Five-star McKay seals Australia triumph
Clint McKay starred with bat and ball as Australia clinched the Commonwealth Bank Series courtesy of a dramatic 16-run victory over Sri Lanka at the Adelaide Oval.
After David Warner and Matthew Wade got the hosts off to an explosive start, Australia were stopped in their tracks as Farveez Maharoof and Rangana Herath claimed three wickets apiece.
But Brett Lee and McKay gave their side impetus with vital contributions of 32 and 28 respectively to lift Australia, who were eventually dismissed for 231 in the final over.
McKay claimed three key wickets and, despite a defiant 71 from experienced number six Upul Tharanga, returned to take the final two and complete figures of 5-28 from 9.5 overs, sealing Australia’s 2-1 finals triumph in the process.
Sri Lanka’s decision to field first seemed to have backfired when Warner and Wade put on 75 in 14 overs for the first wicket, but the former was the first to go for 48, edging Maharoof behind to Kumar Sangakkara.
The dismissal of the aggressive Shane Watson, who picked out Herath at deep-midwicket off Tillakaratne Dilshan in the 21st over, sparked a collapse as Australia lost six wickets for 62 runs.
Mike Hussey followed in the next after being run out by a Dilshan direct hit and, soon after, Wade fell one short of his half-century when he provided Sangakkara with his second catch in Herath’s first over.
Australia, without injured captain Michael Clarke, slipped 151 for six as David Hussey was trapped in front for 19 while Peter Forrest played down the wrong line and was bowled by Herath.
Despite Dan Christian looping a Maharoof slower ball to Mahela Jayawardene at mid-off, Australia rallied thanks to Lee and McKay.
The lower-order pair added 40 in eight overs, McKay hitting three fours and a six in his 32-ball innings that ended when he picked out Maharoof at deep-midwicket searching for his second maximum.
Nuwan Kulasekara returned to wrap up the innings in the final over, bowling Lee before debutant Nathan Lyon departed to his first ball in one-day international cricket after chipping to midwicket.
Sri Lanka were always up against it after losing their influential top four inside the opening powerplay with just 53 on the board.
Lee struck twice, David Hussey catching Dilshan at cover from a leading edge before Watson held on at slip after a mis-timed Sangakkara drive.
McKay followed Lee’s lead by trapping Dinesh Chandimal in front and bowling Jayawardene in successive overs.
Lahiru Thirimanne, who made 30, and Tharanga provided some resistance with a stand of 60 in 17 overs to give Sri Lanka hope, but Watson had the former caught by Warner at point.
McKay and Lee, who finished with 3-59, returned to remove Chamara Kapugedera and Kulasekara, either side of Tharanga moving past 50.
The visitors challenge was effectively over when Watson had Tharanga caught behind by Wade and, despite an unbeaten 18 from Maharoof, McKay bowled Herath and Malinga to seal the win.