Murali fires but Aussies win
Adelaide, January 26:
Sri Lanka’s hopes of replacing Australia at the top of the triangular series table were scuttled but only after Muttiah Muralitharan gave the hosts a few heart flutters.
The Australians eventually ground out an unspectacular five-wicket win, reaching 219-5 in reply to Sri Lanka’s 218-8 off 50 overs.
But Muralitharan sent a few late shudders through their camp when he grabbed 2-3 in the 41st over to leave them still chasing 42 runs with 57 balls remaining. In the end Michael Hussey and Michael Clarke steered their team home with a 42-run partnership.
The Australians had played a steady but unremarkable innings up to that point, anchored by 52 off 89 balls from Simon Katich.
Just as the Sri Lankans before them had failed to set the match alight, so too did the Australians, with Damien Martyn making a sluggish 46 off 72 balls. Opener Adam Gilchrist with 34 off 33 and Andrew Symonds with 32 off 33 had set a livelier pace.
Jehan Mubarak clouted Andrew Symonds for a six over long two balls into the 14th over. But with the next delivery he popped a catch at mid-off to be out for 34.
Danger man Kumar Sangakkara and Tharanga dug in for 10 overs to add 43 when the latter fell victim for 31.
Sri Lanka lost their last five wickets for just 63, with Symonds claiming the final two to finish best of the Australian bowlers with 3-48 from nine overs. He won the man of the match award.
J Mubarak c Lee b Symonds 34
U Tharanga c Martyn b McGrath 31
K Sangakkara b Hogg 25
M Jayawardene c Symonds b Bracken 25
M Atapattu c Martyn b Bracken 32
T Dilshan b Hogg 1
R Arnold not out 27
C Vaas c Hogg b Symonds 15
A Ganegama b Symonds 7
N Kulasekara not out 2
Extras: 19 (b4, lb4, w8, nb3)
Total: 218/8 (50 overs)
FoW: 1-53, 2-96, 3-100, 4-155, 5-161, 6-167, 7-195, 8-207
Australia bowling: Lee 10-0-40-0, McGrath 8-1-26-1, Bracken 10-1-45-2, Symonds 9-1-48-3, Hogg 10-0-35-2, Hodge 3-0-16-0
A Gilchrist c Ganegama b Kulasekara 34
S Katich c Sangakkara b Dilshan 52
B Hodge b Kulasekara 5
D Martyn b Muralitharan 46
A Symonds c Tharanga b Muralitharan 32
M Clarke not out 16
M Hussey not out 25
Extras: 9 (lb2, w7)
Total: 219/5 (48.3 overs)
FoW: 1-47, 2-73, 3-115, 4-175, 5-177
Sri Lanka bowling: Vaas 8.3-0-41-0, Ganegama 6-0-41-0, Kulasekara 9-0-32-2, Muralitharan 10-0-35-2, Bandara 10-0-44-0, Dilshan 5-0-24-1
Man of the match: Andrew Symonds (Australia)