Resilient Sri Lanka restrict Australia to 231 in third ODI at Perth

Nuwan Kulasekara claimed the key wickets of Michael Hussey and Matthew Wade Getty Images

Perth: Feb 10, 2012

Australian batting collapsed in the face of a disciplined Sri Lankan bowling effort as the hosts were bundled out for 231 in their second match of the ODI cricket tri-series on Friday.

Skipper Michael Clarke’s 57-run knock was the only standout performance among the Aussie batsmen, who were stifled by Sri Lanka’s accurate bowling and folded up in 49.1 overs at the WACA Ground.

Put into bat, Australia were off to a wobbly start when opener Matthew Wade was dismissed for just one run by Nuwan Kulasekara.

Wade, who was impressive in his debut match against India scoring 67 runs, lasted just five deliveries today before being caught behind by wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara.

David Warner (34) was his usual attacking self but the fireworks didn’t last long as an Angelo Mathews delivery sneaked in between his bat and pad to rattle the stumps.

The left-hander smashed four boundaries and a six during his 29-ball stay at the crease.

Veteran Ricky Ponting (1) flopped yet again and the scintillating Test form was nowhere to be seen as he was trapped leg before by Lasith Malinga.

With the top three coming a cropper, it was left to the middle-order to do the damage control and skipper Clarke took charge of the proceedings with his typical mix of caution and aggression.

But with wickets falling at other end at regular intervals, partnerships were just not coming through for Australia.

The most fruitful of partnerships were the ones Clarke shared with David Hussey (27) and Daniel Christian (33).

Clarke’s fifth-wicket stand with Hussey yielded 49 runs, while the sixth-wicket partnership with Christian added 56 runs to the total.

After ploughing on for 88 balls, Clarke departed when he was caught at midwicket by his opposite number Mahela Jayawardene off Mathews bowling.

Hussey struck a couple of fours and a six during his 38-ball stay, while the more aggressive Christian hit four boundaries and a six during his 44-ball cameo.

Down the order, Clint McKay provided some entertaiment with a 24-ball 25, comprising three boundaries.

The Lankan bowlers not only took wickets at regular intervals but also kept the flow of runs in check with their disciplined effort.

Backed by their agile fielders, Malinga, Kulasekara, Mathews and off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake, playing only his second ODI, picked up two wickets apiece in a spirited performance.

The quartet was miserly in conceding runs, not one of the them giving away more than a little over four an over.

Brief Scores: Australia 231 all-out in 49.1 overs (Michael Clarke 57, David Warner 34, Daniel Christian 33; Angelo Mathews 2 for 37, Nuwan Kulasekara 2 for 39) vs Sri Lanka.

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