Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, playing in his 100th one-day international (ODI), took a career best six for 31 to bowl Australia to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first ODI at the Pallakele Stadium in Kandy, Sri Lanka, on Wednesday.
Johnson, who came on to bowl as the sixth bowler, took a wicket off his third ball and went on to scythe through Sri Lanka, who were dismissed for 191 in 41.1 overs.
Australia knocked the runs off, with experienced pair Ricky Ponting and skipper Michael Clarke easing their side to victory with a stand of 101 for the third wicket.
Ponting was out for 53 scored off 71 balls, his 80th ODI half--century, with Australia needing nine for victory.
Clarke finished the match off with an unbeaten 53 off 78 balls, which contained only a solitary four, with Mike Hussey.
Australia were given a rousing start by Shane Watson, who cracked a brilliant 69 off 51 balls, including six sixes and five fours, before Sri Lanka broke through.
Sri Lanka got off to a good start after winning the toss with Upul Tharanga (34) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (29) sharing an opening partnership of 54 off 58 balls, but the late order batsmen paid the penalty for some injudicious stroke play and Sri Lanka slid to 117-7.
Only an eighth-wicket stand of 60 off 91 balls between Suraj Randiv, who top scored with 41, and Nuwan Kulaskara (34) saw Sri Lanka to a respectable total.
Brett Lee completed 350 ODI wickets when he dismissed Kulasekara to end Sri Lanka’s innings.
“This was not a 190 wicket, we did not bat well,” Sri Lanka captain Dilshan said. “It was a good toss to win, but our shot selection was not good.”
Australian captain Clarke added: “It is important that I lead from the front. It’s great to have Ponting at No. 3 with all that experience at the other end.”