Lanka hit by hurricane Gilchrist
Riding on a brilliant hundred by the wicketkeeper-batsman, Australia won the crucial ODI by six wickets.india Updated: Jan 29, 2006 19:14 IST
Adam Gilchrist and Simon Katich virtually guaranteed Australia a place in the triangular series one-day final after a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in Perth on Sunday.
Chasing Sri Lanka's 233 for eight after Mahela Jayawardene (69) and Russel Arnold (56) resurrected their innings, the Australian openers put on 191 in 32.2 overs to guide their side to 237 for four with 54 balls to spare.
Gilchrist returned to his swashbuckling best with a innings of 116 while Katich (82) was the perfect counter-foil.
The victory moved Australia to 18 points, nine ahead of second-placed Sri Lanka while South Africa have eight points.
South Africa play Sri Lanka in the next match in the series on Tuesday in Perth.
Earlier,Jayawardene and Arnold scored half centuries to guide Sri Lanka to 233 for eight off 50 overs after an early collapse.
Registering a fourth fifty of the tournament, Jayawardene top scored for Sri Lanka with 69 while Arnold made 56 in a 121-run fourth-wicket partnership that resurrected the innings from a precarious position of 27-3 in the 11th over.
Tillakaratne Dilshan (35) and 18-year-old debutant Chamara Kapugedera (22) also provided a valuable 54-run partnership in 7.1 overs at the end of the innings to push Sri Lanka to a competitive, though not imposing total on a fast WACA pitch.
Australia's fielders affected three run outs, two by Andrew Symonds, in the innings with Brett Lee and Stuart Clark taking two wickets each.
Australia are almost certain of qualifying for the best-of-three final of the tournament, also involving South Africa, if they win the match.
Sri Lanka's stand-in captain Chaminda Vaas had won the toss and elected to bat, though the decision was not justified with Sanath Jayasuriya and Jehan Muburak struggling against opening bowlers Lee and Glenn McGrath.
Jayasuriya, who returned to the side after recovering from a thigh strain, was caught behind by wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist off Lee for a duck in the third over.
Kumar Sangakkara was then run out by Symonds for six to leave Sri Lanka struggling at 16 for two in the eighth over.
Mubarak attacked first change bowler Clark, though the tactic backfired when he was easily caught at mid wicket by Brad Hodge for 15 to leave Sri Lanka 27-3.
Arnold and Jayawardene then patiently rebuilt the innings before Arnold was caught by Michael Clarke at backward point off Clark in the 37th over.
Jayawardene was unluckily dismissed when a certain six off Symonds was brilliantly caught at deep backward square by Glenn McGrath, who had run around the boundary.
Sri Lanka: J Mubarakc Hodgeb Clark15,S Jayasuriyac Gilchristb Lee0, K Sangakkararun out 6, M Jayawardenec McGrathb Symonds69, R Arnoldc Clarkeb Clark56, T Dilshanrun out 35, C Kapugederac Hoggb Lee 22, C Vaasnot out6, M Kulasekararun out 0, M Muralitharannot out3,
Extras:(lb-12, w-9)21, Total:(for 8 wickets, 50 overs)233.
Fall of wkts: 1-6, 2-16, 3-27, 4-148. 5-170. 6-224, 7-225, 8-227.
Bowling:Lee10-0-42-2, McGrath10-2-35-0, Clark10-0-40-2, Symonds10-0-54-1, Hogg10-0-50-0.
Australia: A Gilchristc&b Muralitharan116. S Katichb Vaas82, B Hodgec Sangakkarab Fernando2,D Martynnot out14,A Symondsc Jayawardeneb Vaas5,M Clarkenot out6, Extras:(w-4, nb-5)9, Total:(for 4 wickets, 41 overs)234.
Fall of wickets: 1-191, 2-200, 3-209, 4-221. (Symonds, 38.2 ov).
Bowling:Vaas8-1-40-2, Fernando9-0-52-1, Kulasekara8-1-34-0, Ganegama1-0-20-0, Muralitharan10-0-53-1, Dilshan3-0-24-0, Jayasuriya 2-0-11-0.