Australia restricted to their lowest ODI score since 1977 by Sri Lanka's swing

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 January, 2013, 3:22am


Sri Lanka found prodigious swing yesterday to shoot out Australia for 74 runs, the hosts' lowest one-day international total in 27 years, and take a 2-1 series lead.

The tourists also swung their bats at everything Australia threw at them, missing frequently and losing six wickets before struggling to 75, in a bizarre match that ended with 30 overs to spare.

Mitchell Johnson led Australia's riposte with three wickets for 11 runs off just three overs. But the hosts put down three catches and fumbled a clear runout chance to forego any real hope of defending such a low total.

Man-of-the match Nuwan Kulasekara did the damage for Sri Lanka, taking five wickets for 22, and Lasith Malinga picked up three for 14.

Skipper Michael Clarke won the toss and decided to bat on what he called "a really good wicket". However, his team fell to a prolonged inswing onslaught in the third match of a series of five.

Australia recorded their lowest ODI score of 70 against England in 1977 at Edgbaston, with the embarrassing scoreline repeated against New Zealand in 1986 at Adelaide.

"A horrible day to be honest, our batting performance was very poor," Clarke admitted. "We are really disappointed."

"I think the wicket was fine, there's always a bit of pace and bounce," he said.

"We have no excuse … our execution needs to improve in two days time," he added. "It's going to be tough. Sri Lanka are full of confidence

The next match in the series is at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday, with the final game in Hobart on Wednesday.