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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 February, 2004, 16:26 GMT
Australia canter to victory
Third one-day international, Colombo
Australia 227-5 (48.3 overs) beat Sri Lanka 226-8 (50 overs) by five wickets

Ricky Ponting
Ponting rescued Australia from a disastrous start

Australia took a 2-1 lead in the one-day series after recording a five- wicket win against Sri Lanka.

Skipper Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn notched half centuries as Australia made 227-5 in Colombo.

Paceman Jason Gillespie earlier starred with the ball, taking 3-36 to restrict Sri Lanka to 226-8.

Mahela Jawardene, with a classy 80, and Chaminda Vaas' early wickets gave Sri Lanka hope, but Australia proved too strong when it mattered.

Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu must have wished he had not opted to bat first after Gillespie had reduced his side to 54-4.

Atapattu fell for three, Sanath Jayasuriya for a duck and Kumar Sangakkara fenced a delivery to Matthew Hayden at gully after making just 15.

He is playing beautifully at the moment and it is exciting to think that he could be in the Test line-up
Ponting on Andrew Symonds

But Jayawardene repaired the damage with 58-run partnerships with Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Chandana.

Brad Hogg followed up his wicket with some fine fielding as both Jayawardene, who cracked five boundaries in his 110-ball innings, and Chandana were run out in quick succession.

Chaminda Vaas and Kumar Dharmasena weighed in with some heavy blows, but Atapattu would have hoped to test Australia with a bigger total.

Vaas found some early movement to account for Hayden and Adam Gilchrist to leave Australia reeling on 4-2 as they replied.

But Ponting and Martyn came together to add 129 for the third wicket.

Ponting looked assured, hitting four boundaries in his 63, before Vaas returned to induce an inside edge onto the stumps.

No sooner had Ponting departed than Martyn, who hit three fours in his 62, was run out by Sanath Jayasuriya as he went for a quick single.

Michael Bevan was also run out to give Sri Lanka hope, but with the run rate mounting Andrew Symonds (45no) and Michael Clarke (31no) were both fearless and effective.

They put on 68 in a perfectly-paced partnership to see Australia home with 10 balls to spare.

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