Australia avoided an unwanted record as they cruised to a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the third and final one-day international at Brisbane's Gabba ground on Sunday.
Staring at a record eighth straight international defeat, the Australians skittled Sri Lanka for 115 off 32 overs and rattled up the winning score of 119 for two off just 21.4 overs to canter home in the dead rubber match. Despite the big defeat, Sri Lanka return home having won their first series in Australia after victories in Melbourne and Sydney.
Paceman Clint McKay put in a man-of-the-match performance with five for 33 off nine overs supported by newcomer Mitchell Starc's four for 27 off nine to rip through the Sri Lankan innings.
Michael Clarke, standing in for skipper Ricky Ponting who was rested ahead of this month's Ashes series, hit the winning runs in an unbeaten 50, with Mike Hussey six not out. The Australians lost only the wickets of openers Shane Watson and Brad Haddin in easing to victory over the lacklustre Sri Lankans.
Watson was out for 15 as he tried to steer a single to third man and instead picked out Angelo Mathews at slip off Dilhara Fernando in the sixth over.
Haddin top-edged a hook shot and was caught and bowled by Fernando for 31 with Australia 32 runs away from victory. It was the young duo of McKay and Starc who wrecked the Sri Lankan innings, both bowlers enjoying the bounce and movement of the pitch, where the opening Ashes Test with England will be played in 18 days' time.
Only Chamara Silva (33) and Upul Tharanga (28) showed any resistance, while skipper Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene made ducks.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 115 in 32 overs: (C, Silva 33, U. Tharanga 28; C. McKay 5-33, M. Starc 4-27); Australia 119-2 in 21.3 overs (M. Clarke 50 not out, B. Haddin 31; D. Fernando 2-48)