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SL cruise to comfortable win against Aus

October 31, 2010 22:34 IST

Australian captain Michael Clarke once again failed with the bat as his side lost their one-off international Twenty20 against Sri Lanka at the WACA Ground in Perth on Sunday.

After winning the toss and batting first, the home side, featuring only four players expected to play key roles in the upcoming Ashes series, struggled to 8-133, after slumping to 5-43 in the 11th over.

Sri Lanka cruised to 3-133 in reply, winning with 21 balls to spare, inflicting Australia's first home defeat in 11 matches.

Clarke went into the game under pressure to retain his spot in the Australian side in the shortest form of the game, as he is averaging just over 20 in the format.

Suraj RandivHe promoted himself to the top of the order and the move very nearly backfired on the second ball he faced, with an inside edge just missing the stumps.

Clarke should then have been run out on two, when he was sent back by strike David Warner and was well out of his ground as the throw by Tillakaratne Dilshan from close range somehow missed.

The 29-year-old briefly looked as if he would capitalize on the good fortune, hitting Dilhara Fernando through mid-wicket for four, before lofting Muttiah Muralitharan, playing his last game in Perth, down the ground for six in the next over.

But on 16, his luck ran out when he lobbed a mistimed drive off Thisara Perera (2-22) down to long on, where a back-pedalling Dilhara Fernando -- who had started the Australian rot when he had Warner caught at mid-off for two -- misjudged the flight of the ball but stuck out his right hand to cleanly snare a remarkable catch.

Clarke had faced 19 balls, and his departure left the home side struggling at 2-22. It got much worse though, with Perera then claiming Shane Watson for four and David Hussey (7) and Cameron White (8) both going cheaply as Australia collapsed to 5-43.

Brad Haddin (35) and Steven Smith (34) then came to the rescue, their 66-run partnership at least giving Australia a modestly competitive total to defend, before both fell in quick succession to Suraj Randiv, who impressed with 3-25 with his off-spinners.

The Sri Lankans had few problems overhauling the total, with captain Kumar Sangakkara unbeaten on 44 and Dilshan making 41.

D Warner c Perera b Fernando 2
M Clarke c Fernando b Perera 16
S Watson c Muralitharan b Perera 4
D Hussey c Sangakkara b Randiv 7
C White c Sangakkara b White 8
B Haddin c Mathews B Randiv 35
S Smith st Sangakkara b Randiv 34
J Hastings run out 15
C McKay not out 6
Extras (nb-1, wd-5) 6
Total (for eight wickets in 20 overs)133
Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-22, 3-30, 4-31, 5-43, 6-109, 7-110, 8-133
Bowling: Fernando 4-0-29-1, Malinga 4-0-26-1, Perera 4-0-22-2, Muralitharan 4-0-31-0, Randiv 4-0-25-3.

Sri Lanka:
M Jayawardene c Haddin b Siddle 24
T Dilshan st Haddin b Smith 41
D Chandimal lbw Nannes 2
K Sangakkara not out 44
T Perera not out 17
Extras (lb-3, wd-3, nb-1) 7
Total (for three wickets in 16.3 overs) 135
Fall of wickets: 1-35, 2-42, 3-113
Bowling: McKay 4-0-19-0, Nannes 3-0-28-1, Siddle 4-0-34-1, Hastings 3-0-18-0, Smith 2.3-0-33-1.

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