Sri Lanka sunken

2008-02-22 00:00

Tight bowling helped Australia beat Sri Lanka by 24 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis system in their rain-hit triangular series one-day international yesterday.

The defeat all but ended Sri Lanka’s chances of making the finals. With six points from six matches, they must win both their remaining games, and hope India lose theirs, to make the finals against Australia, who have 22 points.

The Sri Lankan bowlers had given their side a chance of victory at the MCG by restricting the world champions to 184 for seven off 50 overs, with Mike Hussey (64 not out) and Michael Clarke (50) providing the backbone of the total.

Australia’s bowlers, however, proved to be just as effective on the slow pitch, restricting Sri Lanka to just 77 for four in the 30th over, when rain drove the players from the field.

“It was a difficult wicket, it was just very slow … when we started the game, there was a little bit of moisture in the surface,” Australia captain Ricky Ponting told reporters.

“Even though our total looked quite small, we felt that if we got a couple of early wickets … we’d have a good chance to apply some pressure through the middle of their innings. We did a really good job of doing that.”

Chamara Silva and Tillakaratne Dilshan were the not out batsmen when the game was

abandoned after the players had been off the field for almost 90 minutes.

Australia next play India in Sydney tomorroq, while Sri Lanka play India in Hobart next Tuesday. The final match before the finals will be between Australia and Sri Lanka on February 29 in Melbourne.

Scoreboard

Australia

A. Gilchrist b Vaas 6

M. Hayden c Silva b Maharoof 23

R. Ponting run out 11

M. Clarke c&b Muralitharan 50

A. Symonds c Sangakkara b Maharoof 4

M. Hussey not out 64

J. Hopes st Sangakkara b Muralitharan 11

B. Hogg c Dilshan b Malinga 4

M. Johnson not out 6

Extras: (w-3, b-2) 5

Total (seven wickets, 50 overs) 184

Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-39, 3-44, 4-54, 5-144, 6-166, 7-173

Did not bat: N. Bracken, S. Clark Bowling: C.Vaas 10-1-34-1, L.Malinga 10-1-44-1, F.Maharoof 10-1-20-2 (w-1), M.Muralitharan 10-0-37-2, I.Amerasinghe 10-0-47-0 (w-2)

Sri Lanka

D. Perera lbw Clark 1

S. Jayasuriya c Ponting b Clark 0

K. Sangakkara c Symonds b Hopes 22

M. Jayawardene c Gilchrist b Bracken 27

C. Silva not out 16

T. Dilshan not out 9

Extras: (lb-1, w-1) 2

Total (four wickets, 29.3 overs) 77

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-3, 3-42, 4-64 Did not bat: F. Maharoof, C. Vaas, L. Malinga, I. Amerasinghe, M. Muralitharan Bowling: N.Bracken 6-1-13-1, S.Clark 5-1-8-2, M.Johnson 7-1-17-0 (w-1), J.Hopes 7-2-23-1, B.Hogg 4.3-1-15-0

Result: Australia won by 24 runs using the Duckworth-Lewis method

— Reuters.

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