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 Wednesday, 22 January, 2003, 18:39 GMT
Sri Lanka stun Aussies
Sanath Jayasuriya (centre) celebrates taking a wicket
Jayasuriya inspired Sri Lanka to great heights
VB Series, Sydney: Sri Lanka 343-5 (50 overs) beat Australia 264 all out (49.3 overs) by 79 runs

Sri Lanka emphatically registered their first win in the VB Series as Australia floundered in pursuit of a one-day international record target at the SCG.

The resounding 79-run win was based around the heroics of Sanath Jayasuriya, who contributed 122 to his team's 343 for five - the highest ever score against Australia.

Muttiah Muralitharan
Murali made a satisfactory return to action

He then grabbed four wickets as the hosts were bowled out for 264 in the final over.

After losing Adam Gilchrist in the first over, Australia lost wickets at regular intervals with Michael Bevan's 42 their highest score.

The match heralded the return to action of Sri Lanka's match-winning off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who took two for 44 from 10 overs.

He bowled in tandem mid-innings with Jayasuriya but was overshadowed by his skipper, whose four for 39 betters any return in this VB Series.

Jayasuriya ensured Australia were never in the hunt, and despite a record Australia 10th wicket partnership of 63 between Shane Watson and Andy Bichel the tournament leaders were unable to gain a bonus point.

Australia's task was always a tough one after Jayasuriya and Marvan Atapattu (101) had earlier shared an opening stand of 237 to send the tourists on their way to an enormous total.

Sri Lanka went into the match having been skittled for 65 against Australia A two days ago.

VB Series table
Australia
P4 W3 L1 BP2 Pts17
England
P4 W2 L2 BP1 Pts12
Sri Lanka
P4 W1 L3 BP2 Pts7

Australia won the toss and sent the Sri Lankans in, the move backfiring as the tourists rattled along from the off, at one stage scoring at more than seven an over.

Watson, Bichel and Brad Hogg all went for more than 70 runs as Australia were belted around the SCG.

Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Shane Warne were all missing for the home side, and it showed.

It wasn't just a few mistakes we made, there were a lot of mistakes made tonight

Ricky Ponting

Jayasuriya was eventually bowled by Watson after blazing his runs off just 105 balls, including 12 boundaries and four sixes.

Atapattu was fianlly run out after facing 124 balls.

From 280 for 2 with 10 overs to go, Sri Lanka may even have expected a score in excess of 350.

But a minor middle-order collapse was corrected when Kumar Sangakkara (25 off 20 balls) and Mahela Jayawardene (37 not out) added 45 at the death.


Australia: A C Gilchrist (Wkt), M L Hayden, R T Ponting (Capt) D R Martyn, J P Maher, M G Bevan, A Symonds, S R Watson, G B Hogg B Lee, A J Bichel.

Sri Lanka: S T Jayasuriya (Capt), M S Atapattu, H P Tillakaratne P A de Silva, D P M D Jayawardene, K C Sangakkara (Wkt), R P Arnold W P U J C Vaas, C R D Fernando, M Muralitharan, P W Gunaratne.

Umpires: S J A Taufel and R B Tiffin.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 BBC Sport's Adam Mountford reports
"Australia were never really in the hunt"
England take on Australia and Sri Lanka

Finals

Group matches

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RESULT/FIXTURES
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