By BV Swagath
Sri Lanka eased to a huge 8-wicket win with as many as 59 balls to spare to level the 5-match series in the Second ODI at the Adelaide Oval. It was a poor Aussie batting show that helped the Lankans to bounce back in the series. Asked to bat first under overcast skies, the Aussies were stifled by the tight medium pace bowling from the Lankans. Runs were hard to come by and the Lankan bowlers were moving the ball in both the directions just enough to get their rewards.
Australia slipped from 51 for 2 to 83 for 6 following a middle order collapse. A fighting partnership of 57 runs for the 7th wicket between Brad Haddin (50 from 67 balls with 4 fours and a six) and Ben Cutting (27) helped the Aussies get to a respectable total of 170 before they were bowled out in the 47th over. It was a team effort from the Lankans in the bowling department with all the four pacers doing their part in sustaining the pressure.
The visitors lost Upul Tharanga for a duck in the third ball of their innings but were set up for a smooth victory thanks to a strong 137-run stand for the second wicket between Tillakaratne Dilshan (51 from 88 balls with 4 fours) and Man of the Match Lahiru Thirimanne who scored an unbeaten maiden ODI century. Thirimanne scored 102 not out from 134 balls with a dozen boundaries.