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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sri Lanka too good for Australia

Sri Lanka 7/ 283 (49.2 ov, Jayawardene 85, Chandimal 80, Christian 3/53) beat Australia 6/280  (50 ov, Forrest 104, Clarke 72) by three wickets: ODI 9/12 at Hobart.
Sri Lanka15 pts/ 6 matches, Australia 14/6, India 10/6.

Australia's 6/280 looked a competitive, if not insurmountable, score on a good Bellerive wicket, but Mahela Jayawardene's belligerent 85/81b (1x6, 6x4)  (inc 44 of a 55/48b first wicket partnership) got Sri Lanka out of the blocks against some short Australian quick bowling. They weren't able to maintain this rate but paced themselves well enough to get home in the last over as most of the top six got a start while the impressive Dinesh Chandimal 80/100b ( 7x4) provided the backbone for the second half of the chase.

For Australia Peter Forrest 104/138b (2x6, 10x4), his first ODI century,  and Michael Clarke 72/79b  (2x6, 5x4)  added 154 for the third wicket in 31.5 overs: far and away the best by either team, though in hindsight it would have helped if they'd scored at more than 5 an over.  At the time it looked good, though,  and the Hussey brothers' quickfire late innings, Mike's 21/14b (2x6) and David's 40*/28b (1x6, 2x4) reinforced that view.

Yet Sri Lanka's cracking start and subsequent persistence saw them home
and move ahead of Australia to the top of the points table.

Australia's recent form hasn't been that good, but India now looking down the barrel of missing the finals.

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