Lanka beats Aussies

Sunday, 31 October 2010 22:59 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Australia was comprehensively outplayed in its one-off Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka, losing by seven wickets at the WACA ground in Perth yesterday.

Skipper Michael Clarke won the toss and elected to bat first, a decision that backfired when Australia’s top batsmen failed and relied on a rescue mission from the middle order to compile 8 for 133.

Australia’s barely competitive total then always looked reachable with Sri Lanka’s batsmen at the crease as the visitors cruised to victory with 3.3 overs the spare.

Typically, noted destroyer Kumar Sangakkara took it upon himself to bash the Australian attack, racking up 44 runs from 43 balls after the touring openers had put on 35 for the first wicket.

Mahela Jayawardene (24) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (41) got Sri Lanka off to a flying start, allowing Sangakkara to unleash his wrecking-ball style to see through a simple victory.

He was joined at the finish by the unheralded Thisara Perera, who made himself known to the WACA with three consecutive boundaries - including two cracking sixes - to finish off the Aussies in the 17th over.

Perera, who had earlier starred with the ball taking 2 for 22, punished spinner Steven Smith (1 for 35) to finish with 17 from just four deliveries as Sri Lanka celebrated its first ever Twenty20 win over Australia.

Earlier, Smith’s innings of 34 was crucial to a 66-run partnership with Brad Haddin (35) that helped Australia avoid total humiliation, having joined forces in the 11th over of the home side’s innings at 5 for 43.

The two sides will square off in Melbourne on Wednesday for the first of three one-day internationals.