x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Clint McKay takes five as Australia beat Sri Lanka to clinch tri-seriest

Shane Watson leads Australia in Michael Clarke's absence to 16-run win over Sri Lanka in Adelaide.

Clint McKay took five Sri Lanka wickets in Adelaide.
Clint McKay took five Sri Lanka wickets in Adelaide.

ADELAIDE // Australia leave for their tour of the West Indies today buoyed by what their stand-in captain Shane Watson described as a “serious performance” to clinch the Tri-series final with Sri Lanka yesterday.

Australia’s total of 231 did not look enough against a Sri Lanka side who chased down 271 to level the final series on Tuesday.

But Clint McKay claimed five wickets for 28 to go with his 28 off 32 balls in Australia’s innings to the derail the World Cup finalists.

“We had to bowl and field very well and we certainly did that,” Watson said. “That’s a serious performance to be able to defend 231 on that wicket, so I am very proud of all the boys.

“Clint McKay was absolutely brilliant. It’s great to see someone like him bowl so well.”

McKay claimed the key wicket of Mahela Jayawardene, who scored 80 off 76 balls on Tuesday, for just 15 and trapped the dangerous Dinesh Chandimal leg before for five.

A fired-up Brett Lee snared the initial two victims – man-of-the-series Tillakaratne Dilshan (eight) and the experienced Kumar Sangakkara (19 off nine balls) – before later taking the key wicket of the big-hitting Nuwan Kulasekara for 15. Upul Tharanga, batting at No 6, hit 71 off 122 balls before he was caught behind off Watson in the 46th over.

Earlier, the opening batsman Matthew Wade top-scored for Australia with 49 off 74 deliveries and batting partner David Warner hit 48 off 45.

The home side got away to a breezy start with Wade and Warner scoring 75 off the opening 14 overs, but their progress stalled as Sri Lanka reeled in the Australians’ run-rate.

They were 115 for one in the 21st over but fell away losing five wickets in the next 12 overs.

Farveez Maharoof claimed three for 40 off 10 overs, while Rangana  Herath picked up three for 36 from his 10 overs as well as taking a brilliant tumbling catch to dismiss Watson for 19.

“I thought we did really well in the field,” Jayawardene said.

“It was a good total to chase. The important thing was to make sure that we had a couple of partnerships up front but we lost three, four wickets very quickly and it was a tough task for the rest of the boys to try and win through. They almost did and they showed a lot of character, but the Australians had the upper hand and deserved to win.”