Wednesday 26 December 2012

Mini-session Analysis 2nd Test, Australia vs Sri Lanka, MCG, Melbourne, Australia 2012/13

Here is the final mini-session analysis for the second test between Australia and Sri Lanka at MCG, Melbourne, Australia

A mini-session is (normally) half a session, either between the start of the session and the drinks break or the drinks break and the end of the session. Occasionally a long session will have 3 mini-sessions where it will be broken up with 2 drinks breaks.

1-1aSri Lanka 36/2 off 12Australia
1-1bSri Lanka 43/1 off 13Sri Lanka
1-2aSri Lanka 55/2 off 13draw
1-2bSri Lanka 22/5 off 5.4Australia
1-3aAustralia 90/0 off 16Australia
1-3bAustralia 60/3 off 23Sri Lanka
2-1aAustralia 47/0 off 15Australia
2-1bAustralia 41/0 off 15Australia
2-2aAustralia 60/0 off 16Australia
2-2bAustralia 34/3 off 11Sri Lanka
2-3aAustralia 51/1 off 16.3Australia
2-3bAustralia 57/1 off 16.3Australia
3-1aAustralia 20/2 off 5.4Sri Lanka
3-1bSri Lanka 43/4 off 13Australia
3-2aSri Lanka 59/2 off 10.3Australia
3-2bSri Lanka 1/1 off 0.5n/a

Final update, click here
Australia win the mini-session count 10 - 4

First drinks, Day 1: Australia lead the mini-session count 1-0

Great start for Australia, after Sri Lanka chose to bat. Bird looks like a handy bowler. There is a little in this pitch, but I think it should settle down this afternoon, it doesn't look like the sort of pitch that will misbehave for too long.

Lunch, Day 1: The mini-session count is tied up, 1-1

Take a bow Kumar Sangakkara! He battled through reasonably difficult conditions and saw off some good bowling to bring up his 10000 career runs in the same number of innings as Tendulkar and Lara. He chose a good way to bring it up too, with a scorching square drive along the slow outfield to what is probably the longest square boundary in world cricket.

Middle drinks, Day 1: The mini-session count is tied up, 1-1

While Sri Lanka scored quickly enough that the formula almost gave them the hour, the two wickets were very big wickets. Australia are probably actually in the lead in this match. Sri Lanka need a very big partnership here, and probably one other if they are going to stay in this match.

Tea, Day 1: Australia lead the mini-session count 2-1

Absolutely awful stuff from Sri Lanka. There was some good bowling and (particularly) good captaincy, but it was just brainless by Sri Lanka. Within 3 balls of every break Sri Lanka lost a wicket. And a lot of the wickets in the match have been to particularly poor shots. Sri Lanka have tried to attack, but I think they have been just too aggressive.

Final drinks, Day 1: Australia lead the mini-session count 3-1

Sri Lanka are in a world of trouble. Eranga looks very poor against left-handers, Welegedera has had trouble with his length, Prasad has been erratic, and Warner and Cowan have been imperious.

I was asked earlier today who I felt the best batsmen I had seen were, and I mentioned Matthew Hayden. I don't think even Hayden had scored an attacking 50 while opening as good as this innings from Warner. The big feature has not been his power, but his placement. He has only faced 17 dot balls so far in his innings. Phenomenal batting.

Stumps, Day 1: Australia lead the mini-session count 3-2

Sri Lanka struck back well there. It started when Angelo Matthews removed Warner, and then Rangana Herath came on and started to build the pressure.

It could have been a lot better too. First Dilshan dropped Michael Clarke on 5 and then, 3 overs later, Sangakkara put down a relatively tough chance off Watson. If those two had been taken the match would have potentially been all square, but Sri Lanka couldn't take the opportunities, and are behind in the match as a result.

Australia are still well in control, but Sri Lanka are back in it.

First drinks, Day 2: Australia lead the mini-session count 4-2

A good mornings cricket. Both batsmen were looking to attack, but the bowlers were bowling well enough to keep them honest. Eranga in particular put both batsmen under pressure. He hit Clarke on the head, and generally had him looking quite uncomfortable. Australia will be very pleased to have come out of this hour without losing a wicket and having scored at about 3 an over.

