Adelaide: A 179-run first wicket partnership between Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene helped Sri Lanka thrash Australia by eight wickets to level the finals at 1-1 in the Commonwealth Bank tri-series here Tuesday.
Australia electing to bat, lost Mathew Wade (14) and Shane Watson (15) early. However, David Warner (100) and Michael Clarke (117) strung together a 184-run partnership to take the home-side to a competitive score of 271-6.
Surprisingly Clarke was the aggressor of the two, smashing his fastest century in limited-overs career. Warner was more circumspect, known to be a big hitter, he reached the rope only four times in his innings and cleared it only once.
A 300-plus total looked a possibility when Australia reached 232-2 after 44 overs, fuelled by Clarke’s 21-run pummelling of Farveez Maharoof in the preceding over. In all but one of the last six overs, however, Sri Lanka diligently prevented the Australian batsmen scoring more than a run a ball.
Warner becomes only the eighth Australian to score consecutive ODI centuries.
However, Clarke and Warner’s efforts were overshadowed by the Sri Lankan batsmen as they came out all guns blazing and reached the target of 272 with 5.4 overs to spare.
Australia thought they had removed Jayawardene in the second over only for the caught-behind dismissal to be rightfully overturned when umpire Bruce Oxenford’s suspicion Clint McKay had overstepped was confirmed by the video umpire.
After Jayawardene and Dilshan’s dismissal Kumar Sangakkara (51) and Dinesh Chandimal (17) easily cantered home to take the final into a decider.