Australia take the first final at Brisbane
Australia went 1-0 up in the Commonwealth Bank Series finals with a 15 run win in the first of three finals at Brisbane on Sunday.
David Warner’s sensational 163 off 157 balls was the bedrock on which Australia posted 321/6 after winning the toss and choosing to bat first. Warner shared a 136 run opening stand with Matthew Wade (64) and a 50 run stand for the second wicket with Shane Watson (21).
Watson, Christian and David Hussey fell in quick succession but Warner kept going and almost carried his bat through the Australian innings. He added another 64 runs with Michael Clarke (37) and 33 with Michael Hussey (19*) before his dismissed off the last ball of the last over.
Sri Lanka’s top order failed to build on their starts once Mahela Jayawardene (14) and Tillakaratne Dilshan’s (27) quick 39 run partnership in 5 overs was broken. Royal Challengers Bangalore allrounder Dilshan (27) was on fire, attacking with ferocity but was bowled by Brett Lee.
Sangakkara was dismissed on 42 and at 144/6 in the 30th over, SL’s chase seemed over.
Upul Tharanga and Nuwan Kulasekara however gave them hope with a 104 run stand for the seventh wicket in just 69 balls. Kulasekara was the architect, slamming 73 off 43 balls while Tharanga made 60 off 67 balls.
Further runs from Dhammika Prasad (31* off 21b) took SL closer but Lasith Malinga’s failure to get bat on ball in the last wicket partnership proved fatal. Disciplined bowling from Lee and Watson chipped away at the tail, piling the pressure on SL.
After repeated swing-and-misses Malinga holed out to Michael Hussey at deep square leg off Watson with the score on 306. The 15 run win handed Australia a 1-0 leg up in the finals of the series, the two remaining finals are scheduled to be played at Adelaide.