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On course for a best of three finals berth next month:

Jayawardene and Chandimal show the way

A majestic innings of 85 by skipper Mahela Jayawardena and a sterling innings of 80 by Dinesh Chandimal took Sri Lanka to a three wicket win over Australia in a Commonwealth Bank Tri series match at the Bellerive Oval yesterday.

With this victory Sri Lanka tops the points table with 15 points, with Australia second and India third and are on course for a fling in the best of three finals beginning next month.

Jayawardena who showed the way by example was adjudged the Player of the match.

When Australia made 280 for 6, it looked a tough ask for the Lankans. If they were to taste victory, it was essential that they be off to a flying start. And that match winning start was provided by Jayawardena and Tillakaratne Dilshan who put on 55 for the first wicket

Although Kumar Sangakkara failed again, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews and Thissara Perera delivered to take Sri Lanka to a great victory.

A century from Peter Forrest, his first and the first in the tri series and who was involved in a big third wicket stand of 154 with his captain Michael Clarke took Australia to a formidable 281 in their 50 overs.

In the final overs David Hussey 40 in 28 with 5 fours and 2 sixes and Brett Lee 20 in 15 with a six and a four helped swell the total. As expected Sri Lanka went in with an unchanged side. Michael Clarke

came back to lead Australia. It was sad to note the absence of former Australian captain Ricky Ponting who was dropped after his poor form.

It was a bright sunny day here in Hobart as skippers Mahela Jaywardena and Michel Clarke walked out to toss. Clarke won the toss and decided to bat on a wicket that looked for 270 to 280 runs.

When one expected openers, both left handers Matthew Wade and David Warner, two aggressive players to cut loose, the Aussies were shocked to find both back in the pavilion for 5 and 7 while the score moved to 27.

Wade went lofting a simple catch to Jayawardena off Nuwn Kulasekera and Warner tickled a slower ball from Maharoof to wicke keeper Kumar Sangakkara. It was not the start that the home team was looking for.

Before pay began the consensus was that the wicket would be a bouncy one. But as the game progressed it was apparent that it was on the slow side. The Lankan seamers Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulaskera, Farveez Maharoof and Angelo Mathews and Thissara Perera did well to take the pace off the ball and not bang it on to the wicket and look for pace.

After losing two early wickets, Clarke joined Peter Forrest and began to repair the innings. Clarke who missed the two previous games, seemed to be in good touch as he played second fiddle to Forrest who

was going well. Forrest and Clarke once they got the feel of the wicket and the measure of the bowling broke into some punishing stroke play and made the bowling look ordinary. Forrest showed that he is a batsman to watch in the future with some lovely foot work and disciplined stroke play.

Clarke the more experienced was a steadying influence to Forrest and together they pushed the scoring with both completing half centuries. They went their merry way putting on the 50 partnership, then the 100 and at 154 before Clarke went at 181 for a well carved out 72 in 79 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes.

Then Forrest completed a richly deserved century in and was out four runs later at 104 in 138 balls with 10 fours and 2 sixes.

His was a great knock and he punched the air in jubilation and acknowledged the standing ovation from the crowd when he was out and making his way to the pavilion. Bellerive Oval, Hobart, Friday

 

Australia:

D. Warner c Sangakkara b Maharoof .	  7
M. Wade c Jayawardene b Kulasekara  	  5
P. Forrest c Maharoof b Mathews . 	104
M. Clarke c Perera b Mathews . 		 72
M. Hussey b Malinga		 	 21
D. Hussey not out 			 40
D. Christian st Sangakkara b Herath . 	  6
B. Lee not out 				 20

Extras ( b1, lb1, w3) . 		  5 
Total (6 wickets for; 50 overs) .	 280
Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Wade),
	2-27 (Warner), 3-181 (Clarke), 	4-201 (Forrest), 5-243 (M. Hussey),	6-250 (Christian)
Bowling: Malinga 10-0-56-1	(2w), Kulasekara 10-0-59-1,	Maharoof 10-0-40-1, Herath
	9-0-45-1, Mathews 7-0-43-2,	Perera 4-0-35-0 (1w)
Did not bat: R. Harris, X.	Doherty, B. Hilfenhaus


Sri Lanka

M. Jayawardene stpd Wade b Doherty 		85
T. Dilshan c Forrest b Hilfenhaus 		 3
K. Sangakkara c Warner b Christian . . . . . 	22
D. Chandimal lbw b Harris 			80
L. Thirimanne c Hilfenhaus b Christian .	24
A. Mathews c Warner b Christian . . . . .	24
F. Maharoof c Harris b Hilfenhaus		 5
T. Perera not out 				21
N. Kulasekara not out 				 4

Extras (b1, lb6, w8)				15
Total (7 wickets for; 49.2overs) . . . . . . . 283
Fall of wickets: 1-55 (Dilshan),2-90 (Sangakkara), 3-153
	(Jayawardene), 4-202 (Thirimanne),5-243 (Chandimal),6-250 (Maharoof), 7-267
	(Mathews)
Bowling: Lee 9.2-0-63-0, Hilfenhaus10-0-51-2 (2w/6), Harris6-0-43-1 (1w), 
	Christian 8-0-53-3 (1w), Doherty 10-1-35-1,Clarke 5-0-27-0, D. Hussey 1-0-4-0 

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