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Sri Lanka confirmed their spot in the top four

Zia Rana June 17, 2013

 Sri Lanka 8-253 (Mahela Jayawardene 84*, Lahiru Thirimanne 57, Tillakaratne Dilshan 34, Mitchell Johnson 3-48) beat Australia 233 (Adam Voges 49, Glenn Maxwell 32, Nuwan Kulasekara 3-42) by 20 runs.

The determined Sri Lankan squad demonstrated an all-round performance in their last pool game and won the important encounter against Australia convincingly.

The highlights of the equations for the semi-final are the following:

–         Australia needed to win the match in 29.1 overs.

–         Sri Lanka must restrict the Kangaroos to 164 runs to get on top.

–         If Australia wins the game after 29.1 overs, New Zealand will qualify for the semi-final.

The Islanders scored 253 runs for the loss of eight wickets in the allocated 50 overs and the innings of the Aussies was folded back for 233 in 42.3 overs.

Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka) was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his outstanding unbeaten knock of 84 runs.

The 12th match of the ICC Champions Trophy was played on Monday, June 17, 2013, at Kennington Oval, London.

George Bailey won the toss for Australia and asked Sri Lanka to bat first on a good looking batting strip. The decision paid off as the Lankan Lions lost their two top order batsmen for 20 runs in 3.2 overs. Lahiru Thirimanne and Tillakaratne Dilshan crept to 40 after 10 overs without scoring any boundary as the first hit 2 fours in the next over. They took the score to 92 in 22.2 overs as Dilshan was caught by Shane Watson off Xavier Doherty for 34 and was replaced by the seasoned Mahela Jayawardene. Lahiru Thirimanne attained his fifth ODI fifty in the 27th over as Jayawardene hit 2 back to back boundaries in the 30th over.

Mahela Jayawardene - The star performer with unbeaten 84 runs

Mahela Jayawardene – The star performer with unbeaten 84 runs

The partnership was broken at 128 in 31.3 overs when Thirimanne was gone for 57 off 86 balls with 4 fours. The skipper of Sri Lanka, Angelo Mathews, scored 12 runs as Dinesh Chandimal walked in next and Jayawardene dispatched his 69th ODI half century in the process. The latter picked the run rate up by adding a couple of fours in the 44th over as Chandimal hit the first six of the innings in the following over. Dinesh Chandimal was caught at mid-on by Phillip Hughes off Mitchell Johnson for 31 off 32 with 1 six and 1 four. Mahela Jayawardene remained unbeaten for 84 off 81 with 11 fours as Sri Lanka powered 253 with two wickets remaining in 50 overs.

Mitchell Johnson was the chief wicket taker with three whereas Clint McKay, James Faulkner and Xavier shared one wicket each.

Shane Watson was gone early at 9 after scoring just five runs as Glenn Maxwell joined in with Phillip Hughes. Maxwell hit 1 six and 3 fours in the coming overs as Hughes was caught behind by Kumar Sangakkara off Nuwan Kulasekara for 13. Maxwell carried on with his attack but was finally clean bowled by Lasith Malinga for 32 off 20 with 1 six and 5 fours. George Bailey ran himself out for just four runs and Mitchell Marsh became the fifth victim at 80 in 13 overs, after scoring four as well.

Adam Voges and Matthew Wade got together in the park as the latter got 2 fours in the 15th over. Wade hit a six in the next over as the score board displayed the first hundred of the Kangaroos innings. The partnership was enhanced to 127 in 19.1 overs when Matthew Wade was caught superbly by Tillakaratne Dilshan at long-off at the bowling of Kulasekara for 31 off 23 with 1 six and 4 fours. Adam Voges was the 9th batsman to be dismissed for 49 off 62 deliveries with just two fours as the total touched 192 in 30.2 overs. The game seemed over at that point but Clint McKay and Xavier Doherty fought well until the end and gave a tough time to the Islanders. They cruised to 233 in 42.3 overs when McKay was caught and bowled by Dilshan for 30 off 58 balls with 2 fours.

Nuwan Kulasekara was the main wicket taker with three, Rangana Herath held two whereas Shaminda Eranga, Lasith Malinga, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Angelo Mathews claimed one wicket each.

Sri Lanka won the decisive match by a margin of 20 runs and qualified for the semi-final of the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. They will face India on Thursday, June 20, 2012, at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff.

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