Well, that's it, everyone. What a crushing win for Australia. RC signing off here at Blog Central. Thanks for all your company, comments and great banter, been a lot of fun! Make you sure you join us in Sydney next Thursday for the opening day of the third Test and we'll do it all again!
Beaten skipper Jayawardene philosophical about this crushing defeat. First problem will be finding fit enough players to actually field a team in Sydney! Australian skipper Clarke pretty satisfied with this effort, and understandably. The bowling was very sharp, the batting solid, the fielding and catching good.
Just the formalities remain here, the man of the match about to be awarded. And not surprisingly, it goes to Mitch Johnson, who had one of those games. Match figures with the ball of 22 overs, 2 maidens, six for 79, and a superb unbeaten 92 with the bat, including seven boundaries. Consistency has been his issue, but looked a lot steadier this match. Let's hope he can build on it in Sydney.
AUSTRALIA WON BY AN INNINGS AND 201 RUNS
WHAT HAPPENED: While Australia was always going to win comfortably after day one, few could have predicted the game would be over halfway through day three! Australia added just 20 more runs in the morning, Lyon and Bird falling cheaply, Johnson stranded on an unbeaten 92. Sri Lanka couldn't have started the rearguard action any worse, Karunaratne run out from the third ball of the innings, Dilshan out from the fourth. From there it was steady procession of wickets and injuries for the visitors, Sangakkara retiring hurt, neither he, P Jayawardene nor Welegedara being sent out again to face the music.
WHAT IT MEANS: In the short term, a great confidence builder for new boy Bird, who bowled beautifully for two wickets in either innings, and for the revitalised Johnson. In the longer term, given the gap between these teams, the question over Australia's capacity for back-to-back Ashes series remains. And fresh doubts about all-rounder Watson's durability. The much-criticised rotation policy has at the very least thrown up a range of quality bowlers, though. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, would want to forget all about these nightmare few days, and has to regroup in a hurry for the third Test in Sydney.
Aussies smash Sri Lanka in Boxing Day Test
Requiring only two and half days Australia has demolished Sri Lanka by and innings and 201 runs at the MCG.PT1M46S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2bz1o 620 349 December 28, 2012
WICKET! And Siddle finishes it off! Digs one in, Herath can only fend it off to Cowan at bat-pad. And with three blokes stuck in the medical room, Sri Lanka doesn't bother with unecessary heroics. Australia wins the series 2-0 ... don't think anyone expected it over this quickly even this morning. Incredible!
Aussies take last two Sri Lankan wickets
Sri Lanka only off seven wickets in their second innings as Australia win the Boxing Day Test by an innings and 201 runs.PT0M54S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2bywu 620 349 December 28, 2012
WICKET! Prasad goes for a third six in a row, doesn't get to the pitch and hits it straight up into the air at cover, Warner having no trouble clutching the spoils! Couldn't blame Prasad, really, might as well go down swinging! That will be drinks, too. Wonder why they'd bother, really, will have hours for them in a few minutes!
Six! And another six! Sri Lanka hits back, sort of, Prasad depositing Lyon over the fence two balls in a row!
Lyon's coming on for for a spell now. Hasn't had a lot to do ... sort of a de facto net session now, really!
Herath the new man in. Sri Lanka aren't going to bother sending out the injured Sangakkara, Jayawardene or Welegedara it seems, so visitors effectively 8-for. Has a side been this comprehensively smashed both on the scoreboard and in the medical room before?!
WICKET! Johnson gets another! Was short and wide, Mathews tried to pull it from outside off and succeeds only in dragging the ball on to his stumps. Getting embarrassing now, SL 5/74!
Now Prasad cops a smack on the left hand from Johnson ... more pain, out come the medical staff again ... absolute carnage out there ... what a pity Tony Grieg isn't in the commentary box just so we can hear him say 'carnage'!
Prasad avoids the pair! Hardly convincing though, pulls a short one from Bird very uppishly to mid-wicket. Then another close shave, Bird once more finds the outside edge of Mathews' bat again, just wide of second slip ... that's where Hughes was last over, but sadly for the bowler, not now! SL 4/73.
More drama! Sangakkara cops a nasty crack on the left index finger from Johnson, swelling up like a balloon, looks broken. He's going straight off for treatment, unbeaten on 27 but you'd have to think he's in doubt for Sydney ... Prasad to the crease in place of Jayawardene, who also has a broken joint!
