Australia overcame a spirited Sri Lankan batting performance at the Sydney Cricket Ground, as they beat the islanders by 64 runs, after posting a mammoth total of 376/9. Glenn Maxwell starred for the home team yet again, and registered his first ODI ton. Michael Clarke, Shane Watson and Steven Smith contributed with useful half centuries that saw the Australians deflate the Sri Lankans with the bat.
Australia bat first, lose openers early
Australia lost both their openers very early today, after deciding to bat first. David Warner and Aaron Finch were back in the hut by the 9th over.
Michael Clarke and Steven Smith took charge of the innings at this stage. They took no unnecessary risk, but kept the scoring rate healthy enough, in spite of the early wickets. A 134 run stand resuscitated the Australian innings and laid the ideal platform for Glenn Maxwell to go berserk!
Glenn Maxwell steals the show
Following the quick dismissal of Clarke and Smith, Glenn Maxwell and Shane Watson got together to put the Lankan bowlers through a stern test. Glenn Maxwell was the destroyer-in-chief, as he pulled out an array of unorthodox shots and made sure that none of the Sri Lankan bowlers could slow down Australia’s scoring rate. Maxwell dashed to a 51 ball ton, but was dismissed a couple of balls later by Thisara Perera. Shane Watson kept the runs flowing and some useful runs from Brad Haddin at the end, ensured that Australia finished with a huge total of 376/9.
Dilshan, Sanga start positively:
Inspite of the loss of Lahiru Thirimanne in the second over of the chase, the Lankans enjoyed a bright start, courtesy Tilakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara. It was a brisk 131 run stand for the 2nd wicket that raised Sri Lanka’s hopes of chasing the Australian total down. Dilshan appeared to be at his best after a long time. He scored a 60 ball 62, during which he also hammered Mitchell Johnson for six consecutive boundaries in an over!
Sri Lanka run out of batting firepower
Kumar Sangakkara was at his fluent best in today’s match. The veteran came up with some delectable strokeplay en route to a brilliant 104 off 107 balls , making this his third consecutive ODI hundred. Sangakkara was ably supported by Dinesh Chandimal who contributed a quickfire 24 ball 52. Angelo Mathews too chipped in with a 31 ball 35, but could not carry his team across the line.
The lower middle order collapsed once Mathews was dismissed in the 42nd over, with the scoreboard reading 283-5. Sri Lanka were ultimately bowled out for 312 in 46.2 overs and fell short by 64 runs.
Man of the Match – Glenn Maxwell