Australia has won the Tri-series one-day international finals by defeating Sri Lanka by 16 runs in the third and final game.
After winning the opening game last Sunday, Australia lost the second final in embarrassing fashion and held onto to win a thriller in Adelaide, becoming the first team in the competition’s history to complete the series after losing the second final.
The Aussie batsman posted a very modest 231 after Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bowl, allowing openers Matthew Wade and David Warner atoning for their poor outings in game two. The pair notched 49 and 48 respectively and were the only two batters to do notable damage other than tail enders Brett Lee and Clint McKay, who combined for 50 to save the innings.
Sri Lanka’s top order gave Australia hope as they dropped like quickly and quietly. Lahiru Thirimanne at number five was the only batter with influence, notching 30, but he was dismissed after playing a number of balls through the air and was eventually caught by Warner (from a Watson ball). The wicket put Australia was half-way from victory with Sri Lanka at a very vulnerable 113-5.
But Upul Tharanga had been at the crease a while and his influence was beginning to show. He batted slowly and with patience, keeping Sri Lanka in the game. He picked up the pace with 16 overs remaining, with his side needing about a run a ball, and kept Australia on the edge with some attacking batting and good running between the wickets.
Still needing a run a ball with just nine overs left, Tharanga hit a two, then a six off Xavier Doherty’s over and paired with Fareez Maharoof, the duo looked as if they could finish out the match and steal the win.
With a handful of overs remaining, Shane Watson brought himself back into the bowling attack after a lengthy absence and immediately picked up the vital wicket of Tharanga for 71 (122 balls).
McKay dismissed Rangana Herath for a duck in the next over and the game quickly slid away from Sri Lanka, allowing Australia to bowl out the visitors 16 runs short of their target.