Steve Smith shocking lbw review video Australia lose by one innings to Sri Lanka in second test

Australia have lost top spot in the World Test Championship table after a horror performance against Sri Lanka that left the bowlers smitten, the bats withered and the reviews disastrous.

An ugly disintegration of Australia’s clubs at Galle after one of the longest bowling efforts of this century propelled Sri Lanka to a famous victory in the second Test at Galle and the first blemish in Pat Cummins’ golden captaincy.

The fourth-day subcontinental surrender to three Sri Lankan spinners who gave Australia just 151 combined points in less than two sessions on Monday ended a six-week tour for most players, which saw the nightmare finish in a four-Test tour of India next February , where they have not won a series since 2004.


After a record-breaking batting performance from local hero Dinesh Chandimal bludgeoned the Australian bowlers into submission, the top order on the back of the monster quickly folded 181 overs in the field over three energy-sapping days as the streak ended in a 1-1 tie.

More horror reviews, first from David Warner, then Steve Smith as they questioned their clumsy LBW calls, started the road to Cummins’ first loss in 10 Tests as captain bowled his team 40 overs to go with an innings and 39 runs to lose a train wreck day.

Smith’s report in particular, which came after a discussion with batting brother Marnus Labuschange, was panned by commentators and only improved Australia’s already dangerous position in a game littered with poor refereeing that cost the Aussies badly.

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Chandimal had benefited from the lack of Australian ratings on day three when referee Kumar Dharmasena missed a nick behind and smashed an epic double hundred that came with back-to-back sixes smashed out of the ground in front of Mitchell Starc as Sri Lanka recorded its all-time high scored goal against Australia.

The home team’s total of 554 was achieved by the Australians with a mammoth 181 overs, the third most this century scored by an Australian Test team in a single innings.

Trailing by 190 points after batting 364 better-than-average themselves in the opening innings, a positive second start from the Australian openers quickly became pear-shaped as the Sri Lankan spinners unleashed weapons Nathan Lyon could not muster.

In a flurry of wickets, 0-49 became 4-74 as home-side spinners found the Aussies listless to safely raise eyebrows ahead of a tour to India next year.

After Warner and Usman Khawaja went within 10 runs, Smith followed a duck who raised his hand for a check that found the ball crashed into the pegs.

Travis Head was then thrown a second time in the match, once each by spinners Prabath Jayasuriya, who finished his first Test with 12 wickets, and Ramesh Mendis, and his scores of six, five and 12 in the two Test series are serious to take questions about the left-handers’ ability to tour India next year.

The series man in the Ashes, Head, who was preferred to Glenn Maxwell in Sri Lanka, has collected just 83 runs in six innings since the home summer in Pakistan and then Galle, highlighting his significant subcontinental concerns.

While Head’s ability to make runs in Australia is undeniable, the selectors could be forced to give him a tough call for next February’s four Tests in India with form exposed away from home, making him a potential burden on wickets for sure to match their own arm of spinners.

Warner, out for 24, extended his run to 52 innings in all three formats without an international century and continued his pattern of being the first batsman in every Australian inning since partnering with Usman Khawaja at the head of the order the ashes of last summer.

In 2022, Warner is averaging just 22 points with six single figures in Test cricket and, along with Head, was one of only two top six batsmen not to score in Sri Lanka for at least half a century.

The slight hint of Australian resistance from Marnus Labuschange and Cameron Green didn’t last long as both batsmen fell to the spinners again and 4-112 became 6-117 with all hope now lost.

The Australians’ limp batting effort looked worse as Chandimal raged with his own tail just an hour earlier and after dropping the ninth wicket smashed 42 balls from 18, knocking Australia out of the game.

It was the first double hundred result by a Sri Lankan and he went unbeaten in the 206th to set his team on course for a second win of the weekend after his compatriots tried to force their under-fire president to resign on Saturday .

The Aussies are set for a double whammy and Sri Lanka’s victory will knock them off the top of the World Test Championship table.

Next year’s WTC Finals at Lord’s remains a hot target for Cummins and his men, but the combination of an awfully slow overshoot at Galle, sure to result in fines and a loss of points, and defeat, the Aussies will indeed see lose the top spot to South Africa, with the teams set to compete this summer.

The cut-off date for the WTC rankings will come in early 2023 after the Tour of India, a country where Australia has won just three Tests and lost 11 in the last 20 years.

Originally published as Australia v Sri Lanka: Stay up to date with the latest news and action from the second test Steve Smith shocking lbw review video Australia lose by one innings to Sri Lanka in second test

Nate Jones

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