Sri Lanka register consolation win over Australia

February 29th, 2008 - 10:19 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, Feb 29 (IANS) A spirited display by Sri Lankan bowlers helped them claim a consolation win by 13-runs against Australia in the Commonwealth Bank one-day triangular series here Friday. Sri Lanka are already out of the series and their second victory in the series came too late in the day as the first of the three-final begins Sunday between India and Australia.

Opting to bat, skipper Mahela Jayawardene (50) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (62) joined forces to help Sri Lanka reach 221 after a disastrous poor start.

In reply, Australia was well on course to cross the target as Adam Gilchrist (83) and James Hopes (28) put on 107 for the first wicket. But a sudden collapse saw the hosts lose eight wickets for 101 runs with medium fast bowler Ishara Amerasinghe picking up three for 44 that saw Sri Lanka romping home.

Australia would have wanted to continue their winning run ahead of Sunday’s first final in Sydney and the defeat will certainly boost India’s confidence.

Australia made a fine start as they reduced Sri Lanka to 61 for four inside 20 overs. Dilruwan Perera was trapped leg before by Brett Lee while Sanath Jayasuriya - playing his last match in Australia - was caught by Mike Hussey off Nathan Bracken. Kumar Sangakkara sliced to Michael Hussey off Mitchell Johnson while Chamara Kapugedera edged one to James Hopes.

A spirited fight back from captain Jayawardene, putting on 64 with Dilshan before being trapped by Brad Hogg, bailed them out of the precarious situation. Dilshan was run out on 62, while Lasith Malinga and Muttiah Muralitharan departed in quick succession. But Chamara Silva (35) and Nuwan Kulasekara (14) helped Sri Lanka post a competitive total.

The Aussies were off to a rollicking start as Adam Gilchrist, playing his last game at the MCG, scored a swashbuckling 83 of 50 balls. But exactly an over after his opening partner James Hopes departed, Gilchrist was caught brilliantly by Malinga off Kulasekara at long-off, which triggered a collapse.

Michael Clarke and Andrew Symonds both fell to Amerasinghe without scoring and, wedged between them, Ponting went lbw to Kulasekara scoring just one. Brad Haddin was trapped by Malinga, Hussey’s stumps were rattled by Kapugedera and Hogg gave his wicket to Muralitharan.

After Jayawardene produced a superb leap to collect Johnson’s thick edge, Lee and Bracken put on 35 before Jayasuria bowled Lee as Sri Lanka completed only their second win of the series with 11 balls to spare.

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