Hobart: Sri Lanka threw
India's prospects of a berth in the tri-series finals into jeopardy with a
thrilling three-wicket victory over Australia which pushed them to the top
of the points table on Friday.
Chasing Australia's 280 for six
built around Peter Forrest's maiden ODI century, the islanders overhauled
the target with four balls to spare in a match which went down the wire.
Lanka now top the table with 15 points from six games, one point more than
second-placed Australia. Sri Lanka's win today, their third on the trot in
the tournament, left India (10 points from six matches) with the arduous
task of winning both the remaining matches to make it to the final.
the three teams have two games to go and all of them have a chance to make
it to the finals. If India win both the two matches, Sri Lanka and
Australia will be fighting for the other spot in the final.
highlight of Sri Lanka's win was the classy 85 off 81 balls by captain
Mahela Jayawardene and a solid 80 off 100 balls by Dinesh Chandimal. The
duo shared a crucial 63 runs in 12.3 overs for the third wicket to lay the
foundation of their victory.
Down the order and coming out at
number eight, Thisara Perera played a cameo of 21 not out from just 11
balls to take Sri Lanka to victory at the Bellerive Oval here. He hit a
boundary and a six in the penultimate over off Daniel Christian to tilt
the balance in Sri Lanka's favour.
Chandimal, on the other hand,
anchored the Sri Lankan innings after Jayawardene's dismissal with a
49-run stand for the fourth wicket with Lahiru Thirimanne from 10.3 overs
to take the islanders to the threshold of victory.
Chandimal's departure in the 45th over, Sri Lanka looked like losing the
plot towards the close with quick dismissals of Farveez Maharoof (5) and
Angelo Mathews (2) but Perera struck a four and a six in consecutive balls
in the penultimate over bowled by Daniel Christian to seal the match for