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Last Updated: Friday, 15 February 2008, 12:15 GMT
Gilchrist inspires Aussies to win
CB Series, game six, Perth: Australia 236 (49.3 overs) beat Sri Lanka 173 (45.3 overs) by 63 runs

By David Ornstein

Adam Gilchrist
Gilchrist's ton was his 15th in one-day internationals
Adam Gilchrist hit a century on his final appearance at the Waca, his home ground in Perth, to help Australia beat Sri Lanka in the CB one-day series.

Gilchrist (118) scored exactly half of the host's runs as they were bowled out for 236, Lasith Malinga taking 4-47.

Sri Lanka began their reply well but lost cheap wickets and Kumar Sangakkara (80) provided the only real resistance.

Nathan Bracken (3-21) and Mitchell Johnson (3-29) secured a 63-run win to put Australia top of the table.

Having lost to India in their previous game, Ricky Ponting's men would have slipped bottom at the halfway point of the 12-match tri-series if they had lost to Sri Lanka.

But they were spared such a fate by Gilchrist and a poor batting effort by their opponents.

After winning the toss Australia elected to bat and, despite the early loss of Mathew Hayden who was caught by Farveez Maharoof off Malinga, Gilchrist produced an innings befitting the occasion.

"He's one of those players that you probably want to see the back of pretty quickly

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene on Adam Gilchrist

The 36-year-old, who will retire at the end of the series, reached his 100 off 132 balls with nine fours and three sixes before lofting Muttiah Muralitharan to Chamara Kapugedera at long-off.

Unfortunately for the hosts, Gilchrist received little support from his team-mates.

Ponting was caught at first slip for the fourth consecutive game, Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene the recipient off a fine Chaminda Vaas delivery.

Gilchrist kept the run-rate ticking at nearly five an over before Michael Clarke, with whom he put on 105 for the third wicket, and Andrew Symonds were both dismissed while he was in the 90s.

Gilchrist brought up his 15th ODI ton by nudging a single to mid-on but following his wicket James Hopes swiftly fell to Sanath Jayasuriya's catch off Nuwan Kulasekara for two.

Brad Hogg was then bowled cheaply by Malinga and Kulasekara coaxed Mike Hussey into nicking one to Sangakkara.

Kumar Sangakkara
Sangakkara was Sri Lanka's only performer with the bat

A direct hit by Tillakaratne Dilshan sent Johnson packing for a golden duck before Malinga bowled Brett Lee.

Sri Lanka ended Australia's innings on a high and began their own in similar fashion, Jayasuriya and Dilshan smashing 16 off the first over.

But then Jayasuriya threw his wicket away in the third over when he charged down the track and thick-edged Bracken over extra-cover to Hopes at third man.

Dilshan followed in the fourth when he was skittled out by Johnson and Jayawardene edged a Johnson delivery to Ponting.

Jayawardene's scalp was a big one for Australia, and three overs later Chamara Silva fell victim to an incredible catch by Symonds off Bracken, but the ever-reliable Sangakkara steadied the ship.

Before Kapugedera went to Hopes he and Sangakkara had put Sri Lanka on course for victory with a 53-run partnership.


But with the run-rate sliding, the tourists were all-but killed off when Maharoof swept Hogg to substitute fielder Brad Haddin and, the very next ball, Vaas kissed one behind for a golden duck.

Kulasekara fell to Bracken for a duck to leave Jayawardene's side reeling on 160-8.

Johnson clean bowled Malinga and Lee rattled Sangakkara's leg stump with an inswinging yorker to complete Australia's triumph.

  • Australia captain Ricky Ponting:
    "Our bowlers were terrific again. Gilly obviously played beautifully today, the rest of us have got a bit of work to do with the bat.

  • Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene on Adam Gilchrist:
    "He batted really well, credit to him. Quite a few occasions he's been a menace.

    "He's one of those players that you probably want to see the back of pretty quickly.

    "Kumar batted really well. The bowlers did well, too. It's a tough tournament, you have to be ready for the next game."

  • Australia's Adam Gilchrist:
    "It is amazing. It's been a great journey. A few trials and tribulations, but it's just been wonderful.

    "I want to say thank you for the Waca crowd.

    "I must acknowledge I really felt it (the pressure) more than any other game.

    "I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. There's some big games coming up."

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