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Last Updated:  Friday, 7 March, 2003, 15:41 GMT
Aussies overpower Sri Lanka
Ricky Ponting
Ponting was lucky on a number of occasions
Super Six, Centurion: Australia 319-5 (50 overs) beat Sri Lanka 223-9 (47.4 overs) by 96 runs

Australia have raced to a 96-run victory in an overwhelmingly one-sided Super Six opener.

The World Cup champions dominated from the outset, setting Sri Lanka 320 for victory after a superb century from Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist's 99.

And the game was effectively over as a contest after three early wickets from Brett Lee and the withdrawal of Sanath Jayasuriya with a badly bruised arm.

Ponting was the pick of the Australian batsmen, with 114 off 109 balls - his 12th one-day international 100 and his fourth as captain.

In reply, only Aravinda de Silva enjoyed any success, with a blistering 92.

Ponting came to the crease after a superb start by Matthew Hayden and Gilchrist.

Adam Gilchrist
Gilchrist produced a big-hitting display

The pair destroyed the Sri Lankan attack, reaching 75 by the 13th over when Hayden was unfortunate to be given out caught by Hashan Tillakaratne off Muttiah Muralitharan.

After that Gilchrist upped his hard hitting, smashing two sixes and 14 fours in a typically ruthless display.

He endured just two slip-ups in his innings. The first he escaped when Muralitharan dropped a relatively simple catch at gully. The second, on 99, saw him run out by Vaas.

Ponting then took over the glory hitting as only Dilhara Fernando, who ended with three wickets, curtailed the Australian batsmen.

Three times Ponting escaped being out. Kumar Sangakkara scuppered one certain stumping and an equally simple run out in a dire outing behind the wickets, while Jayasuriya was also guilty of a wasted opportunity.

Ponting's knock finally ended when he mis-timed a hook, which Sangakkara gathered for Fernando's first wicket.

Damien Martyn, whose intelligent half-century went virtually unnoticed, followed quickly after being bowled by Fernando.

Sanath Jayasuriya
Jayasuriya was taken to hospital for an X-ray

Aside from de Silva, who hit another captivating half-century, Sri Lanka offered little of note.

They started in dire fashion when captain Jayasuriya was taken to hospital after taking a knock from Brett Lee, before the Aussie paceman took three quick wickets.

Marvan Atapattu was out first, caught and bowled by Lee, before Mahela Jayawardene edged to Gilchrist and Russel Arnold was trapped lbw.

In between, Glenn McGrath bowled Hashan Tillakaratne as four wickets fell for six runs.

De Silva then restored some pride with his 92, entertaining the crowd with a delightful final flurry, before becoming one of Brad Hogg's two victims.

Hogg had him caught and bowled, as well as removing Vaas lbw and running out Sangakkara with a sublime direct hit.

McGrath finished the match when Fernando was given out lbw.

Australia: Ricky Ponting (captain), Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Damien Martyn, Darren Lehmann, Michael Bevan, Ian Harvey, Brad Hogg, Brett Lee, Andy Bichel, Glenn McGrath.

Sri Lanka: Sanath Jayasuriya (capt), Marvan Atapattu, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Aravinda De Silva, Russel Arnold, Hashan Tillakaratne, Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas, Dilhara Fernando, Pulasthi Gunaratne.

Umpires: Billy Bowden (Nzl) and David Shepherd (Eng)

Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya
"It wasn't a very good day for us"

Australia captain Ricky Ponting
"We used the conditions to our advantage"

Australia v Sri Lanka: over by over
07 Mar 03 |  Team Pages
De Silva still hitting the mark
07 Mar 03 |  Sri Lanka
De Silva revels in swansong
07 Mar 03 |  World Cup
Australia thrash Sri Lanka
07 Mar 03 |  Photo Galleries
Have Your Say on Australia
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say
Have Your Say on Sri Lanka
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say

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