Australia won a rain interrupted match by 24 runs on D/L method to enter the final of CB Series. At the stage when heavy showers hit the MCG, Sri Lanka was short by 24 runs to the score that would have won them the game. The Lankans were on 77-4 in 29.3 overs after being set a target of 185 runs by Australia.
Chasing a target of 185 runs for victory Sri Lankan got of to disastrous start and loss two quick wickets for just 3 runs on the board. New opening combination (S.Jayasurya & D. Parera) not able to give their team a start they were looking for. However the most trusted pair K.Sangkara and M.Jayawardne tried to steady the Sri Lankan innings by putting 39 runs for the 3rd wicket.
M.Jayawardne was fluent in the partnership and smashed three boundaries before getting out for 27 runs. Few overs later K.Sangkara also departed when he tried to hit J.Hopes out of the park but manage a simple catch to A.Symonds.
Earlier Sri Lankan captain M.Jaywardne won the toss and put Australia into bat. Australian top order problem continued in this match also when they lost A.Gilchrist (6 runs of 11 balls) in the fifth over of the inning. Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting, both short of runs in the series, hung around for a while with the run-rate hovering around just two runs per over. Australia were crawling rather uncharacteristically and Farveez Maharoof decided to get into the act to aggravate their woes further.
First F.Mehroof get M.Hayden for 39 runs and then a brilliant pick up and throw by Maharoof off his own bowling ended the Australian captain’s struggle in the middle. A.Symonds also fail to make any mark in this match also as he departs for 4 runs leaving his team tattering at 54/4 in 21st Overs.
A solid partnership between M.Clark (50 runs of 69 balls) and M. Hussey (64 runs of 98 balls) which they put on 90 runs for the fifth wicket gave some respectable total for their teams on a wicket which was not good for batting. However they manage only 187 runs for the lost of 7 wickets in allotted 50 overs.
Australia – 184/7 in 50 Overs
M.Hussey– 64* M.Clark – 50
F.Mehroof – 10-1-20-2 M.Muralitharan- 10-0-37-2
Sri Lanka –77/4 in 29.3 Overs
K.Sangkara – 22 M.Jayawardne – 27
S.Clark – 5-1-8-2 N.Bracken - 6-1-13-1