Australia have piled up a massive 321 for 6 in the first final at the Gabba in Brisbane. Opener David Warner played the best knock of his ODI Career to bat out all the 50 overs to score a breathtaking 163. Warner was dismissed only in the final ball of the Australian innings!
It was a great start for the Australians under overcast conditions. David Warner who has been short of runs in this series was cautious to see off the new balls while Mathew Wade overcame his problems against Malinga’s slower ones quickly enough to have Australia going. There was a minor rain interruption for just about five minutes with Australia at 69 for 0 in 10.2 overs.
The opening stand continued to pound the Sri Lankans and it came to an end only in the 24th over when Matthew Wade (64 from 72 balls with 4 fours and a six) was brilliantly caught one-handed by a leaping Rangana Herath at long on. Wade was looking to launch Kulasekara for a six but got out leaving the park with Australia at 136 for 1.
Warner took the Australians forward with a 50-run stand with Shane Watson (21) who got out chipping a Farveez Maharoof slower one into the hands of deep squareleg in the 35th over. There was a rain break again prior to the Watson dismissal but fortunately was a short one. Sri Lanka by the start of the slog overs added two more wickets with Daniel Christian inside edging an inducker from Dhammika Prasad to the Keeper and David Hussey patting back a return catch to Rangana Herath which left the Aussies at 224 for 4 in the 40th over but with Warner still doing very well at the other end and going past a maiden ODI hundred.
Skipper Michael Clarke coming in at no.6 scored a beautiful cameo of 37 (from 25 balls with 5 fours) to add up 64 runs for the 5th wicket in no time with Warner before he was caught at mid wicket trying to pull a slower bouncer from Malinga. Australia finished at 321 for 6 with David Warner getting bowled in the final ball of the innings in a slog off Dhammika Prasad. Warner registered a career best of 163 (from 157 balls) with 13 fours and 2 sixes. Michael Hussey joined the party as well contributing a cameo of 19* (from 10 balls with 2 sixes).
Lasith Malinga was taken for the cleaners for the second time in this series. Today he went for 74 runs in 8 overs!
Toss and Teams : Australia with Skipper Michael Clarke back in the team have won the toss and will bat yet again in the CB Series. The conditions at the Gabba are overcast with some rain predicted later in the evening. Ideally, it’s a better choice to chase a target but Australia have taken the cushion of batting first which is a easier thing to do in a Final.
The pitch for this 1st Final is promising to be good for batting. With the prevailing overcast conditions in Brisbane, the ball should swing around. And under the lights, there should be some movement off the deck for the seamers.
The Aussies have two changes with Peter Forrest making way for Skipper Michael Clarke. Brett Lee comes back in the place of Clint McKay. Sri Lanka who have been hit with injuries have made three changes! But the good news for them is that one of the injured players – Farveez Maharoof has recovered. The changes for Sri Lanka are Upul Tharanga, Farveez Maharoof and Dhammika Prasad replacing Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera and Sachithtra Senanayake.
Sri Lanka XI: Mahela Jayawardene (Captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara (Wicket Keeper), Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Upul Tharanga, Farveez Maharoof, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, Dhammika Prasad, Lasith Malinga
Australia XI: David Warner, Matthew Wade (Wicket Keeper), Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (Captain), Michael Hussey, David Hussey, Daniel Christian, Brett Lee, James Pattinson, Xavier Doherty, Ben Hilfenhaus