Another close shave! Bird finds the edge of Mathews' bat again, just wide of Watson at gully for four, Clarke sending Hughes into a wide third slip as a result. Watson grabbed his dodgy hamstring after that dive, too. Nice answer from Mathews, another boundary. SL 4/61.
It's going to be Johnson from the other end to Mathews, pushes a single, Sangakkara on strike. Last recognised pair in, keeper Jayawardene has a broken thumb, and Welegedara a torn hamstring ... talk about down and out!
And we're off again. It's going to be Mathews on strike, Jackson Bird to take the ball from the Southern Stand end. Been a very impressive debut from the big man, currently with figures of 2/10. Batsman clips him off the pads for a couple to start. Then a chance! Mathews slashed at one outside off, thick edge flies to Watson at gully, goes with the right hand and grasses it! SL 4/43.
Almost ready to go again here. For just how long we'll be going is the obvious question. You suspect the Aussies are quietly planning a couple of days of golf for the weekend having cut a swathe through the Sri Lankan top order. This whole Test has been a nightmare for the visitors, underlined by today's run out of Karunaratne from the third ball of the innings. Blue skies above, that early drizzle cleared quickly. Will there be a third session today?
LUNCH SCORE: Sri Lanka 4/43 (Sangakkara 22*, Mathews 17*)
And that's lunch! Feels like we've only gone half an hour so much has happened. Absolute carnage at the top of the SL order after Australia's last two wickets fell quickly. Six wickets have fallen today for 63. SL needs another 261 to make Aussies bat again. Is this game going to last until tea today? Join us back here in 30-odd minutes to find out.
Still all happening! Lovely drive from Mathews for four, edges Siddle between second and third slips, then pushes a sharp single and just beats Warner's throw! This is looking like a T20 game! SL 4/43.
Johnson coming back from the Southern Stand end, replacing Bird. The Tasmanian has 2/10 from his five overs!
A few more near misses, going on, the latest Mathews getting a big inside edge to Bird, only just shoots past leg stump. Now he gets the outside edge, along the ground to Watson in slips. Can't take your eyes away for a moment right now! SL 4/29.
Good stat from our man Jesse Hogan and a nice vote of confidence for the umpiring ... 10 of Nigel Llong's LBW decisions have been challenged so far in this series: 7 of 10 have backed his call. SL 4/21, Sangakkara has 14 of them.
Local hero Siddle is on to replace Johnson while there's still some wickets left to take! Just three overs for Mitch ... guess you've got to share the spoils! Johnson has 1/5 from his three overs, big Bird has 2/7 from three!
WICKET! It's four down now! Bird traps Samaraweera in front, huge shout for LBW and up goes the finger! Sri Lanka will challenge out of sheer desperation, but it looks plumb at first glance ... hotspot is all clear, hawkeye shows it will hit leg, and he's gone! SL are 4/13 ... oh dear!
A boundary! In the midst of the carnage, Sangakkara doubles his team's score with a four from Bird ... SL into double figures now, the fightback is on! SL 3/10.
WICKET! Bird gets in on the act! Skipper Jayawardene is bowled, went to take his bat away after a bit of hesitance and it clips the inside edge and smacks into off stump. Sri Lanka 3/3! ... What's going on?! Will this game last till tea on the third day?
It's all happening, says Bill Lawry .. and it sure is! Sangakkara and skipper Jayawardene at the crease in the first over. SL 2/1! It's going to be big Bird from the Southern Stand end, with the visitors in disarray!
WICKET! First ball! Australia on a team hat-trick! Dilshan fends off a short one on to the thigh pad, pops up to Cowan at short leg, and Sri Lanka is 2/1 from four deliveries!
WICKET! That's ridiculous! Karunaratne is run out! He pushes into the covers for a single, somehow tries to turn it into a two, turns back mid-pitch, the ball swiftly back to the bowler by Warner, and Johnson lunges and breaks the stumps with batsman well short of his ground! Run out from the third ball of the innings? You have to be kidding!
Almost ready to start again here. The Australian lead ends up 304, and a new cherry and overcast skies might give the Australian attack a little encouragement to begin. And it's going to be man of the moment Johnson to fire up first from the members end. It's Karunaratne on strike. Let's go again!
