Jayawardene Leads Sri Lanka To Vital Victory

Jayawardene Leads Sri Lanka To Vital Victory
Jayawardene Leads Sri Lanka To Vital Victory
©REUTERS / Action Images

Sri Lanka 152-2 (Jayawardene 51no, Dilshan 45) beat
Australia 158 (D Hussey 58) by eight wickets (D/L)
Commonwealth Bank Series, Sydney

Sri Lanka threw the Commonwealth Bank One-Day International Series wide open with a dominant eight-wicket victory over Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

After Australia were dismissed for 158 and Sri Lanka set a Duckworth/Lewis-revised target of 152, captain Mahela Jayawardene led by example, scoring an unbeaten 61 to guide his side home in the 25th over to hand them a bonus point win.

Kumar Sangakkara's 30 in 29 balls also included his 10,000th ODI run, becoming the third Sri Lankan - after Sanath Jayasuriya and Jayawardene - to reach that figure.

Australia's rain-interrupted innings needed 58 from David Hussey to help them recover from 74 for five as Farveez Maharoof and Tissera Perera took a brace of wickets apiece to lay the foundations for Sri Lanka's first win in the competition.

Latest Standings
Points NRR
India 10 -0.245
Australia 9 -0.12
Sri Lanka 7 +0.32

After Australia won the toss and chose to bat, they ere quickly in trouble as Lasith Malinga had David Warner (13), caught by Maharoof with a slower ball and Ricky Ponting made an unhappy return to captaincy when he was caught and bowled by Maharoof for two.

Matthew Wade (15) was then run out by Perera with no further addition to the score and when Michael Hussey was caught behind off Angelo Mathews for 13, the score was 60 for four.

Peter Forrest made 16 in 26 balls before he was next to depart, the young New South Wales batsman caught by Mathews off Maharoof. It was then 81 for six when Daniel Christian was trapped in front by Perera.

David Hussey was then left with the lower order to do the best he could to get Australia up to some sort of total and he did a reasonable job, although he was aided by Sri Lanka who dropped him twice.

He hit six fours in 64 balls and struck up partnerships with Clint McKay (3) and Mitchell Starc (17) before Sri Lanka finished off the innings in 40.5 overs.

Sri Lanka were then excellent in reply and the batsmen answered repeated calls in the lead-up to the game from within the camp to put together partnerships.

Dilshan hit four fours and a six during an innings of 45 in 41 balls to quickly put Australia on the back foot as he shared an opening stand worth 74 with Jayawardene.

Old sparring partners Jayawardene and Sangakkara wasted little time in adding 59 for the second wicket after Dilshan was well caught by David Hussey at slip as he drove hard at McKay.

Sangakkara effortlessly lifted Xavier Doherty into the stands for a six and hit four other fours before skying Lee into the air for Doherty to pouch a simple catch.

Ever-classy Jayawardene stroked five fours to finish unbeaten on 61 in 67 balls when Dinesh Chandimal (six not out) faced the final delivery as a leg bye sealed Sri Lanka's win.

With Michael Clarke unlikely to make a swift comeback from his hamstring injury, Ponting may have another game in charge when Australia meet India in Brisbane on Sunday 19th February.

© Cricket World 2012