Australia beat Sri Lanka by 366 runs for 2-0 series win

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Australia's Mitchell Starc celebrates his 10th wicket against Sri Lanka on day 4 of their cricket test match in Canberra, Monday, Feb. 4. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Australia’s Mitchell Starc celebrates his 10th wicket against Sri Lanka on day 4 of their cricket test match in Canberra, Monday, Feb. 4. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Canberra, Australia (AP) — Mitchell Starc bowled with recharged confidence to take innings figures of 5-46 and match figures of 10-100 as Australia trounced Sri Lanka by 366 runs in the second cricket test to sweep the two-match series.

One of the most intimidating bowlers in the world at his best, Starc appeared low on confidence during Australia’s previous series against India, taking 13 wickets at an average of 34.5 across four tests.

He was also relatively quiet in the first test against Sri Lanka, taking 2-97 as Australia won by an innings and 40 runs.

But he bowled with some of his usual fire in the first innings of the second test, taking 5-54, and followed up with a second five-wicket haul on Monday, the 11th of his career, as Australia bowled out Sri Lanka 149 as the visitors chased an unlikely 516 to win.

Starc, who was voted player of the match for his second career 10-wicket haul in tests, was supported by Pat Cummings, who took 3-15 from eight overs and was voted player of the series after taking 14 wickets at an average of 7.

“I just tried to come into this week and forget about everything, just try to run in and bowl as fast as I could,” Starc said. “I started to slow down toward the end but it’s been a great week for the group.”

The pitch for the first-ever test match at Manuka Oval was slow and low and Starc had to use his pace, length and swing to run through the Sri Lanka batting lineup twice. He averaged more than 140 kph (87 mph) throughout the match and was too good for a Sri Lanka batting lineup coming off a recent series loss in New Zealand.

“This was the game we’ve been searching for all summer,” Starc said. “To have four century-makers and I guess bowl the way the whole group did this week was fantastic to see as a young and inexperienced group.” No Australian batter had posted a hundred in the summer until Joe Burns broke the drought in the first innings in Canberra.