Gilchrist’s ton helps Australia beat Sri Lanka

February 15th, 2008 - 10:00 pm ICT by admin  

Perth, Feb 15 (IANS) Adam Gilchrist hammered his 16th one-day century to guide Australia to a 63-run win over Sri Lanka and go atop the points table overtaking India in the Commonwealth Bank Triangular Series here Friday. Gilchrist’s 118 off 132 balls (9×4s, 6×3s) was the mainstay of the innings as only three other batsmen reached double-figure scores in Australia’s 236 in 49.4 overs. Pacer Lasith Malinga took four for 47 at the Western Australian Cricket Association ground.

In reply, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 173 in 45.3 overs, Kumar Sangakkara’s 80 (114 balls, 4×4s) being the top score. Left-arm fats bowlers Nathan Bracken and Mitchell Johnson took three wickets apiece.

Gilchrist, who was adjudged the Man of the Match, helped Australia to go on top of the table with 12 after each of the three teams have played four matches. India are now second with eight points and Sri Lanka have six.

The left-handed opener was also involved in two big partnerships. With captain Ricky Ponting (25) he raised 50 for the second wicket and with Michael Clarke (43, 69 balls, 4×4s), the second highest scorer of the innings, he added 105 in 24.1 overs for the third wicket.

Gilchrist was also lucky to carry on beyond 78, at which score Lasith Malinga failed to judge a catch at midwicket. He duly reached his century to become the third batsman to record two tons at the WACA to emulate Australia’s Dean Jones and South Africa’s Jacques Kallis.

Malinga bowled well to finish with fine figures of 9.4-1-47-4 while Nuwan Kulasekara took two for 52.

Replying, Sri Lankan batting also faltered, barring Sangakkara’s knock. Batting at No.3, Sangakkara kept one end going and was involved three meaningful partnerships. With captain Mahela Jayawardene (21), he added 36 for the third wicket, in the company of Chamara Kapugedera he scored 53 for the fifth wicket and 30 for the sixth wicket with Farveez Maharoof.

But major help failed to come from the specialist batsmen in the face of some fine fast bowling by Bracken and Johnson.

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