Aussies Get Past Sri Lanka

Clarke's good form continues, leads Aussies home

Robert Whiteby Robert White

Australia managed a five run victory against Sri Lanka in Perth last night, edging the visitors by the smallest of margins in third tri-series one-day international.

Sri Lanka need 18 runs of the final over but fell just short in an exciting ending.

Under sweltering conditions (40C) captain Michael Clarke was awarded man-of-the-match honors by delivering a timely 57 runs at a stage in the match where India appeared to have control of the home side.

Clarke and Dan Christian put together a solid 56 run partnership when Australia had just 130 runs on the board and were already five wickets down.

But when the both fell within four runs of each other, and with Ryan Harris laying an egg, Australia looked pretty miserable at 8-192. Then in came Clint McKay and Mitchell Starc and the duo were able to smash a few more runs out to leave the Aussies at a semi-respectable total of 231.

Clarke didn’t receive a whole lot of help in the batting department and was only man in green and gold to reach the half century mark. Matthew Wade and Ricky Ponting disappointed and were both dismissed for a run each, and while the Hussey brothers got off to good starts they couldn’t maintain and establish anything of substance.

For the visitors, Tillakaratne Dilshan made 40, Dinesh Chandimal had 37 and Angelo Mathews knocked a game-high 64. The all-rounder also nabbed the scalps of David Warner (34) and Clarke, while four other Indian bowlers were also able to take two wickets apiece in a balanced effort.

The game marked another excellent effort by the Australian captain who has put together some great batting and captaining performance dating back to the recent Tests against India, where he led the Aussies to a four match sweep.