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Maxwell outshines Sangakkara as Aussies win

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Kumar Sangakkara scored his third consecutive ODI hundred Kumar Sangakkara scored his third consecutive ODI hundred (AFP)

SYDNEY: Sri Lanka couldn’t match the amazing batting talents of Australia’s Glenn Maxwell who scored a magnificent maiden ODI century in guiding his team to a comfortable 64 runs win in their Pool A World Cup match played here under lights on Sunday.

Despite losing Lahiru Thirimanne for one as early as the second over, Sri Lanka starting the innings with an asking rate of 7.52 an over kept pace gamely and looked on course to challenge the Aussies total, but when everything was looking good for them they were derailed by a hamstring injury to Dinesh Chandimal who was forced to retire hurt with his personal score on 52 scored off 24 balls.

At that stage Sri Lanka were 281-4 in the 42nd over with the same number of wickets and were 11 runs ahead of Australia.

Chandimal and Mathews were going well in a partnership of 80. With Chandimal’s sad departure, the Lankan innings lost momentum and with Mathews being dismissed two runs later it went into decline and they lost their remaining wickets for the addition of only 31 runs in 31 balls to be all out for 312.

Although Sri Lanka will be unhappy with the result, they can take some consolation from their overall performance as they are bound to play their quarter-final at the same venue on March 18.

Both sides it seems misread the pitch and included an additional spinner – Sri Lanka adding on Sachitra Senanayake and Australia including Xavier Doherty. As it turned out there was hardly any assistance for the trundlers and none of them bowled their full quota of overs.

The pitch turned out to be an excellent batting surface as it was proved with a total of 688 runs being scored with two centuries and five fifties.

Kumar Sangakkara once again was in his element scoring his third successive century to become the first batsman to do so in a World Cup tournament and the seventh overall in ODIs after Zaheer Abbas, Saeed Anwar, Herschelle Gibbs, AB de Villiers, Quentin de Kock and Ross Taylor.

At 39 Sangakkara achieved another milestone in his amazing career when he went past 14,000 ODI runs and moving to second place in the all-time list of run-getters behind India’s Sachin Tendulkar (18,426).

The early loss of Thirimanne didn’t deter the Lankan run chase as Tillakaratne Dilshan counter-attacked Johnson with six consecutive fours in one over that cost him 24 runs that brought the 40,000 spectators the majority of them Sri Lankans to their feet. Dilshan went onto make a delightful 62 off 60 balls sharing a 130-run stand with Sangakkara. Although Sri Lanka lost Mahela Jayawardene for 19 through a run out and Sangakkara soon afterwards the run chase was taken over by Mathews and Chandimal, before his unfortunate ending.    

The platform for Maxwell to play his style of game was laid by Steve Smith (72) and skipper Michael Clarke (68) who figured in a 134-run stand after Sri Lanka had pegged back the Aussies by grabbing the wickets of openers David Warner for nine and Aaron Finch for 24 by the ninth over.

Maxwell joined by Shane Watson went on the offensive against Sri Lanka to put together a partnership of 160 at a crackling pace using up only 82 balls that saw Australia through to an imposing total of 376-9.

They made mincemeat of the bowling that saw Australia score a staggering 217 runs in the last 20 overs.

Maxwell who easily took the man of the match award was unstoppable as he sped to his hundred off 51 balls inclusive of 10 fours and a six, narrowly missing out on recording the fastest World Cup hundred by two balls and which stands to the credit of Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien against England at Bangalore 2011.  . He was missed at 93 by Sangakkara who ran back but failed to hold onto a top edge off a Mathews delivery.

Watson needing a good score behind him gained in confidence batting with Maxwell and hit an impressive 67 off 41 balls.

The Lankan fielding overall was good with only two catches going down – Haddin being put down by Prasanna at 20. The ground fielding had vastly improved but there still existed a few grey areas in the bowling.

Sri Lanka already qualified for a place in the quarter-final play  their final Pool A game on Wednesday against Scotland at Hobart.



A Finch st Sangakkara b Prasanna 24

D Warner c Prasanna b Malinga 9

S Smith c Perera b Dilshan 72

M Clarke b Malinga 68

G Maxwell c Malinga b Perera 102

S Watson c Chandimal b Perera 67

J Faulkner run out 0

B Haddin c Perera b Mathews 25

M Johnson not out 3

M Starc run out 0

X Doherty not out 0

Extras (b-1, lb-1, w-4) 6

Total (nine wickets, 50 overs) 376

Fall of wickets: 1-19 (Warner), 2-41 (Finch), 3-172 (Clarke), 4-177 (Smith), 5-337 (Maxwell), 6-338 (Faulkner), 7-368 (Watson), 8-373 (Haddin), 9-374 (Starc).

Bowling: Malinga 10-0-59-2 (w1), Senanayake 9-0-59-0, Mathews 7-0-59-1 (w1), Prasanna 10-0-77-1, Perera 9-0-87-2 (w1), Dilshan 5-0-33-1.


L Thirimanne c Haddin b Johnson 1

T Dilshan lbw b Faulkner 62

K Sangakkara c Finch b Faulkner 104

M Jayawardene run out 19

A Mathews c Haddin b Watson 35

D Chandimal retd hurt 52

T Perera c Doherty b Johnson 8

U Tharanga c Warner b Faulkner 4  

S Prasanna b Starc 9

S Senanayake c Doherty b Starc 7

L Malinga not out 0

Extras (b-2, lb-5, w-4) 11

Total (all out, 46.2 overs) 312

Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Thirimanne), 2-135 (Dilshan), 3-188 (Jayawardene), 4-201 (Sangakkara), 5-283 (Mathews), 6-293 (Perera), 7-305 (Prasanna), 8-307 (Tharanga), 9-312 (Senanayake).

Bowling: Starc 8.2-0-29-2 (w1), Johnson 9-0-62-2 (w2), Watson 7-0-71-1, Doherty 7-0-60-0, Maxwell 6-0-35-0, Faulkner 9-0-48-3 (w1).

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