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Nuwan Kulasekara dispirited Australia – 3rd ODI

Zia Rana January 18, 2013

Sri Lanka 6-75 (Kushal Perera 22*, Tillakaratne Dilshan 22, Mitchell Johnson 3-11) beat Australia 74 (Mitchell Starc 22*, Xavier Doherty 15, Nuwan Kulasekara 5-22) by four wickets.

The murderous fast bowling spell by the Sri Lankan fast bowler, Nuwan Kulasekara, crushed the Australian batting as the visitors clinched the third ODI easily.

The Australian skipper, Michael Clarke, made a comeback in the match along with David Warner and Matthew Wade.

The full bloodied Kangaroos side bowled out for 74 mere runs in 26.4 overs and the Lankan Lions chased the target by smashing 6-75 while consuming 20 overs.

Nuwan Kulasekara - Broke the back of the Australian batting by grabbing 5-22

Nuwan Kulasekara – Broke the back of the Australian batting by grabbing 5-22

Nuwan Kulasekara (Sri Lanka) was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his outstanding bowling spell of 5-22 runs.

The third One Day International of the five match series was played on Friday, January 18, 2013, at Brisbane Cricket Ground, Woolloongabba, Brisbane.

Clarke won the toss, had no hesitation in batting first and sent in David Warner along with Phillip Hughes to open the innings. The batsmen scored just three runs in the first two overs as Angelo Mathews removed Warner for just four runs on the first ball of the next over. Hughes was caught smartly by Mahela Jayawardene in the second slip off Nuwan Kulasekara for three as Clarke hit the first four of the innings in the seventh over.

Kulasekara oppressed the middle order batting of the hosts while sending their next four batsmen back to the pavilion within no time. Clarke managed nine runs while David Hussey, George Bailey, and Moises Henriques scored 4, 0 and 2 runs respectively. Lasith Malinga jumped in to taste the perishable batsmen of Australia by grasping next three wickets. He removed Matthew Wade, Mitchell Johnson and Clint McKay for 8, 2 and 0 runs as the home side was reeling at 9-40 in 18.3 overs.

Nine batsmen were unable to touch the double figures when Mitchell Starc and Xavier Doherty got together and tried to give some stability to the sinking boat of the Aussies. They kept on creeping with odd boundaries as Starc hit a couple of fours in the 25th over. The little resistance from the pair was over when Doherty was finally gone after scoring 15 runs off 27 balls with 3 fours. Mitchell Starc remained unbeaten for 22 from 28 deliveries with 2 fours as Australia reached 74 before their innings was rolled back with 23.2 overs to spare.

Nuwan Kulasekara grabbed his career’s best figures of 5-22, Lasith Malinga held three whereas Angelo Mathews and Shaminda Eranga shared one wicket each.

Sri Lanka had a dreadful start when they lost their captain, Mahela Jayawardene, for just one run in the very first over as Lahiru Thirimanne replaced him. Tillakaratne Dilshan got the first four of the innings in the third over as Thirimanne was dropped by George Bailey at gully off Clint McKay at 0 on the first delivery of the seventh over. The second wicket partnership took the score to 33 when Dilshan was caught in the first slip off Mitchell Johnson for 22 off 33 balls with 3 fours.

Thirimanne became the next victim four runs later and the Islanders were in trouble at 4-37 in 11.2 overs as Kushal Perera and Upul Tharanga associated in the center. The tea break was taken after 14 overs as the tourists touched 48 without any further loss and Perera dispatched 2 fours in the first over after the break. The partnership was dislodged at 63 as Tharanga was caught in the first slip by Clarke off Starc for 12 runs. Kushal Perera secured his end with 22 off 28 balls with 4 fours as the Lankan Lions thrashed 75 for the loss of six wickets with 30 overs to spare.

Mitchell Johnson was the highest wicket taker with three, Mitchell Starc got two whereas Clint McKay claimed one wicket.

The spirited Sri Lankan side bulldozed the strong looking Australian side with a margin of four wickets and the visitors are leading the five match series 2-1. The fourth One Day International of the series will be played on January 20, 2013, at Sydney Cricket Ground.

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