Moises Henriques

A thumping all-round performance by captain Moises Henriques took Australia to a nine-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the Super League Quarter-Final.

Surprisingly, Sri Lanka chose to bat on winning the toss, perhaps thinking that their spinners could tie Australia down when they were chasing. But to do that a decent total would have had to be set and Sri Lanka’s batsmen weren’t able to come to terms with Australia’s new ball bowlers and though four batsmen were able to make good starts none could go on and make a really substantial score.

Dilhan Cooray cutting Aaron Finch

The turning point of the match came when Sri Lanka’s captain Angelo Mathews was bowled by Henriques. Mathews, batting with a runner, had been looking good but Henriques’s pace and movement away just got the better of him. His partnership of 62 with Dilhan Cooray was the best of the Sri Lankan innings. Cooray himself was dismissed for 43, caught and bowled on the drive, trying to force the pace. Sri Lanka finished on 177.

Sri Lanka’s first overs cost 19 runs. The spin of Sachitra Serasinghe was introduced in the fourth over and Australia’s left-handed opener Usman Khwaja, never looking comfortable against him, was bowled for 2. Any thoughts of Sri Lanka grabbing the initiative were quickly snuffed by new batsman Henriques, who batted with power and poise to simply destroy the bowling. At the other end, Tom Cooper, batting well himself was outpaced by Henriques who hit two balls out of the ground – one bouncing across the roof of the press box – on his way to 79 which included 7 fours, and six 6s. Already on the books of New South Wales, according to Australia’s manager Geoff Tamblyn, Henriques is a definite future Test prospect. Henriques’s all-round strokeplay was, quite simply, awesome.

The Sri Lankan bowlers’ only crime was to pitch on a length which really wasn’t much of a felony at all as Australia raced to their target at the start of the 27th over. Sri Lanka were outplayed in all departments by Australia who look a truly formidable side.

Super League Quarter-Final 4: Sri Lanka v Australia, Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo
Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat
Sri Lanka: 177 off 46.3 overs (D. Cooray 43, A. Mathews 32, S. Karunanayake 37*; M. Henriques 4-22)
Australia; 178 for 1 off 26.1 overs (T. Cooper 79*, M. Henriques 84*)
Man of the Match: Moises Henriques (Australia)
View Scorecard >>

Filed February 13 2006