The Sri Lankan batsmen ended the three-day practice match in Hobart without a half-century between them in either innings, as they stumbled against the left-arm spin of Jon Holland on day three.
The visitors had in fact been modest the entire day, taking only one wicket in their 32.5 overs with the ball before stuttering to 131 for 6 in their second innings. Their only solace is that the their tormentors on day three – Kurtis Patterson, who cracked a second unbeaten century in the game, and Holland, who took 4 for 28 – are not in Australia’s Test squad.
Only Lahiru Thirimanne, who is essentially auditioning to open alongside Dimuth Karunaratne, made a score of significance for the Sri Lankans, making 46 off 121 balls. Nos. 4 to 7 fell in fairly quick succession to Holland, with Dhananjaya de Silva and Sadeera Samarawickrama picking up their second disappointing scores in the match, making 2 and 6 respectively. What was worse for the Sri Lankans was that Roshen Silva, who was batting on 23, was forced to retire hurt.
Earlier in the day, Marnus Labuschagne, who may be in Australia’s XI in the first Test at the Gabba, completed a half-century, having begun the day on 33. Lahiru Kumara dismissed him for 50 off 101 balls, but that would be the last wicket the Sri Lankans would take in the day, as Patterson struck 102 not out off 136 balls, to go with his 157 not out off 212 deliveries in the first innings. Patterson was involved in an unbroken 90-run stand for the fourth wicket, to which partner Will Pucovski’s contribution was 33 off 70.
Perhaps not wanting to risk their frontline seamers, however, the Sri Lankans bowled only Kumara in extended spells on day three, with Dushmantha Chameera, Suranga Lakmal and Kasun Rajitha bowled only for a handful of overs.
The first Test starts on Thursday.