Clinical Australia Dent Sri Lanka's Hopes

Clinical Australia Dent Sri Lanka's Hopes
Clinical Australia Dent Sri Lanka's Hopes
©REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte (SRI LANKA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET) Picture Supplied by Action Images

Australia 211-2 (Ponting 90no, Clarke 58no) beat
Sri Lanka 208 (Sangakkara 52) by 8 wickets
Second One-Day International, Hambantota

Sri Lanka's hopes of ascending to the summit of the ICC One-Day International rankings have been dashed as they slipped to an eight-wicket defeat to Australia in the second One-Day International in Hambantota.

They needed to beat the four-time world champions 4-1 to get to the number one spot but Australia's clinical victory instead put them into a 2-0 lead with three matches to play.

Australia have now won five matches in a row and this victory set up first by the bowlers, who dismissed Sri Lanka for a below-par 208 and then senior batsmen Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke, who both scored unbeaten half-century.

Doug Bollinger (3-35), Brett Lee (2-50) and Mitchell Johnson (2-34) were Australia's star performers with the ball and frequent wickets ensured Sri Lanka were unable to build significant partnerships and put a score on the board that would have really challenged their opponents.

Kumar Sangakkara made 52 in 85 balls and Angelo Mathews 35 before they were bowled out in the final over as Shane Watson, Xavier Doherty and David Hussey also took a wicket apiece.

Brad Haddin then hit seven in as many balls before he was caught by Sangakkara off of Nuwan Kulasekara but any hopes of a Sri Lankan comeback were foiled, first by Watson making 43 alongside Ponting, who remained unbeaten on 90, and then Clarke's unbeaten 58.

Former captain Ponting faced 108 balls, hitting eight fours and a six while his successor Clarke scored his runs from 67 balls with four fours and two sixes.

Lasith Malinga was the only bowler to take a wicket when he bowled Watson.

© Cricket World 2011