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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rampant Sri Lanka maul Australia in ODI.

Sri Lanka 2/152 (24.1 ov, Jayawardene 61*, Dilshan 45, Sangakkara 30) beat Australia 158 (40.5 ov,  D Hussey 58) by 8 wickets with 16.5 overs in hand (D/L method): ODI 6/12 at SCG.
 Each team has played 4  matches: India 10 pts, Australia 9, Sri Lanka 7.

Sri Lanka won a rain affected and hence Duckworth- Lewis method-adjudicated match easily against a frail Australia, for whom only David Hussey 58/64b (6x4) provided any batting backbone against a tight Sri Lankan attack and fielding which was able to compensate for some bloopers (eg Dan Christian dropped twice in making 6!).

Disappointing as it was, 158 all out represented a modest considerable recovery from 8/104, and even, as the conditions appeared to favour the bowlers, may have raised cautious hopes among Australian supporters of a victory. But the experienced top order batters Tillekaratne Dilshan 45/41b, 1x6, 4x4), Mahela Jayawardene 61*/67, 5x4) and Kumar Sangakkara, who passed 10,000 ODI runs in his aggressive cameo 30/29b (1x6, 4x4) saw Sri Lanka home easily for their first win (and a bonus point).

The series is now alive.. If any of the three teams needs to regroup quickly it is Australia, who 've lost their last two games and whose weaknesses - chiefly top order batting though the bowling, as this match showed, is none too flash - are being exposed by their opponents. It looks as though Michael Clarke will miss tomorrow's match against India, so it's time for Ricky Ponting to, as he did in the recent Test series, put his run of poor scores behind him and play the big innings many hope and I believe he has in him.

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