SL progress to tri-series finals
Melbourne, Mar 2: Sri Lanka have beaten Australia in the final league encounter of the CB series competition to qualify for the best-of-three finals starting March 4. Sri Lanka’s victory today means that India have been eliminated from the competition.
India, who had finished playing all their eight league matches, needed Sri Lanka to lose this game in order to progress to the finals. Australian all-rounder Daniel Christian earned career-best figures of five for 31, including a hat-trick in the 44th over of the innings, to restrict Sri Lanka to a sub-par score of 238. But the feisty Lankans managed to defend that total and book their spot in the finals.
Lasith Malinga, who went for 96 runs in 7.4 overs the other night against India, took four for 49 while Nuwan Kulasekara took two for 38 as Sri Lanka held their nerve to bowl Australia out for 229. David Hussey was the last Australian wicket to fall for a valiant 74-ball 74.
The win gave Sri Lanka 19 points from eight matches while Australia and India finish the league stage with 19 and 15 points respectively.
The first of the best-of-three finals will be played on March 4 at Brisbane; the second and third finals will be played at Adelaide on March 6 and 8 respectively.
India will now regroup for the Asia Cup competition, which begins in Dhaka on March 11. Interestingly, India will play their first game of the tournament on March 13 against Sri Lanka, the team that edged them out of the CB Series competition.