Australia vs Sri Lanka

Match info: International Triangular Series ODI at Melbourne - ODI

Date: 2nd Mar 2012 Umpires: Asad Rauf and R J Tucker

50-over match

Home team and score Away team score

Australia

229 All out (49.1 Overs)

Result

Sri Lanka

238 All out (50.0 Overs)

Sri Lanka won by 9 runs.

  • Last Updated: March 2 2012, 12:08 GMT

Sri Lanka qualified for the Commonwealth Bank Series final with a thrilling nine-run win over Australia in Melbourne on Friday.

Sri Lanka celebrate a thrilling win at the MCG
Sri Lanka celebrate a thrilling win at the MCG

The outcome was in the balance for much of the evening with the hosts replying to Sri Lanka's 238 all out - an innings which contained a hat-trick for Australia all-rounder Dan Christian.

Australia required 10 off the final over but, from the first ball, David Hussey was caught at long off by Tillakaratne Dilshan off the bowling of Nuwan Kulasekara to send Sri Lanka through to face Australia again in the finals, with India missing out.

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene told Sky Sports 1: "The chips were down and we were dropping like flies in the field but the boys showed a lot of character, we didn't let it go and crept through."

The best-of-three finals series starts in Brisbane on Sunday.

Shane Watson had already put on 87 for the fourth wicket with Michael Hussey (29) and brother David was looking just as capable of guiding Australia home.

But Lasith Malinga - who had already got rid of David Warner (six) and Peter Forrest (two) in a devastating spell with the new ball - was re-introduced into the attack and clean-bowled Watson for 65 to change the shape of the match.

Shortly after Sachitra Senanayake (one for 50) took an excellent catch off his own bowling to dismiss hat-trick hero Christian for three and all of a sudden Australia were reduced to 151 for six and appeared to be struggling.

James Pattinson - who was impressive with the ball earlier in the day - and Clint McKay fell shortly after as the required rate soon rose above a run a ball, but David Hussey was the final stumbling block between Sri Lanka and their spot in the finals series.

Hussey kept finding the gaps in the field and was turning singles into twos with some strong support from Xavier Doherty at the other end as the equation was reduced to 23 from the final three overs.

Malinga deceived Doherty with a brilliant slower ball to make it nine down and it was left to Hussey to score 10 from the final over, but Kulasekara (two for 38) struck to seal Sri Lanka's progress.

Earlier, Christian (five for 31) picked up the wickets of Thisara Perera (five), Senanayake (zero) and Kulasekara (zero) to gain the first international one-day hat-trick at the MCG since Anthony Stuart's effort in 1997 against Pakistan.

Dinesh Chandimal (75) and Kumar Sangakkara (64) had taken Sri Lanka to 140 for two before the wheels started to fall off their innings.

Sangakkara got a top edge on a Pattinson delivery to hole out to Forrest at deep square leg and the Victorian quick, who finished with figures of four for 51, had the impressive Chandimal on his way shortly after as Sri Lanka fell to 186 for four.

Angelo Mathews (five) was Christian's first victim when Doherty held an excellent chance running with the flight of the ball in the outfield, before the all-rounder's heroics in his next over left the visitors at 206 for eight.

It appeared Christian had luck on his side in picking up the milestone as Kulasekara looked to be harshly given out lbw, given the delivery hit the Sri Lankan batsman outside the line of off stump and was drifting down leg.

But nonetheless that hat-trick stood as Christian joined Bruce Reid (1986 against New Zealand), Brett Lee (2003 versus Kenya) and Stuart as Australians to have taken an ODI hat-trick.

Some late heroics with the bat from Lahiru Thirimanne (51) allowed Sri Lanka to post a competitive total and that proved to be enough after their excellent effort with the ball.