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Australian Cricket: Sri Lanka v Australia 3rd ODI preview

Sri Lanka hit back in the second One Day International to level the series at 1-1 and now the Aussies head to Colombo with concerns over the fitness of Steve Smith.

In another rain interrupted match in Kandy, Sri Lanka had reached 9-220 in 47.4 overs before the bad weather came in to force a delay of more than two hours.

When play did resume Australia were set a target of 216 for victory via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method and looked on course to get there as they reached 5-170 with Glenn Maxwell again looking in great form at the crease.

However the dismissal of Maxwell for 30 runs off 25 balls sparked a dramatic collapse, with the Aussies losing 5-19 to be bowled out for 189 in 37.1 overs.

The 26-run win will give Sri Lanka a huge confidence boost and it is now on to the third match in Colombo on Sunday.

What: Sri Lanka v Australia, Third One Day International
Where: Colombo, Sri Lanka
When: 19:00 (AEST) Sunday 19th June 2022
Odds: Sri Lanka 2/1, Australia 2/5

Injury worries continue to stack up for Australia

The batting collapse will have been a big concern for the Australians, but probably not as much as the injury situation heading into the third match.

The Aussies are dropping like flies and Smith is the latest to join the treatment room after suffering a thigh injury on Thursday.
Smith pulled up after pushing hard for a second run and required some heavy strapping to his left leg to be able to carry on. He did just that, but not for long as he was dismissed for 28 runs a few overs later.

The full extent of the damage has yet to be revealed but Smith is unlikely to figure in the third match.

Australia have a two Test series on the horizon against Sri Lanka and they will be more concerned about making sure Smith is fit and ready for that.

Ashton Agar (side), Marcus Stoinis (side), Sean Abbott (finger), Kane Richardson (hamstring), Mitchell Starc (finger) and Mitch Marsh (hamstring) are already on the sidelines.

Stoinis, Abbott and Richardson have already returned to Australia and will play no further part. There is also a huge question mark over Agar.

The West Aussie spinner has confirmed he has tear in his side and will definitely not play in the remaining ODI’s or the first Test. He could make the second Test at best but even that is a doubt.

Batting line-up need to raise their game

The Australian batting order will need to raise their game in Colombo after being skittled out for just 189 runs.

Yes they lost 5-19 and the collapse was alarming but the top order had a great chance to put the game to bed well before it got to that point.

The top seven batsmen got themselves in but David Warner was the top scorer with just 37 runs.

Aaron Finch (14), Steve Smith (28), Travis Head (23), Marnus Labuschagne (18), Alex Carey (15) and Glenn Maxwell (30) all could have kicked on to bigger match-winning scores.

The batting line-up is a talented one for sure but will need to show it over the remainder of the series.

With Smith set to miss out it does offer a fresh opportunity to someone else to step in and shine and could be just what the side needs.

Josh Inglis and Cameron Green are in contention to start, as is Mitch Marsh if he has recovered from a hamstring niggle.

Positives to take from the defeat

It was not all doom and gloom and there were some positives to take out of the defeat. In particular with the bowling.

With Agar ruled out, debutant spinner Matthew Kuhnemann stepped into the line up and showed his ability with tidy figures of 2-48 off his 10 overs, proving he could be a useful back-up option in the ODI World Cup.

Maxwell also took 2-35 off 10 overs while the pace attack bounced back from a poor display in the opening ODI.

Pat Cummins starred with 4-35 off 8.4 overs. Josh Hazlewood did not take a wicket but kept it tight with 0-26 off seven overs.

Meanwhile the bowling attack could be boosted further with the return of Mitchell Starc who has missed out with a sliced finger.

He is back bowling at full pace in training but ICC rules prevent bowlers from putting tape on their fingers in matches, so Starc may have to wait.

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