Mathews And Malinga Lead Sri Lanka To Dramatic Win
Sri Lanka 243-9 (Mathews 77no, Malinga 56, Doherty 4-46)
Australia 239-8 (Hussey 71no, Perera 5-46) by one wicket
First One-Day International, Melbourne
Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga put together an astonishing world-record ninth-wicket partnership to put their side on course for an incredible come-from-behind one-wicket victory over Australia in the opening One-Day International in Melbourne.
Mathews (77) and Malinga (56) put on 132 to take their side from 107 for eight in pursuit of 240 to a position of strength, before, in a final twist, Malinga was run out with the scores level.
Muttiah Muralitharan held his nerve to hit Shane Watson for a four to seal the winning runs and bring to an end an entertaining match that had swung both ways throughout its duration.
Michael Hussey made an unbeaten 71 and Brad Haddin 49 before Australia were stalled by Tissara Perera's haul of five for 46 as they posted 239 for eight.
Perera dismissed Haddin, Michael Clarke (27), Cameron White (0), Steven Smith (12) and John Hastings (16) to return his second ODI five-wicket haul and he passed 50 wickets in all one-day cricket when he had Clarke caught by Kumar Sangakkara.
Hussey, coming into the game struggling for form in first-class cricket, hit one four in his 93-ball innings while Haddin hit eight fours in 55 balls as Australia made a strong start.
Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara and Suraj Randiv were the other players to pick up a wicket.
Following the early dismissals of Tillakaratne Dilshan (7) and Upul Tharanga (3), the latter brilliantly run out by Xavier Doherty, Kumar Sangakkara played some delightful strokes in an innings of 49 that appeared to be putting Sri Lanka in control.
Left-arm spinner Doherty marked his debut by taking four quick wickets to reduce the Sri Lankans to 86 for six and then 102 for seven as he dismissed Mahela Jayawardene (19), Sangakkara, Chamara Silva (4) and Kulasekara (0).
However, Mathews and Malinga, following an initial assault during the batting Power Play, grew in confidence and eventually took their side to the brink of what turned out to be a memorable win.
Matthews hit eight fours and one six, straight over long on while Malinga, who faced just 48 deliveries, hit six fours and two big sixes.
The second match in the three-game series is on Friday 5th November in Sydney.
© Cricket World 2010