ICC WTC 2022-23: Australia lose top Test championship spot after defeat against Sri Lanka
ICC WTC 2022-23: After losing to Sri Lanka in the second game of their series, Pat Cummins-led Australia ceded the top spot in the World Test Championship to South Africa on Tuesday.
On Monday in Galle, the island nation finished a spectacular innings and 39-run victory over Australia’s captain Pat Cummins’ team to tie the two-match series at 1-1.
The outcome upended the standings, with Sri Lanka moving up to third as the race to the final heats up.
“South Africa take over as the new leader on the latest standings with a win-loss percentage of 71.43 percent, while Australia drop to second with 70 percent after their first Test loss in the current period,” the International Cricket Council said.
“Sri Lanka are now firmly in the mix for the World Test Championship final next year, with their win helping them jump in front of Pakistan, India and West Indies.”
With a match-high 12 wickets, Sri Lankan spinner Prabath Jayasuriya made a stellar debut, and experienced batsman Dinesh Chandimal stood out with an unbroken 206, his first Test double century.
For a team that won the first match in three days. But was then eliminated on the fourth day of the second round, Cummins called the defeat a “reality check.”
“The reality is some of our players haven’t been here before. So you could call it a reality check, because it’s a first experience,” Australian coach Andrew McDonald said, agreeing with the skipper.
“It’s a sample size of one. We have the opportunity to learn from that. And we’ll take that. But we learned a hell of a lot in the first game too.
“You can learn through winning and you can learn through defeat too.”
While Sri Lanka hosts Pakistan for a two-match series beginning on Saturday. Australia’s next Test match is at home against the West Indies in November.
New Zealand, led by Kane Williamson, defeated India to win the inaugural Test Championship final in Southampton last year.