Australia beat Sri Lanka in the first one-day tri-series final
Last updated on .From the section Cricket
|One-day international tri-series first final, Brisbane:|
|Australia 321-6 (49.2 overs) beat Sri Lanka 306 (50 overs) by 15 runs|
Australia held their nerve to beat Sri Lanka by 15 runs in the first match of their tri-series final in Brisbane.
David Warner hit a career-best 163 for Australia as they racked up 321-6.
The tourists were in trouble at 144-6 before Nuwan Kulasekara hit seven fours and three sixes in a 43-ball 73, putting on 104 with Upul Tharanga (60).
Dhammika Prasad chipped in with 31 not out, but Shane Watson took the final three wickets to put Australia 1-0 up in the best-of-three-match final.
Australia's captain Michael Clarke praised his opening batsmen, but admitted that his side needed to play better if they are to clinch the series.
"We're supposed to be the number one one-day team in the world," he said. "We have to execute better than that.
"Warner and Wade were outstanding at the top. Watson saved us once again. We're glad to have him back in the team.''
The home side looked set to wrap up a comfortable victory after opener Warner batted through the innings for his run-a-ball 163.
He put on 136 for the opening wicket with Matthew Wade (64), while skipper Michael Clarke (37 off 25 balls) and Mike Hussey (19 off 10) helped him add useful runs late on.
Sri Lanka's reply got off to a steady start but fast bowler Brett Lee (3-59) took three of the first four wickets to fall while the spin of David Hussey (4-43) left the visitors struggling.
Kulasekara and Tharanga came to the crease needing to score at more than nine runs an over and set about their task well, piling up 68 runs in the batting powerplay to drag their side back into contention.
Kulasekara hit successive sixes off David Hussey but was caught later in the over at extra cover while attempting to hit another boundary.
Tharanga then holed out at long on off Watson to leave Sri Lanka 285-8 with overs running out.
Prasad's late flurry meant Sri Lanka needed 16 off the last over, but Lasith Malinga skied a catch to deep square leg as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 306 in 49.2 overs.
"I'm quite happy with the effort," said Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene. "They got off to a good start and it was difficult to bring them back.
"But we showed a lot of character to get back into it. 320 was always going to be a tough score and we lost wickets trying to keep up with the run rate.''
Australia can clinch the finals series with victory in Adelaide on Tuesday.