CB Series Cricket Finals: Australia Win A Humdinger!
Sri Lankan lower order turned the match on its head and nearly won it for their country. They were chasing a mammoth target of 322 runs set by Australia in the first of the best-of-three Commonwealth Bank Series finals played in Brisbane today.
Sri Lanka started on a brisk note scoring the first fifty
in the seventh over as if trying to emulate Team India’s momentous chase against them on February 28, but down to the seventh batsmen nobody seemed to be as inspired as Virat Kohli on that day. In a huge chase like this somebody had to score a scorching century, but there was not even a fifty from either the top or the middle order. Mr. consistent Chandimal failed too. At 144 for 6 in the 31st over the match looked as good as over.
But Sri Lankan pacer Kulasekara had very different ideas. He set the stadium of fire scoring 73 runs in just 43 balls laced with seven fours and three huge sixes. He found an able partner in Tharanga and between them added 104 runs in 11 overs. When Kulasekara was the seventh out at the team’s score of 248 in the 42nd over the match still could go either way. Tharanga who made 60 and Prasad who remained not out at 31 took the score to 280 for 7 in 45 overs when rains came down and the complex Duckworth-Lewis method came into consideration. As the drizzle became heavier Sri Lanka needed 290 runs by the end of 46 overs. Maybe to achieve that Tharanga got out at that stage try hitting the ball out of the stadium. Ironically, the drizzle did not interrupt play till the end.
Finally, Sri Lanka lost by 15 runs and Australia went 1-0 up in the finals. DA Warner who had been the mainstay of the Australian innings with a brilliant knock of 163 off 157 balls won the Player of the Match award. The finalists meet again on March 6and if Sri Lanka lose again the third final on March 8 will not be played.
Kudos to the Sri Lankan tail-enders! But if Sri Lanka aim to win the CB Series cricket cup their top order must fire immediately.