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Sri Lanka win match of bowlers

l BRISBANE

Sri Lanka laboured to a four-wicket victory after right-arm pacer Nuwan Kulasekara destroyed Australia with a fine display of swing bowling in the third one-day international in Brisbane yesterday.

Australia's top and middle order batsmen capitulated before Kulasekara's inswing while Lasith Malinga (three for 22) polished off the tail to bowl out the hosts for 74 in 26.4 overs.

The win, though not as convincing as it should have been, puts Sri Lanka 2-1 up in the five-match series. Sydney hosts the fourth one-dayer tomorrow.

For Australia, only Mitchell Starc (22 not out) and Xavier Doherty (15) managed double digits, adding 34 runs for the last wicket to take the home side past their lowest ODI total ever.

On a day when ball dominated bat and not a single six was hit, the Sri Lankan batsmen had their problems too and wobbled early on in their chase.

Mitchell Johnson (three for 11) blew away their top order, while Starc claimed a couple as Sri Lanka lost six wickets before scrambling over the line in 20 overs.

Kushal Perera was unbeaten on 22, while Tillakaratne Dishan also contributed as many runs.

It was a brave effort by the Australian bowlers after they were let down by their batting colleagues earlier in the day.

Number nine batsman Starc took a couple of blows on his helmet but hung on to take Australia past their previous lowest total of 70 that came on two occasions, against England in Birmingham in 1977 and New Zealand at Adelaide in 1986.

ODI SCOREBOARD Australia Inns D Warner c Eranga b Mathews.................4 P Hughes c Jayawardene b Kulasekara....3 M Clarke b Kulasekara..............................9 D Hussey c Perera b Kulasekara..............4 G Bailey lbw Kulasekara...........................0 M Wade c Dilshan b Malinga....................8 M Henriques b Kulasekara........................2 M Johnson b Malinga................................2 M Starc not out........................................22 C McKay c Perera b Malinga.....................0 X Doherty c Mendis b Eranga.................15 EXTRAS: (LB2, W3)..................................5 TOTAL: (all out in 26.4 overs).................74 Wickets at: 4, 13, 21, 21, 28, 30, 35, 38, 40. BOWLING: Mathews 4-0-10-1, Kulasekara 10-2-22-5, Malinga 7-2-14-3, Perera 3-0-14-0, Eranga 2.4-0-12-1. Sri Lanka Inns M Jayawardene c Warner b McKay.............1 T Dilshan c Clarke b Johnson...................22 L Thirimanne c Warner b Johnson..............7 K Perera not out.........................................22 A Mathews c Starc b Johnson.....................0 U Tharanga c Clarke b Starc.....................12 J Mendis c McKay b Starc...........................2 T Perera not out...........................................4 EXTRAS: (LB1, W3, NB1)...........................5 TOTAL: (for six wickets, 20 overs)............75 Did not bat: Kulasekara, Malinga, Eranga. Wickets at: 4, 33, 37, 37, 63, 71. BOWLING: McKay 8-0-31-1, Starc 7-0-25-2, Johnson 3-0-11-3, Henriques 2-0-7-0.

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