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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Australia have to fight but expose Sri Lankan weaknesses: CB ODI#6

Australia 236 all out [49.4 overs] (A Gilchrist 118, M Clarke 43, S Malinga 4/47) defeated Sir Lanka 173 all out (K Sangakkara 80, N Bracken 3/21, M Johnson 3/29) by 63 runs the WACA ground Perth: CB series #6.

The highlight of the match was undoubtedly Adam Gilchrist's excellent 118/132b (9x4, 3x6), most of which was compiled in his characteristically aggressive style. Only when he approached his century, around which time Australia lost several wickets, did he falter slow down. A winning, though not a competitive total, looked beyond them as only Michael Clarke (43/69b) , Ricky Ponting (25/25b ) and Mike Hussey (25/28b) lent much support against a Sri Lankan attack which bowled intelligently, not least when Gilchrist's primary focus was, deservedly, on notching his century.

236 looked below par on the good WACA wicket, and even less so when Sanath Jayasuriya jumped out of the blocks. But he was first out from the first ball of the fourth over for 12/10b. 1/29 may not have been the high water mark of the Sri Lankan innings but in retrospect looked quite close to it as the deficiencies of their batting were exposed by the Australian attack.

Once again Kumar Sangakkara shone, but even his light dimmed as he looked in vain for someone both to stay with him and to add enough runs to pull their team back into the game. The required run rate rose from the feasible to the difficult to the impossible, as only C K Kapugedera (a solid but insufficient 26/60b) gave him any semblance of support . Sangakkara was last out for a 80/114b, a valiant innings yet one which only emphasised how few class batsmen Sri Lanka have.

It now looks as if Australia and India will contest the series finals.

Scorecard

Cricinfo Bulletin
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