A year ago, almost to the day, Australia played a dead Test against England at The Oval. The touring team had been through the darkest of midlands valleys in Birmingham and Nottingham, losing the Ashes in a pair of humiliating defeats that exposed the XI as wholly unsuited to the conditions.But with the urn gone and critics sharpening their caustic prose, the team responded with a far better display in that final Test. They were helped in part by the conditions - it is harder to green up the Oval wicket than those of Edgbaston or Trent Bridge - and also by the reduced intensity of a less consequential Test match.Nevertheless, an innings victory was nothing to be sniffed at, and a fitting farewell for the dual retirees Michael Clarke and Chris Rogers, who were soon to be joined on the sidelines by Shane Watson, Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson in addition to the already retired Ryan Harris. A key member of the win was Peter Siddle, an older head ideally suited to English seamers yet somehow ignored until too late to make a difference to the series result.Twelve months on and Colombo seems about to bear witness to a similar sequence. The first two Tests have gone conclusively Sri Lankas way, and the pitch at the SSC is the series fairest if also its driest. Meanwhile, the inclusion of Shaun Marsh has added belated solidity to a batting line-up that could have done with his brand of batting when the destination of the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy was still up for debate.Many a cricket follower likes to poke fun at Marsh, he of the near binary home series against India a few years back, then a series-shaping hundred in South Africa followed immediately by a pair in the next Test and omission from the decider. Then there was the day he was run out for 99 chasing a first Test hundred in Australia - moments that have ensured few cricketers can polarise like him now that Watson in particular has retired from the national team.But at the same time, Marsh is the only member of this squad to have in his possession a Test hundred in Sri Lanka, on debut in Pallekele nearly five years ago. The next Test was played at the SSC, and it was Marshs ever-so-patient 81 that anchored an otherwise wobbly top order. Bizarrely, that match was Marshs last Test match in Asia until this week.The horrors of 2011-12 at home banished him from the Test team for quite some time, meaning he did not figure in the squads to go to India in 2013. He was set to go to the UAE in 2014, before an elbow injury sustained in the IPL necessitated surgery and a delayed start to the 2014-15 season. In both cases, Australian results on tour suggested they could have and indeed did do worse by not having Marsh available to use his mercurial talents in conditions where he was less likely to fall prey to bounce and seam.Marshs height and reach allow him a decent stretch forward. His power and timing allow him the ability to generate bat speed and scoring zones when he has little pace to work with. Equally, his vast experience in the IPL has given him a level of accomplishment in numerous attacking strokes to spin, and a courage to use them regardless of whether the ball is turning or not. In short, Marsh has a game that can work in this part of the world, a rare gift among contemporary Australian batsmen.One of the key findings of the Australian tour party on this trip is the fact that top six success at home is no sort of indicator for how batsmen will fare in Asia. Before this match, the coach Darren Lehmann contended that changing last summers combination pre-emptively would likely have met with a cold public response. If you have a look at our summer and the way our batters played, he asked, if we didnt take any of those batters, how would we be viewed in the press?Yet it should be among the first lessons learned by any selector that their job is not to curry public favour but to choose winning teams. Earlier in the same press conference, Lehmann had spoken of the importance of batsmen being proactive, not reactive when spinners have conditions in their favour, a maxim he lived by with great success. Selection for Colombo, also including Moises Henriques as a specialist batsman, was nothing if not reactive.As Marsh accumulated calmly on the second afternoon, looking so secure where Joe Burns had been skittish and Usman Khawaja stranded, it was hard to escape the sense that much like Siddle he had been ignored for too long on this tour. Whether or not Australia have other batsmen at home who may also be able to aid the next Asian assignment in India next year remains to be seen, but certainly Peter Handscomb will have his claims.Either way, Lehmann, Rod Marsh and the rest of the selection panel must start to show their proactive side as a matter of urgency. As former Test cricketers, all are conscious of the gravity of their roles, and of a responsibility not to be flippant. But to badly misquote Oscar Wilde: selecting one player too late may be regarded as a misfortune; to do it again starts to look like carelessness. Jaroslav Halak Jersey . On Tuesday, Ottawa placed forward Cory Conacher