Clarke praises team for win over Sri Lanka

August 21st, 2011 - 6:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Aug 21 (IANS) Australian captain Michael Clarke has praised the patience shown by his players during the five-wicket win over Sri Lanka that gave the visitors an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.

Australia bowled Sri Lanka out for just 132 in the fourth One-day International Saturday, but they had to work hard for the runs in difficult conditions.

Shaun Marsh made 70 and Clarke contributed 38 as Australia chased down the target with five wickets to spare.

“We didn’t get wickets at the start of their innings but we bowled with really good discipline and in good areas,” Clarke said.

“The wicket was a little bit two-paced and I thought our patience was the key with the ball today. It’s been a key to our success over here. We’ve got Sri Lanka out on three occasions.”

Former captain Ricky Ponting and brothers Michael and David Hussey all went out for ducks during a run chase that Clarke expected to be challenging, despite Sri Lanka’s modest total.

“We knew the new ball would skid off the pitch and that with the old ball, they would get some reverse-swing and a bit of spin as well,” Clarke said.

“Shaun Marsh played outstandingly and chased those runs down on his own in those conditions.”

Xavier Doherty bagged four wickets in the victory and Clarke said the left-arm spinner has been rewarded for his efforts in previous matches.

“X (Doherty) is a very hard marker on himself and he’s done a magnificent job for us,” Clarke said.

“Part of our success here has been the partnerships from the bowlers. Sometimes you bowl beautifully and get no wickets, but your mate at the other end does. On a couple of occasions this series, that’s what has happened to X.”

“If he keeps bowling the way he’s bowling, I see no reason why he can’t play Test cricket for Australia.”

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