Hobart, Feb 24: Sri Lanka continued to extend their dominance at Hobart as they successfully chased yet another target to win by three wickets and keep India at bay as they are ahead of their subcontinent counterparts.
[Scorecard: 9th ODI; Australia Vs Sri Lanka, Hobart]
Dilshan, disappointed again, got out to a short-ball, as he pulled it in the air to give an easy one to deep square leg to be dismissed for 3 in the eighth over of the innings, as he was the first one to be dismissed in the 8th over after being a part of the opening stand that posted 55 runs.
Sangakkara (22), started off very well and perished against the run of play as he got the leading edge to backward point as Christian's trundler angled across at no pace while Warner did no mistake in grabbing it. In fact, he should have played it through to the off side with the angle to avoid the mistake.
Along with Jayawardene, Sangakkara added 35 runs for the 2nd wicket. Scoring at a brisk pace, Sri Lanka reached 100/1 within 17 overs as the asking rate was kept in check.
Jayawardene (85) played brilliantly to lead from the front as Chandimal joined him to ensure a victory as the duo added 63 runs for the third wicket. The highest partnership of the innings, as their partnership was the key for Lanka's successful run chase.
His fantastic innings of 85 which included 6 boundaries and a six fetch him the man of the match award as he single handedly led the team to victory though others pitched in, his contribution proved vital.
Mahela got out to a slow ball, short of length outside off stump, as he tried to loft the ball while he missed it which spun sharply as he over balanced which went straight to Wade's gloves and was finally stumped, to a classy delivery off Doherty.
Since then, Chandimal took lead and ensured the team wins, as the match headed for a thrilling finish, as Australia also pitched in with a couple of wickets later in the innings, as they claimed 4 wickets after Jayawardene's dismissal.
Chandimal was joined by Thirimanne, who scored 24 runs before being dismissed by Christian in the 37th over.
Chandimal did pay the rpcie for playing strokes under pressure as walked across the stumps to a straight ball and tried to hit that as he was trapped leg before the wicket by Harris for 80.
Sri Lanka were on the verge of winning the ODI when Chandimal got out as they needed just 38 runs off 22 balls. The last 5 overs actually were very close as Aussies got a couple of wickets and shared their moments of joy, while the determined Sri Lankans won the battle of nerves as it went on to the last over with 3 needed off 6 balls.
For Australia, Christian was the pick of the bowlers as he got 3 wickets while Hilfenhaus got 2, Harris and Doherty grabbed a wicket each.
With this victory, Sri Lanka are one match clear of India, though there are chances of them missing out the finals, while another win can seal their berth in the finals. This indeed is bad news for India as they have two more matches in the series and face a must win situation in both the matches to battle it out for a berth in the finals.
Australian innings Report: Forrest's maiden ton came off 136 balls, which included 10 boundaries and two huge hits. Another slower ball that did the trick, a soft dismissal as Forrest lofted to the covers giving enough time for Maharoof, who was at stationed at deep cover to grab it.
With two fifties and a maiden ton in 4 ODIs, Peter Forrest seems to be on a roll, as he is keen on cementing his place in the team.
In fact that saw the end of a fruitful partnership and big scores, as wickets tumbled after Clarke's dismissal. Clarke was dismissed in the 39th over while Forrest followed his skipper after holing out to Maharoof in the 41st over. They lost 3 wickets for 99 runs.
The second highest partnership being 42 for the 5th wicket between the Hussey brothers. Clarke and Forrest posted 154 runs for the 3rd wicket markiing the highest partnership of the innings.
While Brett Lee and David Hussey too contributed 30 runs for the 7th wicket, Sri Lanka tried to get back into the game after the fall of Clarke and Forrest's wicket.
Skipper Michael Clarke registered his 51st ODI fifty against Sri Lanka, as his knock included 5 boundaries and 2 huge hits. The duo added 154 runs for the 3rd wicket before Mathews broke the partnership by claiming the wicket of Clarke while he was on 72. A stunning catch by Perera stopped Clarke's fireworks abruptly as he was on the verge of completing his seventh ton in ODIs.
He hit the ball over mid-wicket to give Thisara Perera enough time to aim for it as it turned out to be a fabulous sight which just required him to dive towards his left to grab it.
Another shaky start ensured that Sri Lanka would dominate the innings, but Clarke and Forrest played sensibly to guide Australia to 280/6 in their allotted 50 overs.
Warner, disappointed again as his poor form continued with a score of just 7 to his credit. Maharoof's outside off delivery dismissed Warner as the opener tried to defend the ball, which got a edge and landed in Sangakkara's gloves.
While Kulasekara got Wade in his first over, to create an impact very early in the innings, which suggested that Sri Lanka were on a roll and continued to torment the hosts.
Wade (5), dig his own grave, as he holed out in a loose fashion while he was on front foot to go for a drive, which popped up straight to the fielder at mid-on.
Earlier in the day, Australia won the toss and elected to bat as they made no changes to the squad, while Sri Lanka too played with an unchanged side. Though Shane Watson was included in the squad, he was considered as the 12th man.
Australia: David Warner, Matthew Wade, Michael Clarke (captain), Peter Forrest, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Daniel Christian, Brett Lee, Ryan Harris, Xavier Doherty, Ben Hilfenhaus
Sri Lanka: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Farveez Maharoof, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath.