here.

They have opted for two spinners in Nathan Lyon and Steve O'Keefe, with the latter taking 10 wickets in the warm up match in Colombo last week. The pace will be provided by a fit-again Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood, with Mitchell Marsh the third seamer.

Batting wise the Aussies have confirmed a strong line up, including Usman Khawaja at three, Adam Voges at five, and wicketkeeper Peter Nevill all the way down at seven. How well they cope with the spin will be the question.

Sri Lanka are pinning their batting hopes on skipper Angelo Mathews, while the spin of Rangana Herath will be their go-to bowling attack plan. With three of their best fast bowlers injured, it could be a long week for veteran Herath.

The Aussies have been all about 'patient' batting in the build up to this match, with even David Warner talking about the need to be cautious as the deck deteriorates, but one imagine they will look to punish the inevitable loose ball from the young Sri Lankan attack.

Key players

For the hosts, skipper Angelo Mathews is almost always the key player. With bat and ball, he often feels the pressure to perform, and he will be their great hope to get as much as a draw out of this.

The Aussies will look to start well with the bat, and Usman Khawaja at first drop will be vital in the event of an early wicket. He is one of the better players of spin, and has been in superb form for the past year.

Last Five Head-To-Head Results

2013 Third Test: Australia won by five wickets in Sydney
2012/13 Second Test: Australia won by an innings and 201 runs in Melbourne
2012/13 First Test: Australia won by 137 runs in Hobart
2011 Third Test: Match Drawn in Colombo
2011 Second Test: Match drawn in Pallekele

Squads

Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (capt), Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Janith Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal

Australia (confirmed): David Warner, Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith (capt), Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill (wk), Steve O'Keefe, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

Details

Dates: 26-30 July

Morning session: 10:00-12:00 (04:30-06:30 GMT)
Afternoon session: 12:40-14:40
Evening session: 15:00-17:00

On-field umpires: Richard Kettleborough, S Ravi
Third umpire: Chris Gaffaney
Match referee: Chris Broad

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Fixtures & Results

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South Africa
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Western Province won by 7 wickets
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KwaZulu-Natal Inland won by 44 runs
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Pakistan Shaheens
Marylebone Cricket Club
Pakistan Shaheens won by 5 wickets
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15th February

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14th May

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14:30 GMT
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17th May

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12:30 GMT
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12:30 GMT
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12:30 GMT
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12:30 GMT
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14:30 GMT
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19th May

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TBC
14:30 GMT
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21st May

Ireland
09:45 GMT
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TBC
14:30 GMT
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24th May

Bangladesh
09:45 GMT
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13:00 GMT
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27th May

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29th May

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10th June

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11th June

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14th June

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28th September

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Rotterdam Rhinos
Glasgow Giants
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Rotterdam Rhinos
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14:30 GMT
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Victoria Women
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23:30 GMT
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13th January

Australia
03:30 GMT
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20th January

Australia
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12:00 GMT
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8th February

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9th February

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08:00 GMT
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18th February

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19th February

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00:00 GMT
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08:00 GMT
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08:00 GMT
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11:30 GMT
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20th February

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00:00 GMT
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00:00 GMT
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TBC
04:00 GMT
TBC
TBC
04:00 GMT
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TBC
04:00 GMT
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TBC
04:00 GMT
TBC
Free State
08:00 GMT
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08:00 GMT
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22:30 GMT
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21st February

Negombo Cricket Club
03:30 GMT
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03:30 GMT
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03:30 GMT
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03:30 GMT
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03:30 GMT
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04:30 GMT
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04:30 GMT
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04:30 GMT
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04:30 GMT
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04:30 GMT
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04:30 GMT
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09:00 GMT
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21:30 GMT
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21:30 GMT
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21:30 GMT
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22nd February

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00:00 GMT
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00:00 GMT
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03:00 GMT
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03:30 GMT
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08:00 GMT
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08:00 GMT
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09:00 GMT
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Knights
11:30 GMT
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14:00 GMT
Multan Sultans
Central Districts Women
21:30 GMT
Canterbury Women
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21:30 GMT
Auckland Women
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21:30 GMT
Wellington Women

23rd February

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07:30 GMT
North West
Dolphins
07:30 GMT
Warriors
Free State
07:30 GMT
Easterns
South Western Districts Women
08:00 GMT
Boland Women
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08:00 GMT
Northern Cape Women
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08:00 GMT
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09:00 GMT
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14:00 GMT
Islamabad United
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23:30 GMT
Western Australia
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23:30 GMT
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23:30 GMT
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24th February

Queensland
00:00 GMT
Victoria
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00:00 GMT
Australian Capital Territory Second XI

26th February

Sri Lanka
00:00 GMT
West Indies
Sri Lanka Ports Authority Cricket Club
04:30 GMT
Nugegoda Sports Welfare Club
Lions
11:30 GMT
Knights
Multan Sultans
14:00 GMT
Peshawar Zalmi

27th February

Border
08:00 GMT
KwaZulu-Natal
Dolphins
11:30 GMT
Titans
Barbados
14:00 GMT
Windward Islands
Leeward Islands
14:00 GMT
Trinidad & Tobago
Jamaica
14:00 GMT
Guyana
Islamabad United
14:00 GMT
Quetta Gladiators

28th February

Galle Cricket Club
04:30 GMT
Sri Lanka Navy Sports Club
Kurunegala Youth Cricket Club
04:30 GMT
Kandy Customs Cricket Club
Panadura Sports Club
04:30 GMT
Kalutara Town Club
Police Sports Club
04:30 GMT
Sri Lanka Air Force Sports Club
Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club
04:30 GMT
Sebastianites Cricket and Athletic Club
Multan Sultans
09:00 GMT
Karachi Kings
Lahore Qalandars
14:00 GMT
Peshawar Zalmi
New Zealand
23:00 GMT
India

29th February

TBC
04:00 GMT
TBC
TBC
04:00 GMT
TBC
North West Women
08:00 GMT
Western Province Women
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08:00 GMT
Border Women
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08:00 GMT
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Multan Sultans
09:00 GMT
Quetta Gladiators
Islamabad United
14:00 GMT
Peshawar Zalmi
Wellington
21:30 GMT
Central Districts
Otago
21:30 GMT
Canterbury
Auckland
21:30 GMT
Northern Districts

1st March

Sri Lanka
00:00 GMT
West Indies
Bangladesh
00:00 GMT
Zimbabwe
Border
07:30 GMT
KwaZulu-Natal
North West Women
08:00 GMT
Western Province Women
Knights
08:00 GMT
Titans
Lions
08:00 GMT
Warriors
KwaZulu-Natal Women
08:00 GMT
Gauteng Women
Eastern Province Women
08:00 GMT
Border Women
Islamabad United
14:00 GMT
Karachi Kings
New South Wales XI
23:00 GMT
England Lions

2nd March

Bangladesh Women
00:00 GMT
Sri Lanka Women
Australia Women
04:00 GMT
New Zealand Women
Karachi Kings
14:00 GMT
Peshawar Zalmi
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