SYDNEY: Sri Lanka posted their biggest One-Day International (ODI) win over Australia in Sydney with a crushing eight-wicket victory with 101 balls to spare in their Tri-Nation Series match.
Sri Lanka bounced back into contention for the final with a bonus-point victory on the Duckworth-Lewis method after skittling out Australia for 158 off 40.5 overs and rattling up a revised winning target of 152 for two in just 24.1 overs. Sri Lanka, winless before the game after being held to a tie in their previous match by leaders India, moved to within three points of the Indians after four games in the tournament.
Captain leads the chase
Mahela Jayawardene steered his side to victory with an unbeaten knock of 61 off 67 balls with opener Tillakaratne Dilshan hitting 45 off 41.
“The intent was good, the aggression, the tempo — it was a good, clinical finish,” said Jayawardene. “The bonus point was brilliant, we just wanted a win, but now we’re definitely back in it. The bonus point was the icing on the cake.”
Another feat for Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara reached 10,000 ODI runs in his innings of 30 off 29 balls and became the 10th batsman to reach the milestone.
Thisara Perera was judged man-of-the-match in a wide open vote having taken two for 29 and also effected two run outs in Australia’s innings.
It was Australia’s second straight defeat in the tournament and they face India in Brisbane tomorrow when they will be led by Ricky Ponting again in the continued absence of the injured Michael Clarke.
“We had a really poor day with bat, ball and in the field,” said Ponting. “No doubt we’ll have a chat about it as a group, but the bottom line is we’re going to have to move on pretty quick. Full credit to Sri Lanka, they bowled and fielded really well, and played their shots in the chase.
“We thought we could use the seam of the ball and capitalise, but that wasn’t the case.”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 18th, 2012.
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