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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 February, 2004, 12:21 GMT
Aussies start tour in style
Tour match, Moratuwa: Australia 284-5 (44.1 overs) beat Sri Lanka President's XI 283-8 (50 overs) by five wickets

Adam Gilchrist
Adam Gilchrist works the ball through mid-wicket

Australia tuned up for their one-day series in Sri Lanka by making light of a potentially difficult target against a President's XI at Moratuwa.

Skipper Ricky Ponting top scored with 57 before retiring as they reached 284-5 with 5.5 overs to spare.

The home side earlier made 283-8 as Australia gave nine different bowlers the chance to turn their arms over.

Adam Gilchrist (43) and Matthew Hayden (35) launched Australia's reply with a stand of 70 in seven overs.

The two captains agreed on a 13-a-side format, with 11 to be nominated for fielding and 11 for batting.

Australia's much vaunted attack was shown little respect by the home side with Jason Gillespie in particular coming in for heavy punishment as he conceded 58 from six overs.

Brett Lee posed more of a threat and made the initial breakthrough by trapping Avishka Gunawardene lbw for 14.

But Saman Jayantha hit two sixes and five fours in his 50 off 54 balls before falling lbw to spinner Brad Hogg, the only Australian given a full complement of 10 overs, and Jehan Mubarak made a stylish 56.

Russel Arnold
Home skipper Russel Arnold made 35 before being run out

Gayan Wijekooon gave the President's XI innings a final flourish with 33 not out off 19 balls, but Gilchrist and Hayden were in equally destructive mood as they launched Australia's reply.

Hayden's cameo lasted only 26 balls before he was caught off Charitha Buddhika and Gilchrist followed in the 18th over with the total on 123 when he was bowled by spinner Rangana Herath.

It was the last wicket taken by the home side, with Damien Martyn (40) and Andrew Symonds (49) following Ponting's lead by retiring after a taset of conditions ahead of the first one-dayer at Dambulla on Friday.

The last rites were perfomed by Michael Clarke and Simon Katich, who finished on 22 and 10 not out.




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