Pallekele, Aug 12: Australia pulled a complete turn-around to win the first ODI of the five-match series against Sri Lanka by a resounding 7 wickets and 71 balls to spare. Aussie paceman Mitchell Johnson took 6/32 as he ran through a listless Lankan middle order and helped to wrap up the innings for a meagre 191 all out. In reply, Australia over-ran the hosts' spin-heavy attack with Shane Watson's 69 off 51 guiding his side to a comfortable victory.
Batting first, Lankan opener Upuil Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dishan negoitated the Aussie pace attack fairly well, notching up 54 in 9.4 overs before Oz spin twins Xavier Doherty and David Hussey removed both openers. Lanka's score read 76/2 in 12.2 overs before a collapse ensued with the hosts losing 5 wickets for just 40 runs.
Then, latter-order batsmen Suraj Randiv and Nuwan Kulasekara put on a rescue act, adding 60 runs and thus taking thye score 177/8. the latter batsman strung together a few brief stands with the tail before Lanka folded for 191 in 41.1 overs.
Australia's reply was forceful from the start with Shane Watson blazing away to a 69 off just 51 balls, leaving the Lankan pacemen without a clue. Then when the spinners in Ajantha Mendis and Randiv came on, there was some respite for the hosts as Haddin departed for 12 and Watson joined him in the shed soon after.
The veterans in Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke took over, each notching up 53 and sharing in a match-winning stand of 101 before Ponting was bowled by Randiv. Clarke and Hussey just completed the formalities and Australia had won by an emphatic 7 wickets.