Australia win with bonus point

The hosts win a rain-hit game by D/L method. Sri Lanka were 24 runs behind at 77-4 in 29.3 when the rain came down.

updated: March 04, 2008 10:00 IST
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New Delhi:

Australia won a seesaw game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, beating Sri Lanka by the Duckworth/Lewis method.

The Lankans were 77-4 in 29.3 overs when the skies opened up. No further play happened, and according to the D/L rules, they were 24 runs short.

It spoilt the hard work put in by the Lankan bowlers, who had restricted Australia to a miserable 184-7 in their 50 overs.

At the cut-off point, Chamara Silva and Tillakaratne Dilshan were on strike. According to ICC's rules, a game counts as completed if 20 overs have been bowled in the second innings.

Earlier, Australia failed to get going but reached respectability after fifties from Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey.

Clarke made 50 before falling to Muttiah Muralitharan. Hussey remained unbeaten on 64, with wickets and overs running out at the other end.

Australia struggled against the seam bowling of Ferveez Maharoof, who bowled out at the halfway stage for figures of 10-1-20-2 taking the wickets of Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds.

Maharoof also helped run out Ricky Ponting 11. Incidentally, the out-of-form Ponting had been dropped on zero.

Australia lost Adam Gilchrist, bowled by Chaminda Vaas. He scored just six. The innings failed to get going thereafter.

The visitors needed a win to strengthen their chances of reaching the finals. But now, while Australia have virtually sealed their finals berth, it remains to be seen if India can extend their points tally to wipe out Sri Lanka from the league.