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06.05.2018 15:41
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Match facts July 26-30, 2016 Start time 10.00 local (04.30 GMT)Big Picture Once upon a time, Sri Lanka beat Australia in a Test series. Like most fairy tales, it was a little bit gruesome - Steve Waugh and Jason Gillespie met grisly fates during Sri Lankas win in the first Test - and somewhat miraculous - persistent rain in the second and third Tests ensured draws that gave Sri Lanka a 1-0 victory. In the coming years, their achievement took on even more mythic proportions. Immediately following that series in 1999, Australia won a world-record 16 consecutive Tests. For a good couple of years, Sri Lanka were the last of the giant-killers.Yet the happy ending of that tour was just that - an ending. Never again have Sri Lanka beaten Australia in a Test, let alone a series. They lost 0-3 at home in 2004 despite the presence of champions such as Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Chaminda Vaas and Sanath Jayasuriya. In 2011, Sangakkara and Jayawardene were still there and Australia were ripe for plucking; having suffered an Ashes debacle at home, Australia had slipped to fifth on the Test rankings, below the fourth-placed Sri Lanka. But still Australia emerged with a series win.Now, the last of those legends have faded into retirement, and everything seems stacked against Sri Lanka. Australia are back on top of the Test rankings, Sri Lanka have slipped to seventh. Australia have more or less a full-strength squad; Sri Lanka have several bowlers injured. Even Muralitharan, he of 800 Test wickets, has changed camps and is coaching the Australians on this tour. But there is one solitary link back to that 1999 triumph - that was the series in which Rangana Herath made his Test debut, and Sri Lankas hopes rest largely on his stocky shoulders this time.Australia are yet to lose a Test under Steven Smiths captaincy, and he will be desperate to ensure that continues on his first tour of Asia as skipper. He will have his strike weapon Mitchell Starc back after a long injury lay-off, and a twin spin attack likely at his disposal. Smith himself is the No.1-ranked Test batsman in the world and his fit-again vice-captain David Warner is eighth. And thats without even mentioning the bloke averaging 95.50. If Sri Lanka want another fairy tale, theyll need a touch of the miraculous once again.Form guide Sri Lanka: DLLLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)? Australia: WWDWWIn the spotlight To overcome Australia, the Sri Lankans may just need something special from a one-man band. Fortunately, they have the Mike Oldfield of cricket. In the past five years, no Test player has accumulated more five-wicket hauls or ten-wicket matches than Rangana Herath. And only one man - Stuart Broad - has equalled him for Man-of-the-Match awards in that time. At home, Herath is an ever-present threat, and no player is more important to Sri Lankas chances in this series. There is no Dhammika Prasad, no Dushmantha Chameera, no Shaminda Eranga. But while Herath remains, Sri Lanka can dream.Last time Australia played a Test series in Sri Lanka, Nathan Lyon was as green as the Adelaide Oval outfield, on which he had not long finished working as a groundsman. He began the tour with five first-class matches to his name and was thrust in at Galle as the latest in a long line of spinners tried since Shane Warnes retirement four years earlier. It would be Lyon who would finally end the spin cycle, signalled by his taking Sangakkaras wicket with the first ball of his career. He returns as Australias most successful Test offspinner of all time, with 195 wickets to his name. Almost certainly on this trip he will become the 16th Australian to the milestone of 200 Test wickets.Team news By naming a squad of 15, Sri Lanka have given themselves plenty of options. A debut for either Dhananjaya de Silva or Roshen Silva seems likely, while the make-up of the attack needs to be determined with so many bowlers unavailable due to injury. Suranga Lakmal is doubtful due to hamstring tightness, which could mean a debut for Vishwa Fernando.Sri Lanka (possible) 1 Dimuth Karunaratne, 2 Kaushal Silva, 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Dinesh Chandimal (wk), 5 Angelo Mathews (capt), 6 Dhananjaya de Silva, 7 Kusal Perera, 8 Dilruwan Perera, 9 Rangana Herath, 10 Vishwa Fernando, 11 Nuwan Pradeep.Australias XI has been confirmed, with the only question-mark in the lead-up having been whether they would opt for two spinners. Steve OKeefes work in the warm-up match - he took 10 wickets and scored an unbeaten 78 - extinguished any doubts, and on match eve Smith announced that OKeefe would be part of the XI.Australia 1 David Warner, 2 Joe Burns, 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Steven Smith (capt), 5 Adam Voges, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Peter Nevill (wk), 8 Steve OKeefe, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Josh Hazlewood.Pitch and conditions A couple of days out, the Pallekele pitch had a slight covering of grass but that was expected to be shaved off before the Test. It is expected to spin as the match wears on, though perhaps not so much as as it does in Galle.Stats and triviaThe all-time head-to-head record between these two teams is 26 Tests played, 17 wins to Australia, eight draws, and just a single victory for Sri LankaAcross all formats this year, Sri Lanka have won just a single game against Test-playing opposition: a T20 against India back in FebruaryAustralia would need to win at least 2-0 to ensure they do not drop any points on the Test rankings tableQuotes I have trust in all 11 players, but unfortunately our top bowlers are unavailable. But we cant refuse to play the game because of that. We hope the players who do play can do the job. Well have to play very well to beat the No.1 team.Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lanka captainThe challenge for us is batting long periods of time. We know thats what wins games in these conditions.David Warner on Australias challenge in Sri Lanka Bryan Anger Jersey . 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The 17-year-old native of Marystown, N.L., pulled out of Skate Canada International last month in Saint John, N.B., with the same problem. It was an annual tradition at the ACCs preseason kickoff event. Questions would be asked about the potential for a league TV network, and commissioner John Swofford would juke and dodge, providing few details.This year, however, things were different.I dont have to do any dancing, Swofford joked from a stage loaded with ACC dignitaries and ESPN executives.This time, he had an answer. The long-awaited ACC Network will launch by August 2019, with the Atlantic Coast Conference and ESPN agreeing to a 20-year deal and rights extension through the 2035-36 academic year in an announcement made Thursday.The ACC also extended its conference rights deal nine years through 2035-36.The conferences grant of rights makes it financially untenable for a school to leave, guaranteeing in the 20 years of the deal that a schools media rights, including revenue, for all home games would remain with the ACC regardless of the schools affiliation.The ACC is a great conference, and this increases the national exposure, brings in additional revenue and offers greater opportunity for student-athletes, Clemson president Jim Clements said. For us and the Florida States and others, it stabilizes the conference long term.ddddddddddddThe ACCs new grant of rights also automatically extends Notre Dames contract with the conference as a member in all sports but football through 2035-36, a source said. If the Irish forgo football independence in the next 20 years, they will be contracted to join the ACC.Swofford said Notre Dame was no closer to joining the conference for football, but the phone lines are always open.While the linear network will launch by 2019, the ACC Networks digital channel will start this fall and carry 600 live events. The linear network will broadcast more than 1,300 live events per year when it starts.Swofford said the league will move to a 20-game league schedule in mens basketball by 2019, part of an effort to boost the amount of available content.The ACC Network will increase the leagues overall value. Swofford said the many agreements will put the ACC in the upper echelon of Power 5 conferences and secure the leagues future over the next 20 years.ESPNs Brett McMurphy and David M. Hale and The Associated Press contributed to this report. Stitched Jerseys Cheap Jerseys NFL Jerseys China Jerseys NFL China Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys From China ' ' '

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