Lahiru Thirimanne century routs Australia to level series


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The Independent Online

Lahiru Thirimanne's unbeaten century helped Sri Lanka to an eight-wicket win over of an injury-hit Australia in Adelaide to level the five-match ODI series at 1-1.

Thirimanne contributed 102 from 134 balls as Sri Lanka reached 172 for 2 with almost 10 overs to spare in reply to Australia's meagre 170.

Australia won the series-opener by 107 runs on Friday but lost two pacemen – Mitchell Starc (calf muscle) and Mitch Johnson (side strain) – to injury between the matches. Compounding those concerns, recalled wicketkeeper Brad Haddin limped off with a hamstring strain early in Sri Lanka's run chase.

Australia were forced to give fast bowlers Ben Cutting and Kane Richardson international debuts, with teenager Richardson having a forgettable match. He was out for a first-ball duck and bowled six wicketless overs before his spell was suspended for running on the pitch.

The Australians batted first and lost wickets at regular intervals, with the inexperienced top order failing. Haddin (50) was their top-scorer and shared a 57-run stand with Cutting (27).

David Hussey (29) and captain George Bailey (26) bolstered the middle order, but the Australians were dismissed in the 47th over, with fast bowler Lasith Malinga taking 3 for 32.

The Australia coach, Mickey Arthur, said it was likely regular skipper Michael Clarke, opener David Warner and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade would return for the third match at Brisbane on Friday. He also said Johnson and Starc would be back in contention. Thirimanne said Sri Lanka were happy with how they responded to the opening loss. "If it's Australia A or Australia B, it doesn't matter," he said. "We just want to win the series."