Australia A tour of Sri Lanka - Men
Peirson shines as Australia A perish against spin threat
Tourists strike back late on day two after conceding a 76-run first innings deficit, with seven wickets falling to spin on a wearing Hambantota pitch
22 June 2022, 10:00 PM AEST
Australia A endured a tough outing with the willow on the second day of the final match of their two-week tour of Sri Lanka, conceding a 76-run first innings lead on a wearing pitch in Hambantota.
Queensland wicketkeeper Jimmy Peirson, who was a late inclusion to the 'A' squad following a finger injury to Sean Abbott and Peter Handscomb returning home to be with his partner ahead of the birth of their first child, was the one shinning light for the tourists after Sri Lanka A declared on their overnight score of 9-330.
Coming in a No.6 with Australia A wobbling at 4-105 after losing 4-37, the 29-year-old right-hander played a lone hand with tail to help the visitors reach a respectable 254 all out when the last wicket fell about 15 overs before stumps on day two at Mahinda Rajapaksha Stadium on Sri Lanka's south coast.
Peirson finished unbeaten on 67 from 112 balls with three boundaries, sharing crucial partnerships with Aaron Hardie (24), Mark Steketee (19) and Scott Boland (5).
In an ominous sign of how the senior side's two-Test series in Galle could play out later this month, seven of Australia A's wickets fell to spin with off-spinner Lakshitha Manasinghe picking up 5-82 and leg-spinner Suminda Lakshan 2-67.
Left-arm seamer Dilshan Madushanka claimed the other three Australian wickets.
It comes after the visitors' spin brigade of Jon Holland, Tanveer Sangha and part-timer Matt Renshaw failed to claim a single scalp on day one with the pace of Boland, Steketee and Hardie doing the damage.
Skipper Marcus Harris (39) and Renshaw (35) laid a solid platform for Australia A, taking the score to 68 before Madushanka got the breakthrough with the Queenslander gloving a short ball down the leg-side to keeper Minod Bhanuka.
Harris then ran past a delivery from Manasinghe attempting a wild slog to hand the spinner the first of his five wickets, before Nic Maddinson was bowled by the leg-spinner three overs later without troubling the scorers.
Henry Hunt and Josh Philippe (16), who top scored for Australia in the first four-day match with scores of 94 and 69, took the scoreboard past 100 before Philippe was trapped in front by Manasinghe.
Hunt was next to go, caught at short leg also from the bowling of the off-spinner, although his reaction after being given out seemed to indicate he believed he hadn't hit it.
That was when Peirson and Hardie got together to take the score to 171 when the sixth wicket fell as Peirson added another 83 with the remaining four batters.
Holland (1-4) and Steketee (1-7) struck crucial blows in the last hour before stumps as the visitors' bowlers tightened the screws on Sri Lanka A's top-order.
The hosts will resume their second innings on day three 2-27 from 11 overs with a lead of 103 runs.
Qantas Tour of Sri Lanka, 2022
Sri Lanka ODI squad: Dasun Shanaka (c), Pathum Nissanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Niroshan Dickwella, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Asitha Fernando, Nuwan Thushara, Ramesh Mendis, Maheesh Theekshana, Praveen Jayawickrama, Jeffrey Vandersay, Lahiru Madushanka, Dunith Wellalage, Pramod Madushan
Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Matt Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner
June 24: Fifth ODI, Colombo, 7pm AEST
Sri Lanka Test squad (provisional): Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Pathum Nissanka, Kamil Mishara, Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya De Silva, Kamindu Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, Dinesh Chandimal, Chamika Karunaratne, Ramesh Mendis, Mohamed Shiraz, Shiran Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Jeffrey Vandersay, Lakshitha Rasanjana, Praveen Jayawickrama, Lasith Embuldeniya, Suminda Lakshan
Australia Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner
June 29 - July 3: First Test, Galle, 2.30pm AEST
July 8-12: Second Test, Galle, 2.30pm AEST
All Sri Lanka v Australia international fixtures will be screened live on Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports
Australia A fixtures
Australia A squad: Scott Boland, Aaron Hardie, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Henry Hunt, Josh Inglis, Matthew Kuhnemann, Nic Maddinson, Nathan McAndrew, Todd Murphy, Jimmy Peirson, Josh Philippe, Matt Renshaw, Tanveer Sangha, Mark Steketee
Sri Lanka A one-day squad: Dhananjaya de Silva (c), Niroshan Dickwella, Lahiru Udara, Lasith Croospulle, Oshada Fernando, Pabasara Waduge, Kamindu Mendis, Ashen Bandara, Janitha Liyanage, Sahan Arachchi, Pulina Tharanga, Dunith Wellalage, Dananjaya Lakshan, Shiran Fernando (will not play due to injury), Dilshan Madushanka, Pramod Madushan, Nishan Madushka, Ashen Daniel,Nisala Tharaka
June 8: Australia A won by seven wickets
June 10: Sri Lanka A won by four wickets
June 14-17: Australia A won by 68 runs
June 21-24: four-day match v Sri Lanka A, Hambantota