Real shame for Mitch, was looking great again this morning. He knows what it's like to be left in the 90s already, too, happened to him in South Africa in 2009, still just the one Test ton for him, in that same series. Really has to be just about regarded as an all-rounder with efforts like that, his 92 was from 150 balls with seven boundaries.
WICKET! And Johnson is stranded! Bird is clean bowled by a lovely ball from Eranga, full-pitched, beat him for pace and went right through his defences, gets a duck on debut. Australia all out for 460, with a lead of 304.
Eranga on to replace Prasad, who might switch ends. Johnson spanks him down the ground, looks for two, Bird's struggling, and ball hit stumps, and there's a run out appeal. All good, though, he's home safely. Johnson on strike, on 91.
What a cracking shot from Johnson! Straight down the ground to Mathews, almost takes out the umpire! Ball smacks into the fence, that takes him to 88, think he knows he's got to get there soon or not at all! Bird survives the end of the over, Johnson on 89 gets his chance again! And the lead ticks past 300 ...
The big Tasmanian gets a couple of short ones from Prasad to say 'hello', ducks under them without any problems, next one does, though. Will be desperate not to let his fellow quick down and get him to three figures! Aus. 9/452.
WICKET! Lyon's gone, boy that was a bit insipid! Mathews pitches short, Lyon attempts to pull and instead just paddles a dolly of a catch straight to a close mid-wicket. It's up to new boy Bird to help steer Johnson through to that 100 now!
Prasad coming from the members end, coming around the wicket to the left-hander. Johnson has just flowed on from his form last night, boy he's hitting the ball well, on to 79, Aus. 8/447 with a lead now of 291.
Johnson off the mark straight away, clips it off his pads for two. Next ball he belts through covers for a three. Confident start! Now it's Lyon's turn.
We're underway! It's going to be Mathews opening up from the Southern Stand end, with Mitch Johnson on strike on 73 not out, looking for what would be a sensational 100! Let's play, gentlemen!
Good news! The rain has stopped, the covers are coming off right now and we're likely to start play in about 15 minutes or so. Stick with us, we're going to see action sooner than later!
Covers are still on I'm afraid, the drizzle still hanging around. Nothing too heavy, though, we're not going to start on time but hopefully it's not too far away!
Weather here isn't terrific, we're going for a top of just 22 degrees with a light morning shower or two. Indeed, there's one right now, the covers still on the centre wicket area. Shouldn't be a huge delay, but we might lose just a little bit of time at the start.
This really has been a summer of injuries, and if you're Shane Watson, a career of them. The all-rounder looks to have bitten the dust again, straining his troublesome calf whilst bowling on day one. Makes his effort with the bat look better still, but the bottom line is he won't bowl again in this game and appears certain to miss the third Test in Sydney, Usman Khawaja the likely replacement.
Good morning everyone, RC here at Blog Central to take you through all the action at the MCG on day three, Australia completely on top with a near-300 lead on the first innings already and looking for more runs this morning. Can Mitch Johnson get his ton, can Sri Lanka find something from the wreckage? Let's find out!
DAY TWO SUMMARY
WHAT HAPPENED: Clarke and Watson came out determined to build Australia's lead and did just that in steady if unspectacular fashion, adding nearly 200. Once more, the Aussies then lost a spate of wickets, but the lower order did more than its bit, the seventh and eighth wickets both adding 50-plus, Johnson looking set for another Test ton with a fine and responsible innings. Sri Lanka stuck to its guns despite losing Welegedera early, but again didn't have enough penetration to bust through the batting order, Australia with a lead of 284.
WHAT IT MEANS: Only one result possible now, surely, with three full days left for the home side to dismiss Sri Lanka a second time. The track offers little for the bowlers, but the visitors don't appear to have the requisite patience or discipline to stave off the bowlers. A clear gap in class between these teams is becoming more apparent, Australia in complete control without necessarily playing to its full potential, the question remaining can they produce the goods against the very best opposition.
Clarke breaks records as Sri Lanka faces big chase
Michael Clarke becomes Australian record holder for Test runs in a calendar as Sri Lanka face a daunting challenge to stay in touch.PT1M40S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2bygs 620 349 December 28, 2012