Australian captain Michael Clarke's inspired start to 2012 continued when he led his side to victory over Sri Lanka in their tri-series one-day international at the WACA Ground on Friday.

 

Man of the match Clarke had an impact with both bat and ball as Australia won by five runs to remain unbeaten after two outings in the triangular tournament.

 

Australia made 231 from 49.1 overs and in reply Sri Lanka was dismissed for 226 from 49.5 overs, after a last-wicket stand almost snatched an unlikely win for the tourists.

 

The Sri Lankans appeared to do a good job with the ball after captain Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and elected to field, Clarke top scoring with a polished 57.

 

Mathews said he felt like they would snatch the win.

 

“We were just one shot away, but unfortunately we couldn't make it.”

 

Clarke admitted the Australians nearly paid the price for what he believed was a below-par performance with the bat.