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Australia edge past Sri Lanka in Perth

Last updated on: February 10, 2012 19:07 IST

Australia edge past Sri Lanka in Perth

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Australia edged past Sri Lanka by five runs in a nerve-wrecking One-Day International of the tri-series in Perth on Friday.

Chasing a modest target of 232, the islanders were in the dumps, tottering at 180 for 9 in the 45th over, before all-rounder Angelo Mathews (64) staged a remarkable fightback to give the Australians a scare at the WACA. 

- Scorecard

However, his dismissal off the penultimate ball ensured there was no fairytale finish for the visitors.

Australia had earlier beaten India by 65 runs in their first match on February 5 at the MCG.

Earlier, the Sri Lankan bowlers put their team in a winning position, bowling out the hosts for 231.

Matthew Wade, who was impressive in his debut match against India, scoring 67 runs, lasted just five deliveries before being caught behind by wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara.


Image: Angelo Matthews (2nd R) of Sri Lanka celebrates with team mate Mahela Jayawardene after taking the wicket of David Warner of Australia during game three
Photographs: Getty Images

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Warner was his usual attacking self

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David Warner scored 34. 

He was his usual attacking self, but the fireworks didn't last long, as an Angelo Mathews delivery sneaked in between his bat and pad to rattle the stumps. 

The left-hander smashed four boundaries and a six during his 29-ball stay at the crease.


Image: David Warner bats during game three of the tri-series
Photographs: Getty Images

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Ponting flopped yet again

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Veteran Ricky Ponting (1) flopped yet again; the scintillating Test form was nowhere to be seen as he was trapped leg before by Lasith Malinga.

Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey put on 31 for the fourth wicket before Kulasekara caught the latter off his own bowling. 

Hussey made 23. 


Image: Lasith Malinga of Sri Lanka appeals for the wicket of Ricky Ponting of Australia during game three of the One Day International series between Australia and Sri Lanka
Photographs: Getty Images

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David Hussey scored 27

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David Hussey scored 27, a significant contribution to his team's cause. 

His 38-ball knock was inclusive of two boundaries and a maximum.

He was involved in a fifth-wicket stand with his captain that yielded Australia 49 runs.


Image: David Hussey of Australia cuts during game three of the One Day International series between Australia and Sri Lanka at WACA
Photographs: Getty Images
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Captain Clarke top-scored with 57

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With the top three coming a cropper, it was left to the middle-order to do damage control and skipper Clarke took charge of the proceedings with his typical mix of caution and aggression. 

But with wickets falling at other end at regular intervals, partnerships were just not coming through for Australia.

The most fruitful of partnerships were the ones Clarke shared with Hussey (27) and Daniel Christian (33). Clarke's fifth-wicket stand with Hussey yielded 49 runs, while the sixth-wicket partnership with Christian added 56 runs to the total. 

After ploughing on for 88 balls, Clarke departed when he was caught at midwicket by his opposite number Mahela Jayawardene off Mathews bowling. He also took a wicket, winning the man of the match honours for his effort.


Image: Michael Clarke leg glances during the game
Photographs: Getty Images
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Dilshan hit an aggressive 40

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Chasing a modest target, Sri Lanka got off to a terrible start as Mitchell Starc had Upul Tharanga (5) caught by Clarke at first slip in the fourth over. 

Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara (22) put on exactly 50 runs for the second wicket before Clint McKay ran the latter out following a horrible mix up. 

Dilshan, though, continued being his aggressive self. His 57-ball 40 was inclusive of four hits to the fence. 

However, his dismissal at a crucial juncture led to a Sri Lankan batting collapse. 


Image: Tillakaratne Dilshan
Photographs: Getty Images

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McKay impressed with the ball

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Clint McKay impressed with the ball for Australia, with figures of one for 50. 

He had Lasith Malinga (1) caught behind. 

Besides, he ran out Kumar Sangakkara (22) when the latter was on course to put up a seemingly dangerous partnership for the second wicket with Dilshan. 


Image: Clint McKay celebrates with team mates after running out Kumar Sangakkara


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Mathews's heroics very nearly did the trick

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Angelo Mathews's heroics very nearly pulled off a sensational victory for Sri Lanka. 

His 76-ball 64 was inclusive of four hits to the fence and one over it. 

Mathews unleashed a flurry of strokes in the dying stages to raise visions of a stunning come-from-behind victory, with a 46-run partnership with Dhammika Prasad, but eventually fell in the penultimate ball to give the hosts their second successive win in the tournament.


Image: Angelo Mathews goes for a big shot


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Doherty was the pick of the Australian bowlers

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Left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty was the pick of the Australian bowlers, scalping two wickets for 24 runs in his 10 overs.

Pacer Daniel Christian also bagged two wickets, for 47 runs. 

Captain Clarke used as many a six bowlers, including himself and all of them claimed at least a wicket. Pacers Ryan Harris, Mitchell Starc and Clinton McKay as well as Clarke picked a wicket each. 

For Sri Lanka, who wasted a fine bowling effort by their bowlers to restrict Australia for 231, it was their second successive loss in the tournament having been beaten by India by four wickets in their first match at the same venue on Wednesday.


Image: Xavier Doherty celebrates with team mates after taking the wicket of Lahiru Thirimanne


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