Dan Christian hat-trick restricts Sri Lanka to 238 in CB Series 12th ODI

Australian pacer Dan Christian (c) celebrates his hat-trick with teammates during their final ODI against Sri Lanka Getty Images

Melbourne: Mar 2, 2012

All-rounder Daniel Christian sparkled with a hat-trick during a career-best five-wicket burst as Australia dismissed Sri Lanka for 238 in the crucial last league match of the ODI cricket tri-series on Friday.

An Australian triumph would pave the way for India’s entry into the best-of-three finals starting Sunday while Sri Lanka need to win or tie the match to get to the summit clashes against the already-qualified hosts.

Playing only eighth ODI, the 28-year-old Christian’s hat-trick in the 44th over was the highlight of the first session’s play in today’s match — the batsmen falling victim to him being Thisara Perera (5), Sachithra Senanayke (0) and Nuwan Kulasekara (0).

The right-arm pacer ended the day with impressive match figures of 5/31 in nine overs. James Pattinson picked up four wickets, conceding 51 runs in his 10 overs.

For Sri Lanka Kumar Sangakkara (64), Dinesh Chandimal (75) and Lahiru Thirimanne (51) were the chief contributors to a total which may not be enough against the in-form hosts.

Opting to bat first, it was a wobbly start to the proceedings for the islanders as they lost their openers with less than 20 runs on the scoreboard.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardene (5) was the first to head to the dressing room when he was run out by David Hussey in only the second over of the day.

It was Tillakaratne Dilshan who called for a very risky single and Jayawardene responded after some hesitation.

Hussey, from the second slip, pounced on the ball with one hand and managed a direct hit finding Jayawardene well out out of his crease.

Dilshan didn’t last long either with comeback pacer James Pattinson getting his scalp after the right-hander had contributed merely nine runs to the total.

Dilshan was surprised by a bouncy one that caught him on the backfoot and ended up giving a thin edge through to Matthew Wade behind the stumps. Sri Lanka were reeling at 17/2 at this stage.

But the Lankans started the rebuilding job soon enough with the experienced Sangakkara and the exciting new talent Chandimal joining hands for an entertaining third-wicket partnership of 123.

Sangakkara was perfect foil to the natural aggression of Chandimal as the duo stitched together a crucial stand that resurrected the Lankan innings.

Sangakkara’s knock came off 93 deliveries during which he struck three boundaries before Pattinson induced a top edge off his bat that was caught by Peter Forrest at deep square leg off the final delivery of the 29th over.

But Chandimal held fort for quite some while and even got a life in a bizzare manner during the course of his innings which was studded with three fours and a couple of sixes.

In the 35th over of the innings, Thirimanne pushed for a risky third run off Australian skipper Shane Watson’s bowling.

Ben Hilfenhaus made a sliding effort at the point boundary which caught Chandimal well short of crease but the batsman was saved as TV replays showed that Hilfenhaus’ foot had touched the boundary rope before he threw the ball.

Chandimal was eventually dismissed by Pattinson, caught at mid-off by McKay while trying to strike one down the ground.

Thirimanne held one end with his gritty 59-ball knock that included a couple of boundaries but Sri Lanka needed an acclerator after Chandimal’s dismissal. However, the usually effective Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera both let the team down.

While Mathews spooned a Christian delivery down the ground which was caught on the run by Xavier Doherty. Perera was dismissed when he was caught by Mike Hussey at the deep midwicket boundary.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 238 all-out in 50 overs (Dinesh Chandimal 75, Kumar Sangakkara 64, Lahiru Thirimanne 51; Dan Christian 5 for 31, James Pattinson 4 for 51) vs Australia

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