Cricket: Waugh brothers set up by Boon

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The Independent Online

Australia 239-5 v Sri Lanka

David Boon played a familiar rescue role in his last appearance for Australia which set up Mark and Steve Waugh for an assault on Sri Lanka in the third and final Test yesterday at the Adelaide Oval.

Boon, who will retire from international cricket at the end of this match, steadied the innings with 43 after Australia lost a wicket in the first over.

Mark Waugh, who hit 71, and Steve, with an unbeaten 70, lifted Australia to 239 for 5 at the close on the opening day.

Australia, who have a 2-0 lead in the series, took advantage of Sri Lanka dropping three simple catches on a day lacking the intensity of their earlier games. After ball-tampering and "chucking" controversies for Sri Lanka and heated exchanges between some of their players and a number of Australians in a World Series Cup match, there was a sedate air to proceedings.

Boon, bowing out after a Test career spanning 107 matches and 12 years, has struggled for form this season but appeared more agile and decisive in his footwork before being bowled off an inside edge by Ravindra Pushpakumara.

Chaminda Vaas, who removed Michael Slater with the second ball of the match, also sent back the Australian captain, Mark Taylor, for 21 before returning late in the day to dismiss Ricky Ponting for six.

The Sri Lankan captain, Arjuna Ranatunga, was ruled out after he failed a fitness test on a fractured hand, so Aravinda de Silva took charge.

(First day; Australia won toss)

AUSTRALIA - First innings

*M A Taylor c Kaluwitharana b Vaas 21

M J Slater c Kaluwitharana b Vaas 0

D C Boon b Pushpakumara 43

M E Waugh c Pushpakumara

b Wickremasinghe 71

S R Waugh not out 70

R T Ponting c Kaluwitharana b Vaas 6

I A Healy not out 21

Extras (b2 lb3 w1 nb1) 7

Total (for 5) 239

Fall: 1-1, 2-36, 3-96, 4-181, 5-196.

To bat: P R Reiffel, S K Warne, C J McDermott, G D McGrath

Bowling: Vaas 26-8-56-3; Pushpakumara 21-4-72-1; Wickremasinghe 23-4-57-1; Dharmasena 10-1-31-0; Jayasuriya 4-1-11-0; Hathurusinghe 2-0-7-0.

SRI LANKA: U C Hathurusingha, S Ranatunga, A P Gurusinha, *P A de Silva, H P Tillakaratne, S T Jayasuriya, R S Kaluwitharana, H D P K Dharmasena, W P U J C Vaas, G P Wickramasinghe, K R Pushpakumara.

Umpires: L Barker and S Randell.