Sri Lanka v Australia, 5th ODI, Colombo

Malinga hat-trick hands Sri Lanka consolation win

The Report by Brydon Coverdale

August 22, 2011

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Sri Lanka 213 for 6 (Jayawardene 71, Silva 63) beat Australia 211 (Watson 56, Malinga 3-35, A Mendis 3-49) by 4 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Lasith Malinga celebrates his hat-trick, Sri Lanka v Australia, 5th ODI, Colombo, August 22, 2011
Lasith Malinga celebrates his hat-trick © Associated Press

Lasith Malinga became the first man to take three one-day international hat-tricks as Sri Lanka secured a consolation victory in the final ODI in Colombo. Australia might have won the series 3-2 but with the first Test just over a week away, it was important for Sri Lanka to finish on a high, and they did that through Malinga with the ball, and then Mahela Jayawardene and Chamara Silva with the bat.

Chasing 212, the hosts lost three early wickets but from then on were in cruise control either side of a rain delay. Jayawardene all but saw them home with a patient 71, before departing with 17 runs still to get when he skied a catch off Xavier Doherty. Silva batted superbly in his 63, but the victory was all down to Sri Lanka's bowling performance, and specifically Malinga's hat-trick and the tail-end collapse that he instigated.

It could be argued that Malinga has taken four ODI hat-tricks, after his double hat-trick - four wickets in four balls - against South Africa at the 2007 World Cup. He picked up three in three deliveries against Kenya at this year's World Cup, and it would have been a brave person to tip against him adding to his tally when Doherty walked out to face the hat-trick ball this time.

Malinga began the sequence with a fast yorker that got through Mitchell Johnson's defences and bowled him for 1, and followed up with a low full toss that rapped John Hastings on the pad. Doherty took guard, and must have anticipated another accurate yorker, which was indeed delivered, but he still couldn't get bat on ball.

Doherty's middle stump was rattled, and so were Australia, who in the previous over - the 45th of the innings - had been cruising towards a competitive total, at 210 for 5. Eleven balls later, they had lost their remaining five wickets for the addition of only one more run. It was a remarkable collapse, with Ajantha Mendis taking a wicket either side of Malinga's hat-trick.

The rot started when David Hussey (46), who had just launched Mendis over the long-on fence for six, played back to the next delivery and was bowled for 46. The innings ended with Brad Haddin, on 8, driving a catch to mid-off, and neither the Australians nor the fans in the crowd could quite believe the rapid turnaround.

Smart stats

  • Lasith Malinga's hat-trick is his third in ODIs. He now has the most hat-tricks in ODIs after going past Wasim Akram, Saqlain Musthaq and Chaminda Vaas, who had two hat-tricks each.
  • The 3-2 series defeat is Sri Lanka's sixth series loss in bi-lateral contests at home since 2000 and their second home-series loss to Australia. Australia won 3-2 on their previous tour in 2004.
  • Chamara Silva's 13th half-century ended his bad run in recent ODIs. In his previous five innings, he had scored just 29 runs.
  • The 111-run stand between Silva and Mahela Jayawardene is the fifth-highest fourth-wicket partnership for Sri Lanka in ODIs against Australia. It is also their sixth-highest partnership for Sri Lanka in home ODIs against Australia.
  • Michael Clarke's aggregate of 242 runs in the series is the second-highest by an Australian batsman in a bi-lateral series in Sri Lanka after Ricky Ponting's 257 runs in the 2004 series.
  • Shane Watson's strike rate of 66.66 is his third-lowest for a fifty-plus knock in ODIs. The lowest is 60.71 during his 85 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in 2010.
  • Australia lost their last five wickets for just one run collapsing from 210 for 5 to be bowled out for 211. The aggregate of one run for the last four wickets (seventh to tenth wicket) is the lowest in ODIs.

Things had begun so solidly for Australia, who were sent in on a pitch expected to offer some assistance for the seamers in overcast conditions. As expected, the ball nipped around a little and in the second over, bowled by Shaminda Eranga, the openers were already in trouble, Shaun Marsh bowled by a lovely inswinger having four balls earlier been dropped at gully by Jayawardene.

In the following over Shane Watson was caught behind off a Malinga no-ball, and it proved to be a somewhat costly miss for the hosts, as Watson went on to post a solid 56 before top-edging a slog-sweep off Mendis. Watson had support from Ricky Ponting in a 67-run stand, before Ponting (31) was caught at midwicket when he failed to pick a slower ball from Angelo Mathews.

Michael Clarke compiled another handy yet inconsequential innings, his 47 ending when he tickled Eranga to the keeper. Not that his opposing captain was any more influential with the bat. Tillakaratne Dilshan was one of three early wickets to fall in Sri Lanka's chase, bowled for 17 when he was beaten for pace by James Pattinson, who sent down an impressive opening spell.

It was Pattinson's first match of the tour as Australia rested Brett Lee and Doug Bollinger, and the other man brought in for this game, John Hastings, made a nervy start as he failed to control the swing of the ball. Hastings was the main culprit as the Australians sent down 15 wides in the first 18 overs of the innings.

Not that anything should be taken away from the batting of Silva and Jaywardene. Silva's 63 was a fine innings from a man who was lucky to hold his place in the side, having made 4, 3, 13, 9 and 0 in his past five ODI innings. He was especially strong when sweeping Doherty, clearing the boundary at square leg once and finding the boundary four more times off the left-arm spinner, including with a powerful reverse-sweep.

Silva's half-century came up off 51 deliveries, but in the end it was the sweep that brought him undoing when he found the man at deep square leg off Doherty. The rain came with Sri Lanka well ahead on Duckworth/Lewis, and when play resumed, Jayawardene steered the chase comfortably.

In the end Sri Lanka got home with four wickets and three overs to spare, not that there was ever any doubt. Nor was there any doubt that Australia will enter the Test series happy to have seen the last of Malinga, who doesn't play the longer format. He certainly made a dead rubber bounce into life.

Innings Dot balls 4s 6s PP1 PP2 PP3 Last 10 overs NB/Wides
Australia 161 21 2 52/1 22/1 (11 - 15) 28/5 (43 - 47) 34/5 (41 - 46.1) 2/8
Sri Lanka 178 21 1 65/3 28/0 (11-15) 10/1 (46 - 47) 25/2 (41 - 47) 0/15

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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