History, dismal NZ series performance count against Sri Lankan tourists
STARING at a string of losses, weighed down by history and missing key personnel, Sri Lanka arrives in Australia giving its best impression of lambs to the slaughter.
Yesterday, the Lions crossed the Tasman, reflecting on a disastrous tour of New Zealand, offering few glimmers of hope they’d push Australia in a two-Test series.
The tour ended on an appropriate note, capitulating in a run chase to lose the one-off Twenty20 international by 35 runs on Friday night at Eden Park. Exasperated T20 skipper Lasith Malinga says his team is still learning to win games when it gets into good positions. Hamstrung by a brittle batting line-up and a blunt seam attack, the Lions were swept 3-0 by the Black Caps in the one-day international series and lost 1-0 in the twoTest series.
It would have been 2-0 but rain and a dogged second-innings partnership between centurions Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews forced a draw in the first Test in Wellington.
They were smashed in the second by 423 runs, hard on the heels of a miserable homeseries loss to England.
Rubbing salt in the wounds, former skipper Mathews — their best batsman in the New Zealand Tests — will miss the Australian leg with injury. Mathews led Sri Lanka to its historic 3-0 home-Test series drubbing of Australia when the teams last met in mid-2016.
That triumph had also fol- lowed a bleak period for the Sri Lankans but it is hard to see them going close to a repeat in Australia given they won’t have the same spin-friendly conditions.
Sri Lanka has lost all six series in Australia and has never won a Test, with 11 losses and two draws.