Australia continued their supremacy in Commonwealth Bank Series by snatching a well fought match against Sri Lanka by mere five runs. The spirited Angelo Mathews played a heroic knock and nearly took the Lankan Lions to the victory before he lost his wicket on the fifth ball of the last over.
The Kangaroos were bowled out for 231 runs and the Islanders managed 226 runs before their innings was folded back with one ball to spare.
Michael Clarke was chosen ‘Player of the match’ for his all-round performance and capable leadership. The match was played at Western Australia Cricket Association Ground, Perth on February 10, 2012.
Earlier, Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and put the hosts in to bat and David Warner invaded them with a four in almost all three initial overs. The visitors got the first success when Matthew Wade was caught at the wicket by Kumar Sangakkara off Nuwan Kulasekara for just one runs. The opening wicket contributed 22 runs and the seasoned Ricky Ponting was declared leg before wicket off Lasith Malinga after the addition of four runs in the total.
Warner continued with his aggression as the new comer Clarke secured the other end with determination. The third wicket was gone at 50 runs when Mathews clean bowled Warner for 34 off 29 balls with one six and 4 fours.
Clarke shared couple of reasonable partnerships with the incoming batsmen and was the seventh success for Sri Lanka the total of 190 runs. He played a patience innings of 57 runs off 88 balls which included 4 fours. A nominal contribution was witnessed from the late order batsmen as the whole side was sent back to the pavilion for 231 runs with five balls to spare.
Malinga, Kulasekara, Mathews, Dhammika Prasad and Sachithra Senanayake shared the honours of bowling with two wickets each.
Sri Lanka lost its first wicket for 11 runs when the experienced Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara associated 50 runs partnership for the second wicket. Sangakkara became the third casualty for the Lankans when he was unluckily slipped at the crease and was run out for 22.
Dilshan tried to accelerate the scoring but was caught by the wicket keeper Wade off Ryan Harris for 40 runs. A mini collapse forced them in the middle when Jayawardene and Lahiru went back in quick successions as Dinesh Chandimal became the sixth victim at his individual contribution of 37 runs.
The Islanders were struggling at 129 for six when the all-rounder Angelo Mathews gave a single handed fight as the wickets kept on sliding at the other end. The ninth wicket was down at 180 runs and the defeat was just one good ball away as Prasad appeared on the scene.
Prasad provided much required support to Angelo Mathews who was playing a brave innings and achieved his fifty on the fourth ball of the 48th over. Sri Lanka needed 18 runs to win the encounter at the end of the 49th over and Mathews did not surrender. He dispatched four on the first ball from Mitchell Starc and reduced the deficit for eight on the second ball by which resulted in a well-timed six.
They were five runs away from victory when Mathews spooned the ball in the air and Daniel Christian accepted a well judge catch. He became the top scorer of the match by smashing 64 runs off 76 balls which comprised one six and 4 fours.
Starc, Christian and Xavier Doherty were the highest wicket takers with two each as Harris, Clint Mckay and Clarke claimed one wicket a piece.
Australia won the absorbing match by five runs and kept their unbeaten record in the tournament so far.