Lunch, Day 2: Australia lead the mini-session count 5-2

Both batsmen brought up their fifties in that hour, but both were given lives in the same over by Herath. First Clarke should have been stumped, but Sangakkara couldn't gather cleanly. Then Watson edged a ball that hit Mahela in the chest, but was moving too quickly for him to grab. Sri Lanka are generally a good fielding side, and they will be very disappointed to have missed 4 chances so far in this innings.

Middle drinks, Day 2: Australia lead the mini-session count 6-2

Michael Clarke is relentless. Despite the bowlers generally bowling very well in this hour, he has advanced the score, and brought up his hundred. Watson is almost fading into the background of this fantastic Clarke knock.

Clarke's innings hasn't been chanceless, however. Herath has really caused him some problems. In this hour he edged one between keeper and slip. Sri Lanka have now given him 3 lives. He's not often one to pass up such generosity.

Tea, Day 2: Australia lead the mini-session count 6-3

Sri Lanka finally hung onto a catch. And it was contagious. After they got one they picked up two more. But it couldn't last: Hussey was missed by Sangakkara off the luckless Herath in the last over before tea. It was a good hour for Sri Lanka, but it's a long way back from here.

Final drinks, Day 2: Australia lead the mini-session count 7-3

Another good hour for Australia, but with a significant highlight for Sri Lanka, a brilliant catch by Rangana Herath to dismiss Hussey. Australia batted quite cautiously, but managed to score relatively quickly regardless. The Sri Lankan bowlers are starting to look tired.

Stumps, Day 2: Australia lead the mini-session count 8-3

Mitchell Johnson is working his way towards being back for the ashes. He has been sublime in this innings, looking almost completely untroubled throughout. It was Australia's day today. Sri Lanka are going to need to bat very very well in order to get back into this game. They really need to bowl Australia out quickly, then score something like 500 to have any chance.

The pitch is not nearly as easy as the score would indicate. There have been a couple keep low, balls have moved off the seam (even with the old ball) and some have stood up and bounced sharply. This has really been a fantastic effort from Australia, and they deserve to be in the lead.

First drinks, Day 3: Australia lead the mini-session count 8-4

Sri Lanka have managed to clean up the tail for the addition of only 20 runs. Another right hander dismissed by Eranga, although this one was not in the usual manner of caught behind the wicket. Now they have the small matter of knocking off the 304 run lead then posting a target.

Lunch, Day 3: Australia lead the mini-session count 9-4

If there was any doubt who was winning this hour has cleared it up. First Karunaratne was run out after turning blind. Next Dilshan hit a leg glance into his thigh pad and got hit at short leg. After that Mahela summed up his match by attempting to leave the ball, but just chopping it on instead. The final wicket in the hour was Samaraweera who was out plumb lbw. He reluctantly challenged, but it was to no avail. At the other end, Sangakkara is batting as well as anyone has this test. It was said of the New Zealand team's bowling in the 80's that it was like facing the World XI at one end, and the Illford 2nd XI at the other end. It must feel like that for the Australian bowlers at the moment.

Middle drinks, Day 3: Australia lead the mini-session count 10-4

Possibly the most futile drinks break in history, Sri Lanka effectively have only one wicket left. It looks fairly likely that Australia will win now.

End of Match, Day 3: Australia win the match by an innings and 201 runs and the mini-session count 10-4

And it only took 5 balls to wrap it up. This is the first time that a team has had an innings closed to lose a match after losing only 7 wickets. It's also Australia's biggest ever win over Sri Lanka. This match would have been much closer if the Sri Lankans hadn't been struck down with injuries (4 players injured, first Kulasekera in the warm up, then Jayawardene, Welegedera and Sangakkara), and also if they had taken their chances. It was really a case of poor concentration more than anything else. Sri Lanka lost wickets straight after every break except the final lunch break. They missed vital chances in the field. Then once the Australians got on top, they made the Sri Lankans pay.

Australia weren't as clinical or as comfortable as the scoreline would suggest, but they still played a lot better cricket than Sri Lanka and thoroughly deserved their win.

The news has come in that Sangakkara is out for 6-8 weeks, so this loss will have serious repercussions for the next test and the One Day Internationals.


  1. Sri Lanka is gifting England a Christmas present. It's called 'Mitchell Johnson bowling in the Ashes again'.

    1. I actually laughed out loud. 2 of the wickets he picked up were actually good balls. He probably bowled 2 or 3 more good balls too in his 14 overs.

    2. The problem isn't that he doesn't bowl good balls; the problem is that he only bowls a handful of them - per Test.

      I'd laugh too, were I not busy crying.