Colombo : On a pitch turning enough to hammer Australia into oblivion. Smith had called right at the toss, and opted to field because of the impending dew which never arrived. The pitch took magnified turn later, making the run chase tougher than it seemed at the innings break. Smith defied it all – his call at the toss and Sri Lanka’s bowling on a tough ODI pitch – with a well-compiled fifty. Aaron Finch ushered in some fresh force after that rancid 3-0 Test series loss with a 46-ball 56, an innings that set it up for a comfortable win, thus rendering the turn and bounce ridiculously inadequate.
Australia restricted the home side to 227/8 as seamers James Faulkner and Mitchell Starc claimed seven wickets between them.
Starc’s 3-32 included his 100th wicket in his 52nd ODI match, beating the previous world record set in 1997 by Pakistan’s Saqlain Mushtaq of 53 games. Faulkner was named Man of the Match for his career-best haul of 4-38, which help set Australia up for a gettable run chase of 228 on a turning pitch.
Finch then took over, hammering 56 off 46 to get Australia off to the perfect start with the bat.
Smith (58 off 92) and Bailey (39 off 54) then took over to set-up what should have been an easy victory. However, four wickets from Sri Lanka’s spinners between the 38th and 46th overs ensured that Australia could not relax until the job was done.
Brief Score : Australia 228 for 7 (Smith 58, Finch 56, Bailey 39, Dilruwan Perera 3-48) beat Sri Lanka 227 for 8 (Chandimal 80*, Kusal Mendis 67, Faulkner 4-38, Starc 3-32) by three wickets
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