Australia through to Commonwealth Bank tri-series final

February 22nd, 2008 - 10:24 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, Feb 22 (IANS) Australia defeated Sri Lanka by 24 runs by Duckworth Lewis method to confirm their place in the final of the of the Commonwealth Bank tri-series here Friday. After restricting the World Champions to 184, the Lankans had only themselves to blame, as they were tottering at 77 for the loss of four wickets in 29.3 overs when rain disrupted the match.

The match could not be continued and with Sri Lanka way below the Duckworth-Lewis mark - they had to score 101 in that period - Australia became the first team to book their place in the finals.

On-field umpires Simon Taufel and Rudi Koertzen waited long for the rain to stop but called off the match after the cut-off time of 10.20 pm was over. As the minimum quota of 20 had already been bowled, Australia were declared winners. The hosts also received an additional bonus point.

Sri Lanka now have an uphill task to qualify for the best-of-three finals as they need to win their remaining two matches and hope that India lose to Australia in Sydney Sunday.

However, Friday’s victory confirmed Australia’a place in the finals as they top the the points table with 22 points from six games, while India occupies the second spot with 12 points from the same number of matches and Mahela Jayawardena’s men are lying at the bottom with only six points from as many matches.

Australian top-order collapsed once again with Sri Lankan bowlers leaving them tottering at 54 for four before Micahel Clarke (50) and Michael Hussey (64 not out) joined forces for the rescue act and put a respectable total on the board. Farveez Mahrrof took two for 20 while Muttiah Muralitharan returned figures two for 37.

Australian bowlers crushed Sri Lankan hopes with Stuart Clark (two for 8) Nathan Bracken (one for 1) and James Hopes (one for 23) picking wickets at regular intervals. Lankan Skipper Mahela Jayawerdene (27) put some resistance before perishing to Bracken.

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