Malinga inspires Sri Lanka
Lasith Malinga’s third one-day international hat-trick and half-centuries from Mahela Jayawardene and Chamara Silva powered Sri Lanka to a consolation four-wicket win in their fifth ODI against Australia.
The tourists, who held an unassailable 3-1 lead going into today’s final match, were dismissed for 211 with almost four overs to spare.
Shane Watson made 56, Michael Clarke 47 and David Hussey 46, while Ajantha Mendis took three wickets. But it was Malinga who stole the limelight as his trademark yorkers ripped out Mitchell Johnson, John Hastings and Xavier Doherty in successive balls.
And the hosts recovered from 33 for three to emerge victorious, thanks largely to a stand of 111 between Jayawardene and Silva.
Having been put in to bat, Australia lost Shaun Marsh cheaply, bowled playing across the line at Shaminda Eranga.
But Watson put on 67 with Ricky Ponting before the latter fell for 31 after failing to pick Angelo Mathews’ off-cutter.
Watson’s half-century arrived from 64 balls, with six fours and a six, en route to another fifty partnership with captain Clarke but he fell shortly afterwards, heaving Mendis to deep midwicket.
Mike Hussey made just six but brother David fared better, though he lost Clarke when the skipper edged Eranga to keeper Kumar Sangakkara.
David Hussey dominated a stand of 43 with wicketkeeper Brad Haddin before also missing out on a fifty when he was bowled by Mendis.
The real entertainment was still to come, though, as Malinga speared a full delivery into new man Johnson’s leg stump and followed up by pinning Hastings lbw on the crease, a decision upheld after an Australia review.
Doherty had no chance against the hat-trick delivery, which crashed into the base of middle stump to earn Malinga a unique achievement, following previous hat-tricks against South Africa in the 2007 World Cup - when he took four wickets in successive balls - and Kenya in this year’s tournament.
Haddin then chipped Mendis to mid-off, meaning Australia had lost their last five batsmen for one run in 11 balls.
The clatter of wickets continued as Upul Tharanga lasted just four deliveries of Sri Lanka’s reply before edging Johnson to Haddin.
James Pattinson then removed Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan, the latter making 17 from 16 balls before being bowled via bat and pad.
But the patient Jayawardene was joined by Silva, who survived an lbw review against Watson but contributed 30 to his senior partner’s 10 by the time their stand reached 50 in the 13th over.
Silva brought up a 51-ball half-century, featuring seven fours and a six, but fell shortly afterwards for 63 when a top-edged sweep at Doherty was caught by Hastings.
A rain delay of just over half an hour followed but failed to disrupt Jayawardene, who pressed on relentlessly in the company of an equally restrained Mathews.
Jayawardene’s fifty came from 86 balls with only three boundaries but there followed a string of narrow escapes, with an inside edge past the stumps and a run-out chance botched by Doherty.
He fell for 73 after trying to loft Doherty over long-off, a shot he had played more successfully earlier in the over.
Mathews drove Watson to Doherty after making 26 with only three needed but Jeevan Mendis edged the winning boundary wide of slip.