Australia enter finals

Perth, January 29:

Adam Gilchrist burst back to his swashbuckling best blasting 116 runs as Australia crushed Sri Lanka by six wickets and wrapped up a berth in the finals of the triangular series limited overs competition.

Gilchrist, revelling in his role as acting captain and playing in front of his home crowd, feasted on the Sri Lankan bowling and smashed his way out of a form slump with four sixes and 10 boundaries.

His century, which came up in only 99 balls, in partnership with Simon Katich, carried Australia to 237-4 off 41 overs in reply to Sri Lanka’s pedestrian 233-8 off 50. Katich finished with 82 off 110 balls.

The Sri Lankans had earlier crashed to 27-3 in the 11th over and were only saved from disaster by a fourth-wicket partnership of 121 off 156 balls between Mahela Jayawardene and Russel Arnold.

They came into the match without skipper Marvan Atapattu, who failed to recover from back spasms. But any early compensation they may have felt with the return of Sanath Jayasuria from injury was short-lived.