Sri Lanka began their tour of Australia on a winning note against the home side with a crushing 7-wicket win at the Waca in Perth. The hosts' performance seemed shoddy right from the start while the visitors were on top of their game. The opening seamers were right on the money, bowling a tight line and length to unsettle the Aussie top order
Dilhara Fernando initiated the rot, getting rid of the dangerous David Warner for just 2. Thisara Perera and Suraj Randiv then continued the onslaught reducing Australia to 43 for 5 in the 11th over. Shane Watson, David Hussey and Cameron White disappointed, throwing their wickets away for single digits while opener Michael Clarke struggled to get to 16 before he was sent off.
A decent partnership was long due and so wicket-keeper Brad Haddin (35) and Steven Smith (34) came to the fore to steady the innings. They hit some gutsy strokes around the ground, picking up 6 fours and 2 huge sixes between them. But just as they looked like they might get away with some more powerful hitting, they fell to a deceptive Randiv.
Their departure signalled the end of Australia's recovery, though a defiant Hastings managed a couple of boundaries before getting run-out in the dying overs. Clint McKay pitched in with one four, but it was too little too late, as Australia were restricted to a modest 133 for 8 at the end of their innings. The off-spinner Randiv sparkled for the tourists, picking up an impressive 3 for 25 off his four overs.
Sri Lanka's batting unfolded with a deft combination of composure and aggression with opener Mahela Jawardane getting his side off to a blistering start. He hit five boundaries in his stint of 24 before playing inside the line to a Siddle outswinger to be caught behind. Dirk Nannes who had an expensive first over, going for 3 fours, came back to dismiss the shaky Dinesh Chandimal who only managed 2.
Then Siddle tried to unsettle the other opener Tillakaratne Dilshan, with some tight bowling outside the off stump. But the composed batsman showed he was not one to be tangled with and together with Kumara Sangakarra put on a fine partnership of 71 runs. Dilshan was eventually stumped off Smith, going for an ambitious shot while on 41 off just 34 balls.
Thisara Perera contributed the final nail in the coffin, powering a few big biffs, including 2 sixes, to take the visitors to an emphatic win. Meanwhile, the ever-steady Sangakarra remained not out on 44 at the other end. Randiv was rewarded for his destructive spells with the Man of the Match while Sri Lanka can now look forward to the one-day series against their hosts, brimming with confidence.
For his part, Aussie captain Michael Clarke said his team was outplayed by Sri Lanka. "They [Sri Lanka] played really well," Clarke said. "We were a little bit disappointing with the bat, especially up front losing four wickets early. I think we got outplayed. No doubt conditions were different to what we just faced in India, but look, we've had great preparation here, the nets are very similar to what we faced out in the middle so we have no excuses. Sri Lanka bowled really well."