Gilchrist, Australia's new one-day wicketkeeper, upstaged the Sri Lankan opener, Sanath Jayasuriya, in the battle of the big hitters with an astonishing innings of 131 off 118 balls, the fourth-highest limited-overs score by an Australian.
Jayasuriya smashed 65 from 62 balls in Sri Lanka's seemingly unbeatable 259 for 9, which required a record SCG run chase to eclipse the 257 for 5 made by the hosts against Sri Lanka at the venue in 1995-96.
However, the Australians reached their target of 260 for the loss of just two wickets with almost four overs to spare as Gilchrist struck two sixes and 10 fours. It was his fourth century in a year since being promoted to opener in place of the Test captain, Mark Taylor, and he has more than justified his selection as a batsman.
Mark Waugh hit a measured 63 from 76 balls as Gilchrist dominated their opening stand of 151 in 156 balls. Gilchrist's first 50 came off just 37 deliveries, including a swept six off the spinner Muttiah Muralitharan on to the top deck of one of the SCG grandstands.
Ricky Ponting remained unbeaten on 43 as Australia reached their target after helping add 74 for the second wicket. Jayasuriya had earlier reached his 50 off as many balls while putting on 95 in 15 overs with his opening partner, Romesh Kaluwitharana, who made 32 off 38 deliveries without seeing much of the strike.
Accurate bowling from the home captain Shane Warne, who took 2 for 44 from his 10 overs, slowed the run-rate until a surge in the last five overs as Hashan Tillakaratne hit 73.
Sri Lanka won toss
S T Jayasuriya c Gilchrist b Julian 65
R S Kaluwitharana b Warne 32
M S Atapattu c Waugh b Warne 18
H P Tillakaratne run out 73
*A Ranatunga run out 26
D P M Jayawardene c Gilchrist b Julian 11
U D U Chandana b Fleming 2
R S Mahanama c Gilchrist b McGrath 5
W P U J C Vaas not out 13
M Muralitharan run out 0
Extras (b2, lb2, w5, nb5 14
Total (for 9, 50 overs) 259
Fall: 1-95, 2-106, 3-130, 4-183, 5-214, 6-217, 7-226, 8-258, 9-259.
Did not bat: G P Wickramasinghe.
Bowling: McGrath 10-0-39-1; Fleming 10-0-61-1; Blewett 2-0-23-0; Julian 8-0-42-2; Warne 10-1-44-2; Bevan 5-0-26-0; Martyn 5-0-20-0.
A C Gilchrist c Atapattu b Vaas 131
M E Waugh c sub b Muralitharan 63
R T Ponting not out 43
D R Martyn not out 16
Extras (lb3, w4) 7
Total (for 2, 46.1 overs) 260
Fall: 1-151, 2-225.
Did not bat: G S Blewett, M G Bevan, *S K Warne, B P Julian, D W Fleming, B E Young, G D McGrath.
Bowling: Vaas 6-1-43-1; Wickramasinghe 7-1-36-0; Muralitharan 10-0-49-1; Jayawardene 7-0-40-0; Chandana 9-0- 61-0; Jayasuriya 7.1-0-28-0.
Umpires: T A Prue and S J A Taufel.
CARLTON & UNITED SERIES
P W L Pts
England 2 2 0 4
Australia 2 1 1 2
Sri Lanka 2 0 2 0Reuse content