Johnson Leads As Australia Brush Sri Lanka Aside

Johnson Leads As Australia Brush Sri Lanka Aside
Johnson Leads As Australia Brush Sri Lanka Aside
©REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte (SRI LANKA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET) Picture Supplied by Action Images

Australia 192-3 (Watson 69, Clarke 53no) beat
Sri Lanka 191 (Johnson 6-31) by seven wickets
First One-Day International, Pallekele

Mitchell Johnson returned career-best figures, Brett Lee took his 250th wicket and Ricky Ponting scored his 80th half-century as Australia completed a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Pallekele.

Putting behind them the 2-0 loss in the Twenty20 International series, they delivered a fine riposte to get their One-Day International series off to a winning start.

After Sri Lanka made a flying start, they were pegged back and then dismissed for 191 and then half-centuries from Shane Watson, Ponting and captain Michael Clarke saw Australia home with almost 12 overs in hand.

Upul Tharanga (34) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (29) started brightly but some sound captaincy from Clarke, rotating his bowlers frequently, brought his side back into the game.

With Johnson on fine form, Sri Lanka plunged to 117 for seven before Suraj Randiv (41) and Nuwan Kulasekara (34) added 60 for the eighth wicket to add a touch of respectability to their score.

Johnson removed Kumar Sangakkara (16), Mahela Jayawardene (3), Angelo Mathews (15), Jeevan Mendis (2), Randiv and finally Ajantha Mendis for nought.

Lee, Doug Bollinger, David Hussey and Xavier Doherty took a wicket apiece.

Watson's wonderful form continued as he blasted five fours and five sixes in smashing 69 in 51 balls and despite the early departure of Brad Haddin for 12, Australia were never seriously in trouble in reply.

Ponting was bowled by Randiv, who eventually grabbed Watson's wicket, having made 53, leaving his successor as captain, Clarke, to reach the same score without being dismissed and hit the winning runs alongside Michael Hussey, who made two.

The second ODI is in Hambantota on 14th August.

© Cricket World 2011