Australia v SL, Champions Trophy, Group A, The Oval June 17, 2013

Malinga does his Usain Bolt

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the final Champions Trophy Group match

The surreptitious bowled

When a bowler delivers a beauty, the whole team often lets the batsman know, but when James Faulkner seamed one off leg stump, to beat Angelo Mathews outside edge in the 37th over, no one was wise to the fact that the ball had clipped off stump. Faulkner turned around to appeal, perhaps for an lbw, and Matthew Wade dove to collect the ball on the bounce, and it was only when Mathews began his trek to the dressing room did the fielding side spot the dislodged bails and begin to celebrate.

The (almost) copycat celebration

Lasith Malinga might not quite match Usain Bolt for flair and hype, but he's not far off in the cricket world, and he took a leaf from the other speedster's book when he dismissed Glenn Maxwell in his first over. Maxwell had hit him for four the previous ball, but Malinga dug in a yorker and when the death rattle came, sunk to his knees and did a Sri Lankanised version of Usain's "bow and arrow" pose, only pointing towards the Australia dressing room.

The release

Xavier Doherty had tied down Sri Lanka well in the middle overs even bowling a maiden in the 29 overs. Sri Lanka's run rate was still less than four, never threatening to cross the four-run mark. Mahela Jayawardene, the most versatile Sri Lankan batsman, read the situation well and decided to take few calculated chances. He knew that Maxwell was flighting the ball and it was tempting to take him on. He had seen the fine leg was wide and the third man was inside the circle. In Maxwell's second over Jaywardene attempted a good reverse sweep but was only denied a certain boundary by Clint McKay's acrobatic dive. In Maxwell's following over, Jayawardene swatted powerfully to beat Doherty at fine leg and then went for the reverse sweep, this time successfully beating the fielder to step on the accelerator. It was the turning point of the match as Jayawardene had released the pressure valve held tightly by Australia till then.

The ill-fated pirouette

Lasith Malinga had bowled several full tosses on leg stump in his first spell, and Australia continued to either pick him off to fine leg or run leg byes, if they could not get bat to it. When he struck George Bailey on the knee-roll in the ninth over, the batsman began his run slowly, revolving at the crease to get into position for his run, but having not spotted Nuwan Kulasekara at short fine leg, his turn cost him his wicket. Adam Voges began sprinting down the track as soon as the ball hit Bailey, but by the time Bailey began to replicate that urgency, the Kulasekara had already wound up the throw. A direct hit found Bailey well short, and had Michael Clarke clutching his hair in the dressing room.

The catch

At 192 for 9, Australia seemed not to have a hope, but No.10 Clint McKay and No. 11 Xavier Doherty resisted Sri Lanka, and what's more, progressed securely toward the target of 254. They had put on 41 and had only 22 more to get when Tillakaratne Dilshan was given his fourth over from the Pavilion End, and as he has done twice already in the last eighteen months, took a super catch to seal a nailbiter. McKay played early at a slower one and struck it firmly to Dilshan's left, and the bowler changed directions in an instant and stuck his arm out to complete the catch. Having won the match, Dilshan threw the ball in the air and sprinted ecstatically from the bowling crease to deep point, with his team in pursuit.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

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  • Dummy4 on June 18, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    malinga Sent off the agitator... on his own style.. that was an awesome piece of Bowling from Mainga. he always picked up the most important wickets of the match, and make other bowlers work easy. Remember the 2013 IPL final, wickets of Mr. Cricket and Raina. Maling is always a Play maker and an outstanding fast bowler i ever seen in the 21st century but at the same time i have mention about the Steyn Gun, he is also a dully Bowler. even though i am Srilankan Fan, I Love very much that SA Fast ball Domain.

  • Rohan on June 18, 2013, 3:28 GMT

    Wow what a ball from slinga- one of the turning points for SL in the match.

  • indika on June 18, 2013, 2:49 GMT

    Well done Sri- Lanka and specially Malinga for giving a much needed farewell to Maxwell who was always asking for trouble. And many thanks to Lions for sending Ausies out of the tournament and let them keep their record in tag for not winning any form of cricket in overseas for year 2013. This is the worst ever performance by Ausie team and sliding is just started.We can not see any future potential is emerging in their ranks and any threatening force in their ranks except for stylish Micheal Clerk.

  • crik on June 18, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    if you watch Pakistan batting, you not necessarily need to watch Aussie coz they both have too many things to do off field and well prepared to surrender like OJ did it at slow speed chase.. Aus and NZ are like Pak and Ind, neither does not care if they advance but adamant their rival goes out with them... like I said before, Aus will win as many games in England as the number of WC trophies SA won... present Aus team resemble the WI team of post Sir.Viv and co... expect Aus to cement a place in the basement in the next decade... as for the English, time to kiss and enjoy the urn until the foreseeable future...

  • Kepili on June 17, 2013, 22:28 GMT

    Congratulations to SL for beating all the unfortunate odds faced by them so far . . . Beating the highly probable Spring evening sowers... having to face 2 D/N out of the only three D/N matches scheduled in the whole series comprising 16 matches. ! Being the ONLY team that had to win all 3 matches (by virtue of a directly effected... visibly results altering... worst kind of umpiring decision ever seen) to qualify for the semifinals..!! This raises the obvious question... are we sufficiently /really utilizing the modern technology and DRS for the benefit of the game???

  • Sarah on June 17, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    I've never seen Malinga giving a send off to a batsman even though he has ratteled the stumps stylishly 75 times in his ODI career. But, I think Maxwell truly deserved that send off from Slinga, given his history with the SL team.

  • Dummy4 on June 17, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    Does this mean Australian cricket is finished for few years?

    Sad to see mighty Australian doing so badly match after match.

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