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Sri Lanka lose first Commonwealth Bank final to Aussies by 15 runs

Brisbane , Sun, 04 Mar 2012 ANI

Brisbane, Mar. 4 (ANI): Sri Lanka on Sunday lost the first of three Commonwealth Bank series finals being played at The Gabba here against Australia by 15 runs.


Sri Lanka scored 306 off 49.2 overs.


The top scorers for Sri Lanka were Nuwan Kulasekara (73), Upal Tharanga (60), Kumar Sangakkara (42) and Prasad (32 n.o.)


Off-spinner David Hussey claimed four Lankan wickets for 43 runs, while fast bowler Brett Lee claimed three wickets for 59 runs. Shane Watson claimed three wickets for 33 runs.


Earlier, Australia had scored 321 for the loss of six wickets on Sunday, setting Sri Lanka a victory target of 322 in their allotted 50 overs.


eft-hand opener David Warner scored a magnificent 163 that contained 13 boundaries and two sixes. Mathew Wade (64), skipper Michael Clarke (37) and Shane Watson (21) were the others who contributed to Australia's imposing total.


For the Sri Lankans, Malinga, Kulasekara, Mahroof and Herath claimed a wicket each, while Prasad claimed two wickets.


Earlier, Wade and Warner gave their side the desired rollicking start with a partnership of 136. Thereafter, Warner and Watson added 50 for the second wicket, while Warner and Clarke added 64. Warner was bowled of the last ball of the 50th over.


Australian captain Michael Clarke chose to bat after winning the toss.


Wade fell to a spectacular, freakish left-handed catch in the outfield by Rangana Herath of a delivery from Nuwan Kulasekara.


Australia"s opening stands had been a weakness during the qualifying stages of the tournament - their best partnership was 70 against India, and their best against Sri Lanka had been 22.


Warner started off slowly, but soon decided that the best way out of his lean patch was to go for his shots.


Australia had entered the match with two changes, Clarke returning from injury at the expense of Peter Forrest, and Clint McKay was left out of the side to accommodate Brett Lee.


Sri Lanka made three changes from the side that won Friday"s thrilling encounter at the MCG, two of them forced by injuries.


Thisara Perera has flown home due to a back injury and Angelo Mathews has not recovered from his calf injury, while off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake was left out.


Tharanga was named at No.6, having struggled earlier in the series when he was opening, Maharoof was brought back after recovering from a back problem, and Prasad was named having not played since Sri Lanka"s first two matches of the tournament. (ANI)


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