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  Friday, 27 September, 2002, 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK
Sri Lanka humble Aussies
Marvan Atapattu sweeps
Atapattu was the rock of Sri Lanka's run-chase
ICC Champions Trophy semi-final, Colombo: Australia 162 lost to Sri Lanka 163-3 by seven wickets

Sri Lanka skipped to the Champions Trophy final with an easy seven-wicket victory over an outclassed Australian side in the semi-final at Colombo.

Sanath Jayasuriya's men set up victory with a superb bowling display, dismissing Australia for 162 - their lowest in 45 meetings between the two sides.

Spin twins Muttiah Muralitharan (three for 26) and Aravinda de Silva (one for 16) starred on a slow, turning wicket, taking wickets at pivotal moments and stifling Australia's progress.

Marvan Atapattu and Glenn McGrath
Atapattu shines as McGrath shows his despair

Sri Lanka then produced a professional chase reminiscent of their 1996 World Cup final win over Australia to secure victory with 10 overs to spare.

Only three wickets fell along the way, with opener Marvan Atapattu hitting 51 to steer Sri Lanka to the winning post.

Australia's decision to bat first looked to be the right one as they raced to 48 without loss after just six overs.

But a fine piece of captaincy from Jayasuriya saw pace make way for spin and Australia lose four wickets for eight runs.

De Silva struck instantly, clean bowling Hayden (13) as the opener arrogantly danced down the track on the first ball he faced off the occasional off-spinner.

Reckless

Three balls later Gilchrist (31) played a similarly reckless shot, holing out to Atapattu off the bowling of Kumar Dharmasena.

Opener Chaminda Vaas was curiously brought back into the attack as Jayasuriya's captaincy began to resemble chess moves.

But it worked, with the left-armer producing a wonderful inswinger that deceived Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting and trapped him in front of his stumps.

And Australia were reduced to 56 for four two overs later when confusion between the wickets saw Darren Lehmann fall to a direct hit off the prowling Jayasuriya at short fine-leg.

De Silva and Jayasuriya celebrate another scalp
De Silva and Jayasuriya celebrate another scalp

Wickets continued to tumble - including a brilliant run out effected by Russel Arnold to remove Damien Martyn - before Shane Warne and Brett Lee spared Australian blushes.

The pair put on 46 runs for the eighth wicket, but the damage had already been done and Murali soon wrapped up the tail once they were separated.

Australia openers Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie subjected Sri Lanka to a fiery opening spell, but they proved equal to the task.

It was up to Warne to take the first wicket with the score on 67, clean bowling Jayasuriya for 43 after the opener played for non-existant spin.

McGrath succeeded in stopping Sangakkara for 48 and Atapattu late in the innings, though Warne's turn was the only real threat.

He had Atapattu dropped by Hayden twice off successive deliveries in the 19th over, but the scare had nil effect on Sri Lanka's resolve as they slowly turned the knife on the demoralised world champions.


Australia: A C Gilchrist (Wkt), M L Hayden, R T Ponting (Capt), D R Martyn, D S Lehmann, M G Bevan, S R Watson, S K Warne, B Lee, J N Gillespie, G D McGrath.

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

Umpires: S A Bucknor and D L Orchard

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Simon Mann
"Australia's bowlers had nothing to defend"
Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya
"I always have confidence in de Silva"
12 leading teams do battle in Sri Lanka

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