Oz bag ODI series with a thumping win over Lanka

Colombo: Xavier Doherty and Brett Lee shared eight wickets as Australia beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in the fourth one-day international to secure an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.

Batting first, Sri Lanka was bundled out for 132 in the 39th over and Australia reached 133-5 with 22 overs to spare at R Premadasa Stadium. Shaun Marsh top-scored for Australia with 70.

Doherty picked up the important wickets of Kumar Sangakkara (31), Chamara Silva (0) and Anjelo Mathews (7) and also tailender Seekkuge Prasanna to finish with 4-28, surpassing his previous best figures 4-46.

Lee took 4-15 to help dismiss Sri Lanka with more than 11 overs to spare.

Australia lost two early wickets in their chase with opener Shane Watson (12) and Ricky Ponting (0) being bowled in the seventh over of the innings by seamer Lasith Malinga. Both wickets were lost with the total on 26.

Watson mistimed an drive straight to Ajantha Mendis at mid-on, while Prasanna took a diving catch to dismiss Ponting. Marsh and captain Michael Clarke steadied the innings, sharing 97 runs for the third wicket in 116 balls.
Debutant leg spinner Prasanna dismissed Marsh caught by wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara in the 27th over and went on to capture two more wickets in the same over -- Mike Hussey (0) caught behind and David Hussey (0) bowled. But his effort came too late defending a low total.

Prasanna finished his first international match with best bowling figures 3-32. Malinga returned 2-18.

Earlier in the afternoon, Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan won the toss and elected to bat but he and opening partner Upul Tharanga struggled as tight bowling from Australia`s seam bowlers kept them under four runs an over.

Doug Bollinger provided Australia with its first breakthrough, having Dilshan caught by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin for 12 with the total on 20. Tharanga departed in the next over, bowled by Lee to leave the hosts on 24-2.

Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene combined for a patient 71 runs off 114 balls before Sangakkara was caught by Lee at long-on for Doherty`s first dismissal.

Two balls later, Doherty trapped Silva lbw without scoring and Mathews was stumped after trying to hit Doherty. It was all downhill for the hosts after Sangakkara`s dismissal, losing 8-37 in 80 deliveries.

Jayawardene hit four boundaries and faced 102 balls for 53 before being caught and bowled by Lee.

The final match of the series will be played at the same venue on Monday.

Bureau Report

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