Adelaide, Mar 8: Paceman Clint McKay took five wickets to lead Australia to tri-series title victory as the hosts edged Sri Lanka by 16 runs in the third final at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday.
[Scorecard: Third Final, Australia Vs Sri Lanka, Adelaide]
Sri Lanka faltered in a modest chase of 232 after winning the toss and electing to field first. McKay was the hero for Australia as he took five wickets for 28 runs in 9.5 overs. Sri Lanka were bowled out for 215 in 48.5 overs.
Australia had won the first final in Brisbane by 15 runs while Sri Lanka bounced back to take the second by eight wickets on Tuesday. With this win here, the hosts won the best-of-three exchanges 2-1.
McKay was Man-of-the-match while Tillakaratne Dilshan, the top scorer in the tournament with 513 runs (2 hundreds, 1 fifty) in 11 matches, claimed the Man-of-the-series award. McKay finished the tournament with 15 wickets from eight games. Lasith Malinga topped the tournament tally with 18 balls from 11 matches.
At the innings break, Sri Lanka would have fancied their chances of overhauling this target. However, when it mattered the most, their batting failed miserably. Upul Tharanga was the lone batsman to post a half century, as he top scored with 71. He waged a lone battle and was the eighth man dismissed.
McKay was well complemented by Brett Lee with three wickets while captain Shane Watson accounted for two crucial dismissals in the middle of the innings. The stand-in skipper was excellent with the ball, conceding just 13 runs in seven overs including one maiden.
Sri Lanka did not have a good start. Their openers' form was key to their earlier chases in the tournament. Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Dinesh Chandimal were back in the pavilion with just 53 runs on the board in 9.3 overs.
It was only through Tharanga and Lahiru Thirimanne that they tried to rebuild the innings. But Watson struck to remove Thirimanne and it was left to Tharanga to carry the Islanders' chase forward. He, in the company of the lower order, was setting himself up to deliver a tight finish but Watson dealt a severe blow by sending back Tharanga in the 46th over leaving them on 204/8.
All-rounder Farveez Maharoof was there till the end and there was a ray of hope but last man Malinga was bowled by McKay for his fifth wicket to signal the end in the 49th over.
McKay had earlier made a contribution with the bat, by scoring 28 runs.
Earlier, Sri Lanka dismissed Australia for 231 in 49.3 overs. Maharoof and Rangana Herath picked three wickets apiece while Nuwan Kulasekara took two. Matthew Wade was the top scorer for Australia with 49 runs while fellow opener David Warner made 48.
Toss Report: Sri Lanka win toss, choose to field
The third final of the Tri-series gets under way in Adelaide on Thursday. On this sunny day at Adelaide Oval, Sri Lanka have won the toss and elected to bowl. Aussie skipper Michael Clarke is out due to a hamstring injury while Shane Watson will lead the side in his absence. Paceman James Pattinson is also ruled out.
Interestingly, Nathan Lyon who was included in the squad for the final is making his One-day International debut today. Lyon and Peter Forrest come into the side in place Clarke and Pattinson.
On a slow track, the captain who wins the toss might as well like to bat first as it turns out to be difficult for strokeplay during the course of the match, said Ian Chappell while giving the pitch report.
Predictable Sri Lankans go by their chasing record as they elected to bowl first after winning the toss. Sri Lanka seem to be very confident batting second as they have chased mammoth targets with ease during this series.
Sri Lankans are playing the final with an unchanged team as Kapugedera and Maharoof retain their spots while Angelo Mathews continues to miss the final due to an injury.
Australia: Shane Watson (captain), David Warner, Peter Forrest, Daniel Christian, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Matthew Wade, Brett Lee, Xavier Doherty, Clint McKay, Nathan Lyon.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Upul Tharanga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Chamara Kapugedera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Farveez Maharoof, Rangana Herath, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekera.