Two stand-ins stood up but Australia still stumbled to 170 all out against Sri Lanka in Sunday’s one-day international at Adelaide Oval.
The Australians were all out in 46.5 overs with four of the top six batsmen failing to reach double figures before Brad Haddin (50) and Ben Cutting (27) gave the hosts some respectability.
Top-scorer Haddin, filling in for resting wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, and Cutting, on debut as a replacement for injured paceman Mitchell Starc, put on 57 runs for the seventh wicket.
They rescued Australia from a perilous 6-83 as the Lankans shrewdly exploited overcast conditions in a game delayed some 35 minutes by a wet outfield from morning rain.
Sri Lankan quick Lasith Malinga claimed 3-31 while Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera each took two wickets.
Malinga’s victims included Australia’s other one-day debutant, Kane Richardson, for a golden duck.
Richardson was summoned to replace Mitchell Johnson, who became the latest injured Australian fast bowler when sidelined pre-game by a side strain.
Haddin and Cutting’s partnership came as Australia’s top order collapsed, with only David Hussey (29) and captain George Bailey (26) reaching double figures.
Openers Aaron Finch (four) and Phil Hughes (three) fell early to leave Australia wobbling at 2-12 after seven overs.
Bailey and Hussey laboured for a 39-run partnership but the stand-in skipper’s dismissal began a middle order collapse of 4-32.
Steven Smith, replacing batsman Usman Khawaja from the side which thrashed the Lankans by 107 runs in Friday’s series opener in Melbourne, made just eight before becoming an oddity dismissal - caught Perera bowled Perera, as Sri Lanka’s non-relations, wicketkeeper Kushel and paceman Thisara, combined.
Hussey’s promising knock ended soon after when brilliantly run out by Tillakaratne Dilshan, whose throw while sliding at midwicket flicked a bail off at the bowler’s end with Hussey metres out.
Two balls later, Glenn Maxwell became Mathews’ second victim when caught behind for eight and Australia were in tatters at 6-83.
Haddin and Cutting then put on their face-saving partnership in a 15 over span before the hosts, seeking a win to take a two-nil lead in the best of five series, lost their final four wickets for 30 runs.
Haddin reached his half-century from 66 balls before being dismissed from his next ball to end Australia’s innings.