|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Bracken bags five wkts as Australia rout Sri Lanka
February 08, 2008 13:01 IST
Last Updated: February 08, 2008 16:39 IST
Paceman Nathan Bracken [Images] scalped five wickets as World champions Australia came up with a clinical display to thrash Sri Lanka [Images] by 128 runs in the tri-series One-Day International in Sydney on Friday.
After posting a competitive 253 for 6, largely built around Michael Clarke's [Images] unbeaten 77 and Adam Gilchrist's [Images] 61, the lanky Bracken ripped through the Lankan batting. He finished with figures of 5 for 46 as Sri Lanka were dismissed for 125 runs in 31.3 overs.
Only wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara provided a semblance of resistance with a 41-ball 42, but none of the other Sri Lankan batsmen could hang around for long on a slow track at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The convincing victory took Australia to the top of the points table, having garnered seven points from two matches. India are behind them with four points from two rain-abandoned games while Sri Lanka are at the bottom with two points from as many matches.
The Australians now travel to Melbourne for the next game against India, to be held under the floodlights, on Sunday.
The first two matches in the series were abandoned due to rain.
It turned out to be a totally one-sided game as the home team dominated after Ricky Ponting [Images] won the toss and elected to bat.
Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden [Images], who returned to the team after missing out the opening match against India because of an injury, provided a rollicking start, putting on 65 runs in 12 overs.
But in the very next over, Sri Lanka's first change bowler Ishara Amerasinghe struck to give his team their first breakthrough by removing the firing Hayden, who hit five fours in his 50-ball knock.
Amerasinghe had Hayden caught by Mahela Jayawardene [Images] in slips.
Hayden contributed 42 while James Hopes made 34 (20 balls) as the two teams met for the first time after their World Cup final clash.
Gilchrist batted cautiously but at the other end of the crease Ponting, returning from a back injury, was sent back to the pavilion even before he could settle down.
Ponting scored just nine off 22 balls before falling prey to a Chaminda Vaas [Images] delivery.
Gilchrist also followed his captain when he tried to play across the line and he got trapped leg before wicket by Chamara Kapugedera.
The wicketkeeper-batsmen, who is playing the last tournament of his career, left the Australians comfortably placed at 139 for 3 after 31.4 overs.
Next batsman in, Andrew Symonds [Images] flopped, as he was cheaply dismissed for an individual score of 12 as he flashed to extra cover where Kapugedera took a great head-high catch.
Clarke, however flourished against the Sri Lankan bowling attack, hitting two fours and one six, which he lofted over long-on off Muttiah Muralitharan early in his innings.
He mostly scored in singles and twos while the Sri Lankan bowling attack was again found wanting in the slog overs.
Clarke also partnered Hopes in a quick 63-run sixth wicket stand before the latter fell in the final over of the innings.
The Lankan innings began on a disastrous note, with veteran Sanath Jayasuriya being bowled by Brett Lee [Images] for seven while his partner Upul Tharanga was dismissed on the next ball, leaving the tourists at a precarious 18-2.
Captain Mahela Jayawardene (6), Chamara Silva (7), Tillekratene Dilshan (14) and Chamara Kapugedara (0) fell in quick succession, allowing the Aussies take command of the game.