Preview: Sri Lanka hold edge in tri-series finals

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Published: Saturday, March 3, 2012, 11:39 [IST]
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Sri Lanka, Australia face off in finals

Brisbane, Mar 3: After 12 league games in the tri-series, it is now time for the best-of-three finals to get under way at the Gabba on Sunday. It will be contested between Australia and Sri Lanka after the latter won on Friday that sent India home.

Though it is hard to pick the favourites for the title, Mahela Jayawardene and his boys hold slight edge over the hosts.

Barring the game in Hobart, where Virat Kohli dismantled the Sri Lankan attack, the Islanders have been in good form. In the league stage, they had beaten Australia thrice in four attempts.

If they can continue that and notch two more wins, the trophy is theirs.

However, Australia can't be written off easily. Captain Michael Clarke, who missed Friday's defeat in Melbourne, will return and make is a big boost.

Young pace sensation James Pattinson was on target after returning from injury and Sri Lankans will be wary of him. Daniel Christian, who took a hat-trick on Friday, will be confident when he bowls again.

Sri Lankan all-rounders, Farveez Maharoof, Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews have all been injured and on the eve of the match, Perera was ruled out. The other two are also in doubt but not confirmed as non-starters.

Sri Lankan selectors have already chosen batsman Chamara Kapugedara as cover and he is on way to joining the squad.

Lasith Malinga will be the key for the World Cup 2011 finalists. He, along with Nuwan Kulasekara did an exceptional job in the thrilling nine-run win on Friday. They will have to keep the Sri Lankan batsmen in check.

Malinga is the leading wicket-taker in the series with 14.

The talented young batsman, Dinesh Chandimal has emerged as the second leading run scorer in the series with 383. He is a vital part of the middle order.

Australia's batting will revolve around Shane Watson and David Hussey. The younger Hussey brother heads the most-runs list with 412. He has five half centuries in the tournament and he is crucial for the hosts.

India had won the tri-series title in 2008 after taking the first two games of the best-of-three finals.

If a winner is spotted in the first two matches, the third and last game of the finals will not be played.

The second final is slated for March 6 in Adelaide and it will host the last game as well, if necessary, on March 8.


Australia: Michael Clarke (captain), Shane Watson (vice-captain), David Warner, Peter Forrest, Daniel Christian, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Matthew Wade, Ben Hilfenhaus, Brett Lee, James Pattinson, Xavier Doherty, Clint McKay.

Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Angelo Mathews, Upul Tharanga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Farveez Maharoof, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekera, Chanaka Welegedera, Dhammika Prasad.

Umpires: Asad Rauf (Pakistan) and Paul Reiffel (Australia)

Third Umpire: Bruce Oxenford (Australia)

Match Referee: Chris Broad (England)

Match starts at 8.50 AM IST

For live ball by ball commentary, live updates and reports, visit www.thatscricket.com


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