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Australia win Melbourne ODI
February 22, 2008 13:14 IST
Last Updated: February 22, 2008 18:34 IST
Tight bowling helped Australia beat Sri Lanka [Images] by 24 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis system in their rain-hit triangular series one-day international on Friday.
The defeat all but ended Sri Lanka's chances of making the finals. With six points from six matches, they must win both their remaining games, and hope India lose theirs, to make the finals against Australia, who have 22 points.
The Sri Lankan bowlers had given their side a chance of victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground by restricting the world champions to 184 for seven off 50 overs, with half centuries from Mike Hussey (64 not out) and Michael Clarke [Images] (50) providing the backbone of the total.
Australia's bowlers, however, proved to be just as effective on the slow pitch, restricting the Sri Lankan batting lineup to just 77 for four in the 30th over when rain drove the players from the field. Sri Lanka needed to have been on 102 when they left the field to have won the match.
Australia's bowlers began strongly with Stuart Clark having Sanath Jayasuriya caught behind for a golden duck, before he had Dilruwan Perera adjudged leg before by Rudi Koertzen on the first ball of his next over.
Television replays, however, suggested Perera had nicked the ball on to his pad and that it would have probably passed over the top of the stumps as well.
Kumar Sangakkara and captain Mahela Jayawardene [Images] attempted to resurrect the innings from three for two, though Jayawardene was caught behind by Adam Gilchrist [Images] for 27 off Nathan Bracken [Images] to leave his side in deep trouble at 42 for three.
Sangakkara was then dismissed for 22 with the score on 64 when he mistimed a pull shot off a James Hopes short ball and was easily caught by Andrew Symonds [Images] in the covers.
Chamara Silva (16) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (nine) were the not out batsmen when the game was abandoned after the players had been off the field for almost 90 minutes.
That Australia had a total to defend at all was courtesy of Clarke and Hussey, who rescued their side's innings with a 90-run fifth-wicket partnership after they came together with their side reeling on 54-4 in the 22nd over.
Sri Lanka pace bowler Farveez Maharoof had been the pick of their attack, bowling his 10 overs unchanged to finish with 2-20.
Australia next play India in Sydney on Sunday, while Sri Lanka play India in Hobart next Tuesday. The final match before the finals will be between Australia and Sri Lanka on February 29 in Melbourne.