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Sri Lanka pull off historic series win

Published: Friday, November 5, 2010, 17:57 [IST]
 
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Sri Lanka pull off historic series win

The Sri Lankans pulled off a dramatic 29-run victory against Australia in the second one-dayer at Sydney to register their maiden series win Down Under. The tourists brought on some tight bowling and sharp fielding to prevent Australia from reaching the target of 214 in 39 overs in the rain-affected match.

Batting first, the Sri Lankans got off to a stable and brisk start with openers Upul Tharanga and Tillakratne Dishan putting on 98 in just under 20 overs, before Dilshan was out LBW for 47 to Hauritz. Hauritz justified his inclusion in the side by breaking the opening stand, but he was able to do little else.

Watson got rid of a shaky Jayawardene for just 5, but then Sangakarra and Tharanga pressed on to take the score to 170/2 at the end of the 35th over when rain interrupted play. Soon after play resumed, Sangakarra got out to Watson for a fluent 45. Then Angelo Mathews joined forces with Tharanga to take the score to 213 in the 41st over when rain again stopped play.

When the players came back out, Australia had to get 244 from 39 overs. Opener Haddin was not able to do very much, getting out for 1 to Kulasekara. However, his partner Watson started well, racing to 40 of 44 balls before he was out LBW to an ever-deceptive Muralitharan. In between Ponting too went for a paltry 10 to the pace of Perera and it was left to Clarke and Watson to do the rebuilding. But when they got out soon, the job was passed on to two relative new batsmen at the crease - Cameron White and Michael Hussey.

It was not long before Muralitharan struck again to remove Hussey for 15 and Australia were plodding along at 112/5 in the 21st over. At that stage, a lot depended on White and Steven Smith. But after a stabilising partnership of 43, White lost his off stump to Kulasekara for 35 while trying to go for a big heave over mid-wicket.

Mitchell Johnson muscled a couple of a big shots and ran quick between the wickets to notch up a quick-fire 23 before he was found just short of his crease. In the same over, Randiv got rid of Smith who had made a pacy 33. The next to go was Nathan Hauritz who skied one off Randiv which went down the throat of long-on. McKay then got into the act, hurriedly accumulating the last few runs, but in the end Malinga did the trick, bowling McKay for 10 to wrap up the match and the series.

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