With two grass banks on either end of the wicket, the Adelaide Oval resembles the Sinhalese Sports Club ground in Colombo. And with 1,500-odd Sri Lankan supporters at the Clem Hill – one of the two banks – playing the traditional Sinhalese music and egging their team on all through Thursday’s deciding final of the CB Series, Mahela Jayawardene and his boys would have indeed felt like playing at home.
However, Brett Lee, Shane Watson, and Clint McKay ensured that the real home team scraped through to a tense 15-run victory to help Australia end their summer on a fitting note – by lifting the CB Series trophy in a relatively low-scoring affair.
Despite being restricted to a moderate total of 231, Australia’s bowling unit put together a sterling show to bowl Sri Lanka out for 216 runs in the final over. McKay – the limited overs’ specialist – emerged as the man of the moment for Australia as the right-arm medium-pacer bowled the best spell of his 21-match ODI career so far. The tall bowler struck at all the crucial junctures to finish off with figures of five for 28 off 9.5 overs.
Though McKay was brought into the attack in the sixth over, Brett Lee did the early damage. The fast bowler first got rid of the danger man Tillakaratne Dilshan.