SYDNEY // Kumar Sangakkara became the 10th player to past 10,000 runs in one-day international cricket yesterday as Sri Lanka roared back into finals contention in the Tri-series with a bonus-point victory over Australia.
The left-hander became the third Sri Lankan to reach the landmark when he picked up a single in the 17th over off the bowling of Xavier Doherty and eventually made 30 off 29 balls as the visitors reached their revised target of 152 in just 24.1 overs. It was Sri Lanka's largest ODI win over Australia in terms of balls remaining.
The victory, achieved via the Duckworth-Lewis method after rain delayed play by two hours, moved Sri Lanka to within three points of India after six games of the 12-match series. The top two teams meet in a three-match final next month.
"The bonus point was brilliant, we just wanted a win, but now we're definitely back in it," Mahela Jayawardene, who steered his side to victory with an unbeaten knock of 61 off 67 balls, said. "The bonus point was the icing on the cake."
Jayawardene shared in 74-run opening stand with Tillakaratne Dilshan who smashed 45 off 41.
"The intent was good, the aggression, the tempo... it was a good, clinical finish," Jayawardene said.
Thisara Perera was judged man-of-the-match having taken two for 29 and also effected two run outs in Australia's innings.
It was Australia's fifth-biggest loss in one-day cricket in terms of balls remaining and their second straight defeat in the tournament. They face India in Brisbane tomorrow, when they will again be led by Ricky Ponting in the continued absence of injured skipper Michael Clarke.
"A really poor day with bat, ball and in the field," Ponting said. "No doubt we'll have a chat about it as a group, but the bottom line is we're going to have to move on pretty quick.
"Full credit to Sri Lanka, they bowled and fielded really well, and played their shots in the chase. We thought we could use the seam of the ball and capitalise, but that wasn't the case. Hopefully Sunday is better than tonight."
Of the Australians, only Clint McKay (1-23 off six overs) enjoyed a good night with the ball while Brett Lee, on his return 16 days after fracturing his toe, finished with one for 42 off seven overs.
Sri Lanka set up their emphatic victory by dismissing Australia for 158 off 40.5 overs in the match, which was reduced to 41 overs-a-side by afternoon rain.
It was Australia's lowest ODI total at the Sydney Cricket Ground since 1997 and fourth-lowest in all ODIs in Sydney.
David Hussey rescued Australia from an even lower score after the home side had tottered at 88 for six before the rain delay. He hit a determined 58 off 64 balls for his third half-century of the tournament after being dropped on eight and 31.
David Warner went for 13 being deceived by a slower ball from Lasith Malinga and hitting straight to Farveez Maharoof at mid-on.
Ponting's run of single-figure scores in the series continued when he was caught and bowled by Maharoof for two.
Michael Hussey (13), brought in for Clarke, clouted a huge six off Angelo Mathews but was caught behind off the next ball and Peter Forrest followed shortly afterwards for 16 to leave Australia 74 for five.
All-rounder Maharoof, brought in for spinner Sachithra Senanayake, claimed two for 18 off eight overs.
* Compiled by The National staff with agency