Sri Lanka restrict Australia to 231 in CB Series third final at Adelaide

Sri Lanka players celebrate the dismissal of David Hussey during the third ODI AFP

Adelaide: Mar 8, 2012

The Australian middle-order collapsed like a pack of cards as Sri Lanka restricted the hosts to 231 in the third and deciding final of the ODI tri-series.

The hosts were cruising along at 115 for 1 before a middle-order slump saw them get all-out in 49.3 overs.

Things could have got worse but for Brett Lee (32) and Clint McKay (28) who added 40 valuable runs for the eighth wicket.

The islanders were well served by nearly all five bowlers, none better than medium-pacer Ferveez Maharoof (3 for 40) and Rangana Herath (3 for 36) who triggered the collapse with six wickets between them.

Sri Lanka put Australia in to bat first up but openers Matthew Wade (49) and David Warner (48) put on 75 runs inside the first 14 overs.

Warner, fresh from his two successive centuries, was the early aggressor as he slammed 48 off 45 balls with five fours and a six before being caught behind off Maharoof.

Wade, then found an able partner in stand-in skipper Shane Watson (19) put on 40 runs in next six-odd overs before the wheels came off the Lankan innings.

Once Watson fell to the off-spin of Dilshan, Maharoof and Herath wreaked havoc on the hosts on a slow pitch, mixing up their deliveries, and costing Australia five more wickets for 58 runs in a space of 15-odd overs.

Watson and Wade fell within an over of each other —the skipper brilliantly caught at the deep midwicket fence when he swept Dilshan fiercely and Herath flung himself to his right to bring off an outstanding catch.

It appeared to have shell-shocked Wade who steered Nuwan Kulasekara to short point and as non-striker Mike Hussey dashed down from the non-striker’s end only to find Dilshan’s direct throw catching him well short off his ground.

Two overs later, it was Wade’s turn to trace his steps back home, cutting Herath into the hands of Sangakkara who took a juggling catch. Wade’s 49 off 74 balls didn’t last the distance as he wanted to and left the innings in the hands of two new batsmen.

Herath, now struck with the scalp of Peter Forrest (3) who played the wrong line saw his off-stump disturbed in the 27th over.

Australia’s misery was far from over. David Hussey (19) was ruled out by umpire Asad Rauf off Maharoof though the ball appeared to have hit his pads a shade above the stumps.

Dan Christian (19) got couple of boundaries off Herath but was fooled by a slower Maharoof delivery, mistiming a drive straight into the hands of Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene at mid-off.

The smart recovery for the eighth wicket which added 40 runs and took the innings to 46th over, was not good enough to see through Herath. The left-arm spinner struck with his second last ball, fooling McKay into hitting one into the deep. McKay made 28 off 32 balls with three fours and six and Australians were now 217 for 8.

The only sore point for Sri Lanka was the poor bowling of Lasith Malinga who conceded 69 runs in his 10 overs. (PTI)

Brief Scores: Australia 231 all-out in 49.3 overs (Matthew Wade 49, David Warner 48, Brett Lee 32; Rangana Herath 3 for 36, Farveez Maharoof 3 for 40, Nuwan Kulasekara 2 for 40) vs Sri Lanka

Full Scorecard