Brisbane - Sri Lanka laboured to a four-wicket
victory after right-arm pacer Nuwan Kulasekara destroyed Australia with a
fine display of swing bowling in the third one-day international in
Brisbane on Friday.
Australia's top and middle order batsmen
capitulated before Kulasekara's inswing while Lasith Malinga (3-22)
polished off the tail to bowl out the hosts for 74 in 26.4 overs.
The win, though not as convincing as it should have been, puts Sri
Lanka 2-1 up in the five-match series. Sydney hosts the fourth one-dayer
VIDEO: Australia v Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI
For Australia, only Mitchell Starc (22 not out) and
Xavier Doherty (15) managed double digits, adding 34 runs for the last
wicket to take the home side past their lowest ODI total ever.
a day when ball dominated bat and not a single six was hit, the Sri
Lankan batsmen had their problems too and wobbled early on in their
Mitchell Johnson (3-11) blew away their top order, while
Starc claimed a couple as Sri Lanka lost six wickets before scrambling
over the line in 20 overs.
Kushal Perera was unbeaten on 22, while Tillakaratne Dishan also contributed as many runs.
It was a brave effort by the Australian bowlers after they were let down by their batting colleagues earlier in the day.
Angelo Mathews drew first blood with his seventh delivery when he
removed opener David Warner and Australia captain Michael Clarke was
soon left to rue his decision to bat first as the batting lineup came
Right-arm pacer Kulasekara tasted his first success when
skipper Mahela Jayawardene took a sharp, low catch in the second slip
to dismiss the other opener Phil Hughes.
Kulasekara was on a
hat-trick in his next over when he removed Hussey and followed it with a
delivery that swung a long way to trap the scoreless George Bailey leg
Matthew Wade denied him a hat-trick but that was hardly
solace for the hosts as Kulasekara returned to peg back Clarke's middle
stump and push one through Moises Henriques's gate for his first
five-wicket haul, also earning him the man of the match award.
After Kulasekara had exposed Australia's lower order, Malinga ran through the tail, removing Johnson, Wade and Clint McKay.
Starc and Doherty added 34 runs for the last wicket before Shaminda
Eranga dismissed Doherty to end the Australian innings in the 27th over.
Number nine batsman Starc took a couple of blows on his helmet but hung
on to take Australia past their previous lowest total of 70 that came
on two occasions, against England in Birmingham in 1977 and New Zealand
at Adelaide in 1986.