Adelaide: Upul Tharanga’s gritty 71 runs went in vain as Australia defeated Sri Lanka in the third and deciding final match to win the Commonwealth Bank tri-series by 16 runs here Thursday.
Sri Lanka, chasing a target of 232, lost wickets at regular intervals and never seemed likely to reach Australia’s score. However, Tharanga played a patient innings and kept one end up to keep the Asian islanders in the contest.
The left-hander, along with Lahiru Thirimanne (30), formed a crucial 60-run partnership after the Lankans were in deep trouble at 53-4. Tharanga kept losing partners on the other end and was finally dismissed by Shane watson to end Sri Lanka’s hopes of winning the triangular tournament.
Clint McKay was the star with the ball for the Australians taking five wickets and giving away only 28 runs. Brett Lee too bowled with great pace, taking three wickets but was a little too expensive giving away 59 runs in eight overs.
Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and put the hosts in to bat. Australia got off to a flyer courtesy David Warner (48) and Mathew Wade (49). However, the hosts were not able to capitalize on the good start provided by the openers and kept losing wickets to slump to 177-7.
Lee’s (32) handy contribution with the bat down the order bailed Australia out and took them to a fighting total of 231. For the Lankans, Farveez Maharoof (3-40) and Rangana Herath (3-36) were the pick of the bowlers.