Friday 8 February 2008 

Bracken And Clarke Leave Sri Lanka Reeling

Australia 253-6 (Clarke 77no, Gilchrist 61, Vaas 2-34)
Sri Lanka 125 (Sangakkara 42, Bracken 5-47) in Sydney

Australia won by 128 runs

Five wickets from Nathan Bracken followed up an unbeaten half-century by Michael Clarke as Australia wrapped up a comprehensive 128-run victory in their Commonwealth Bank Series match against Sri Lanka in Sydney.

Clarke hit 77 after Matthew Hayden (42) and Adam Gilchrist (61) also made weighty contributions with Australia scoring 253 for six in their fifty overs.

On a slow pitch, boundaries were hard to come by with only Hayden consistently beating the field with five fours. Clarke and Gilchrist both played patient innings, avoiding the big shots which would later bring about Sri Lanka's demise.

Chaminda Vaas and Ishara Amerasinghe picked up two wickets each.

Sri Lanka were soon in trouble at 18 for two losing both openers, Sanath Jayasuriya (seven) and Upul Tharanga (ten).

Kumar Sangakkara hit a belligerent 42 as he fought a lone hand in trying to keep his side in the hunt but when he fell, Sri Lanka were 74 for four.

There was no way back once Bracken removed Tillakaratne Dilshan (14) and Chamara Kapugedera (nought).

Muttiah Muralitharan smashed a straight six off of Bracken before the left-armer had him caught by Andrew Symonds off the next ball to seal his five-wicket haul and the victory for his side.

The win, the first result in the series sees Australia take the lead in the standings at this early stage.

© Cricket World 2008




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