and defenceman Joe Corvo on waivers as trade rumours swirl around the Senators. Johnny Boychuk Jersey . LeBron James and Chris Bosh didnt need any more. Williams scored 11 points in 10 minutes, Alan Anderson scored 17 points, and the Brooklyn Nets finished the exhibition season with a 108-87 win over the Miami Heat on Friday night. http://www.islandersauthority.com/authentic-casey-cizikas-islanders-jersey/ . LOUIS -- Cardinals cleanup hitter Allen Craig says hes recovered from a foot injury and ready to be put on St. Shane Prince Jersey . Aduriz headed home Markel Susaetas cross in the sixth minute to open the scoring at San Mames Stadium. He bettered that with a long-range blast that went in off the goal frame in the 18th, and converted a penalty in the 72nd after Diego Mainz was sent off for fouling Aduriz with only the goalkeeper to beat. Christopher Gibson Jersey ., and Rudi Swiegers of Kipling, Sask., took sixth spot on Saturday in pairs at the NHK Trophy ISU Grand Prix figure skating competition. DALLAS -- A night after a 31-point home loss that embarrassed Wesley Matthews and his teammates, they all showed up at a charity event hosted by the Dallas shooting guard.Coach Rick Carlisle called it a team-building moment for the unit with the worst record in the Western Conference. Matthews couldnt really disagree.Ill have an event every night if thats what were going to do, Matthews said after matching a season high with 26 points as the injury-plagued Mavericks answered their lowest point in a difficult season with a 111-103 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.A listless second half in a 120-89 loss to Sacramento prompted a team meeting. Two nights later, the Mavericks started the third quarter with a 10-2 run for their first double-digit lead in just their third win in 15 games. Harrison Barnes scored 25 points.That game, I think it ate at a lot of people, as it should, said Matthews, who was 8 of 16 from the field and 5 of 10 from 3-point range. I was embarrassed. I think a lot of other people were, too.Indiana had 10 3-pointers in the first quarter and a half, including four from Dallas high school product C.J. Miles. But the Pacers couldnt sustain it against the NBAs worst defensive team at the arc, finishing 14 of 25.Paul George scored 22 points to lead the Pacers (11-12), who failed for the third straight time with a chance to get above .500. Indiana hasnt had a winning record since dropping Game 2 at Brooklyn after beating Dallas at home in overtime in the opener.Its real disappointing, said George, who had just nine points after the first quarter. I dont know what it is. I dont have the answers for that.Matthews outscored the Pacers by himself during a 32-11 spurt that turned a 50-42 deficit into a 74-61 lead. He had 16 points during the run , capped by a 3-pointer midway through the third quarter.The Mavericks (5-17) shot 58 percent in the third quarter, making six of 12 from long range and outscoring the Pacers 31-25. In a 120-89 loss to Sacramento on Wednesday, Dallas was outscored 29-12 in the third.Dallas is without starters Dirk Nowitzkki (strained right Achilles tendon) and Andrew Bogut (right knee injury) and key backup guard J.ddddddddddddJ. Barea (left calf strain).We are in desperate need of wins, Carlisle said. We really played a solid game tonight.TIP-INSPacers: Indiana made its first 24 free throws before Jeff Teague missed the first of two with 1:34 remaining. The Pacers finished 25 of 26. ... Myles Turner, who grew up in the Dallas area, scored 18 points. He had 30 in the first meeting. ... Miles scored 18 points, going 6 of 9 from long range.Mavericks: G Seth Curry returned after missing four games with a right knee sprain. He matched Deron Williams for the team lead with six assists and scored four points. Williams scored 16. ... Matthews has all three of his 26-point outings in the past six games. Two of them were wins.GOOSE EGGFormer Dallas guard Monta Ellis was scoreless on 0-for-5 shooting. Its the first time he was held without a point since Feb. 9, 2015, during his final season with the Mavericks when he played just 4 minutes and missed his only shot. Monta is just trying to figure out his role within what we have going on, George said. Were all trying to figure this out.CAREER NIGHTUndrafted Dallas rookie Dorian Finney-Smith had career highs with 12 points and eight rebounds, the latter a game high along with Barnes. His scoring included a running one-handed dunk on a fast break. I put in the work so I deserve to go out there and shoot it with confidence and that is what Ive been doing, Finney-Smith said.UP NEXTPacers: After the first of two five-game trips, a season high, Indiana plays a pair of home games against Portland (Saturday) and Charlotte (Monday) before three more away from home.Mavericks: A visit to Houston on Saturday is followed by home games against Denver (Monday) and Detroit (Wednesday) with Dallas in a stretch of seven out of nine at home.---Story corrects previous versions with 74-61 lead for Dallas after 32-11 run instead of 74-71. 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dasg234, 25.10.2018 12:04