Tharanga And Malinga Dismantle Australia
Sri Lanka 286-9 (Tharanga 111, Dilshan 55) beat
Australia 208 (Hussey 63, Malinga 5-28) by 78 runs
Third One-Day International, Hambantota
Sri Lanka, led by a century from Upul Tharanga and a five-wicket haul from Lasith Malinga, kept their One-Day International series with Australia alive with a 78-run win in the third game in Hambantota.
Tharanga's 111 powered Sri Lanka to 286 for nine and although they faded late in their innings as Doug Bollinger took four wickets, Australia were subsequently dismissed for 208 with Malinga in unplayable form.
He returned five for 28, dismissing Shane Watson (5), Michael Clarke (46), Michael Hussey (63), Xavier Doherty (2) and Doug Bollinger (4) as Australia failed in their bid to move into a 3-0 series lead.
Clarke and Hussey had been effectively rebuilding the innings after a double strike from debutant fast bowler Shaminda Eranga had seen Brad Haddin caught behind for five and Ricky Ponting caught and bowled for 22.
Once Malinga returned to remove Clarke and Hussey, however, Sri Lanka did not relinquish control of the match and Australian wickets tumbled dramatically.
David Hussey (8) was bowled by Ajantha Mendis before Nuwan Kulasekara smartly ran out Steven Smith for 18 and then had Mitchell Johnson caught by Dinesh Chandimal for one.
Malinga then applied the finishing touches by bowling Doug Bollinger for four to round off a comprehensive win.
Earlier, openers Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan (55) put on 139 for the opening wicket while Tharanga added 81 with Kumar Sangakkara, who made 49 in 37 balls, for the second wicket.
Tharanga, only just back in international cricket following a doping offence during the World Cup, showed he has lost none of his hunger for runs by hitting 12 fours in an innings that lasted 139 balls before he was one of four victims of Bollinger.
The left-arm quick also removed Dishan, Dinesh Chandimal (4) and Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, who scored 36, was the only other Sri Lankan to reach double figures - signs that the batting woes that dogged them earlier in the series have yet to be fully resolved.
On this occasion, Tharanga's brilliance and the support he was able to count on from his supporting cast were enough, despite Johnson and Watson also taking two wickets as Sri Lanka - just as Australia would later - lost a flurry of late wickets, suffering during the batting Power Play.
The fourth match is on 20th August as the series moves to Colombo.
© Cricket World 2011