Tharanga, Murali inspire Sri Lanka to series-win

Published: November 6, 2010
 Ponting’s poor form continued with yet another international loss.  PHOTO: REUTERS

Ponting’s poor form continued with yet another international loss. PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY: Sri Lanka claimed their first-ever series success in Australia with a win against Ricky Ponting’s team in the rain-marred second One-Day international (ODI)at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The Sri Lankans won by 29 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method after several rain interruptions and followed their stunning one-wicket victory in the opening match in Melbourne on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka condemned Australia to a seventh straight international defeat in all forms of the game by scoring 213 for three off 41.4 overs and then bowling the home side out for 210 off 37.4 overs.

Opening batsman Upul Tharanga was named man-of-the-match for his unbeaten top-score of 86 while veteran spinner Muttiah Muralitharan claimed two wickets to take his career ODI tally to 517 wickets.

Ponting’s team have one more chance to break their demoralising run of losses before this month’s Ashes Test series against England in the final match of the ODI series in Brisbane tomorrow.

A 90-minute downpour reduced the match to 45 overs per side, but a much heavier shower later ended Sri Lanka’s innings prematurely. Angelo Mathews, the hero of Sri Lanka’s astonishing one-wicket victory over Australia in Melbourne, remained 17 not out off 11 balls.

In reply, Shane Watson briefly shone with the bat, scoring 40, before Muttiah Muralitharan grabbed two wickets. Australia’s middle-order staged a brief recovery and Mitchell Johnson middled a few but was left needing too much to do at the end.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2010.

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