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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sri Lanka find form at last

Sri Lanka 9/286 (50ov, U Tharanga 111, T Dilshan 55,D Bollinger 4-42) def Australia 208 (44.2
ov,M Hussey 63, L Malinga 5-28) by 78 runs
: ODI#3/5 at Hambantota. Australia lead series 2-1.

Sri Lanka at last performed as everyone knows they can. An opening stand of 139/151b between Upul Tharanga 111/139b (12x4) and Tillekeratne Dilshan 55/59b (4x4) provided a launching pad for a total which looked, as the total passed 200 without further loss, to be heading for 300+ .

It didn't work out that way as the pace bowlers, led for the second game on the trot by Doug Bollinger, this time 10-0-42-4, clawed back enough ground to give Australia a sniff of a chance.

Openers Watson and Haddin fell cheaply to Lasith Malinga and promising looking debutant Shaminda Eraga, then Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke kept Australia in the chase briefly until Ponting hit a soft return catch to Eranga. 3/52.

Clarke and Mike Hussey added a handy (but not handy enough as it turned out) 81/95b before Malinga snared Clarke for 46/67b (3x4). David Hussey didn't last long, and Australia's candle was snuffed out when two wickets fell on 183: first Steve Smith tipped the ball straight to bowler Nuwan Kulasekara who ran him out (a good throw but a silly call); then Mike Hussey to Malinga for a characteristic 63/76b (5x4). Malinga (who has reverted to his former multicoloured hairstyle) swept the rest before him, finishing with 8.2-2-28-5 as Sri Lanka strode to victory.

Australia are now the team with problems, especially in the opening batting and spin bowling (combined figures for the three used:12-0-91-0).


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