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Sri Lanka continued their red hot run as they stunned Australia in front of their home crowd at Hobart.
The Sri Lankans, who were fresh off their victory against India, needed the win against the hosts to top the table.
Sri Lankan Captain, Mahela Jayawardene, was full of smiles for the team topping the table, but warned that the team was not in the clear yet. “We are top of the table, but we still need to do a lot of hard work” he said.
The Australians started off the match by batting first, but they looked in trouble when both openers were dismissed cheaply. However, Peter Forrest scored his maiden century and Captain Michael Clarke had 72, as the pair put together a 154 run partnership, which pegged Sri Lanka back.
Some late hitting from David Hussey, who remained unbeaten on 40 from 28 balls, and Brett Lee who made 20 off 15 deliveries lifted Australia to a competitive total of 280.
Sri Lanka’s Angelo Matthews was the only bowler to take two wickets, while four other bowlers had a wicket each.
The tourists started their chase of 281 in supreme fashion, as Captain Jayawardene blazed his way to a highly entertaining 85 runs off 81 balls. Many of the other top and middle order batsmen got starts, but failed to capitalise on them. However, the exception was Dinesh Chandimal, whose 80 runs helped guide Sri Lanka towards their target.
Captain Jayawardene, who also claimed the Man of the Match award, was extremely content with his classy knock. “I probably got more of the strike than Dilly, and it was one of those days when most of your shots went to the gaps” he said.
Daniel Christian had three wickets for the Australia, while Ben Hilfenhaus backed him up with two wickets of his own.
Captain Clarke, was disappointed with the team’s loss and thought that they should have won the match. “Unfortunately we couldn’t get over the line, but full credit to Sri Lanka. Our execution with the ball wasn’t good” he said.
With Sri Lanka topping the table, they will have to keep their streak going in order to maintain their position and play in the final of the series.