Australia take series


ADELAIDE — Clint McKay took five wickets as Australia’s bowlers suffocated Sri Lanka’s normally free-scoring batsmen to wrap up the one-day international (ODI) Tri-series with a 16-run victory in the third and deciding final at the Adelaide Oval yesterday. Australia selected two spinners but it was the quicker bowlers who made the difference with the outstanding McKay (5-28), Brett Lee (3-29) and stand-in skipper Shane Watson (2-13) all contributing as they dismissed Sri Lanka for 215 with six balls remaining. Australia will now retain the number one ranking in the ODI championship for a third successive year unless they lose all five matches on their upcoming tour of West Indies.

The Sri Lankans, who won the toss and elected to field, would have been delighted with their victory target of 232 after chasing down 272 with ease on the same ground two days ago to level the series. Their top order departed cheaply, however, and when skipper Mahela Jayawardene was bowled by McKay for 15 they were reduced to 53 for four and the match was in the balance.

Lahiru Thirimanne (30) and Upul Tharanga, who hit a defiant 71 from 122 balls, steadied the innings with a 60-run partnership for the fifth wicket but the Australians managed to take key wickets at important moments.