Sri Lanka posted their biggest-ever one-day international win over Australia in Sydney yesterday with a crushing eight-wicket victory with 101 balls to spare in their tri-series ODI.
Sri Lanka bounced back into finals contention with a bonus-point victory on the Duckworth-Lewis method after skittling out Australia for 158 off 40.5 overs and rattling up a revised winning target of 152 for two in just 24.1 overs.
Sri Lanka, who were winless before yesterday’s game after being held to a tie in their previous match by leaders India, moved to within three points of India after four games in the tournament.
Skipper Mahela Jayawardene steered his side to victory with an unbeaten knock of 61 off 67 balls, with opener Tillakaratne Dilshan hitting 45 off 41.
Kumar Sangakkara reached 10,000 career ODI runs in his innings of 30 off 29 balls.
Thisara Perera was judged man-of-the-match in a wide open vote having taken two for 29 and also effected two run outs in Australia’s innings.
It was Australia’s fifth-biggest loss in one-day cricket in terms of balls remaining.
It was also Australia’s second straight defeat in the tournament and they face India in Brisbane tomorrow, when they are likely to be again led by Ricky Ponting in the absence of injured skipper Michael Clarke.
Only Clint McKay (1-23 off six overs) enjoyed a good night with the ball, while Brett Lee, on his return 16 days after fracturing his toe, finished with one for 42 off seven overs.
Sri Lanka set up their emphatic victory by dismissing Australia for 158 off 40.5 overs in the match, which was reduced to 41 overs-a-side by afternoon rain.
David Hussey rescued Australia from an even lower score with a determined 58 off 64 balls for his third half-century of the tournament after being dropped on 8 and 31.
David Warner went for 13 being deceived by a slower ball from Lasith Malinga and hitting straight to Farveez Maharoof at mid-on.
Ponting’s run of single-figure scores in the series continued when he was caught and bowled by Maharoof for 2.
Michael Hussey (13), brought in for Clarke, clouted a huge six off Angelo Mathews, but was caught behind off the next ball and Peter Forrest followed shortly afterward for 16 to leave Australia 74 for five.
All-rounder Maharoof, brought in for spinner Sachithra Senanayake, claimed two for 18 off eight overs.