Fifth One-Day International

Sri Lanka v Australia

Paul Coupar

At Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo, February 29, 2004. Sri Lanka won by three wickets. Toss: Australia.

Too late to save the series, and against too depleted a side to have much psychological impact, Sri Lanka won another fluctuating match. Australia spent much of their innings rebuilding after Zoysa's miserly opening spell of two for 20 from eight overs. His accuracy and zip made scoring difficult, and frustration brought wickets: Haddin smashed him to mid-off, Gilchrist missed a drive, Katich tried for a non-existent second and Clarke top-edged Muralitharan's third delivery. It was soon 120 for six, and Symonds and Hogg could afford few risks, despite a good pitch, as they added a face-saving 76. In reply, Sangakkara's aggressive 37 raised noisy expectation in another capacity crowd. That became anxious quiet as Sri Lanka collapsed to 136 for seven, with 63 still wanted. But while Arnold froze in the spotlight, scratching 23 in 64 balls, Zoysa thrived. He played proper shots from No. 9 to take his side home after being neglected for 19 months before this series.

Man of the Match: D. N. T. Zoysa. Man of the Series: A. Symonds.

© John Wisden & Co