Match Report: 1st ODI: Sri Lanka vs Australia at Colombo (RPS), August 21, 2016
COLOMBO: Half-centuries from Aaron Finch and skipper Steve Smith helped Australia pull off a tricky chase to defeat a resilient Sri Lanka by three wickets in the first one-day international in Colombo on Sunday.
BRIEF SCORES Sri Lanka 227/8 in 50 overs (D Chandimal 80, K Mendis 67, J Faulkner 4/38, M Starc 3/32) lost to Australia 228/7 in 46.5 overs (A Finch 56, G Bailey 39, D Perera 3/48)
Australia, who suffered their first series whitewash against the hosts in the three Tests, chased down 228 in 46.5 overs at the R. Premadasa Stadium to lead the five-match ODI series 1-0. Earlier, Australian pacemen James Faulkner and Mitchell Starc restricted Sri Lanka to 227 for eight despite half-centuries from Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal.
Faulkner and Starc, who became the fastest to reach 100 wickets in his 52nd match, shared seven wickets between them to validate skipper Steve Smith’s decision to bowl first.
Starc, who took three wickets, struck with the fourth ball of the innings to have opener Kusal Perera trudging back to the pavilion for one.
Veteran batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kusal Mendis, who scored 67, then came together for a 42-run second-wicket partnership to bring some stability to the innings. Mendis was dropped on 14 off left-armpaceman James Faulkner when Aaron Finch spilt a catch at midwicket after appearing to lose sight of the ball against the sun.
Dilshan was less lucky when his trademark “Dilscoop” — a cheeky shot played behind the wicket — went awry. The ball looped up off the edge of the bat to fall into the waiting hands of Smith at first slip.
Mendis, whose 176 in the first Test remained the defining knock of the three-match series, registered his fourth halfcentury in only his eighth ODI.
The 21-year-old got good support from wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal, who scored an unbeaten 80, as the pair put together a 79-run third-wicket stand to help Sri Lanka rebuild.
But a double strike by Faulkner in the 30th over checked Sri Lanka’s surge.