Sri Lanka demolish Australia for 74 runs

JIM MORTON
Last updated 19:13 18/01/2013
Nuwan Kulasekara
REUTERS

OUT: Sri Lanka's Nuwan Kulasekara, airborne, celebrates the dismissal of Australia's Moises Henriques during their one-day international cricket match in Brisbane yesterday.

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Australia's batsmen have been humiliated in Brisbane, routed for a record low 74 by Sri Lanka in their one-day international clash.

Only tailenders Mitchell Starc and Xavier Doherty managed double figures as the full-strength hosts were dismissed for their third worst total in 42 years of one-day cricket.

It was also their lowest score on what is usually a batsman-friendly 50-over wicket at the Gabba.

Australia's inability to cope with quality swing bowling was sadly exposed by Nuwan Kulasekara (5-22) and Lasith Malinga (3-14) who reduced them to 9-40 in the 19th over.

It was only the determined rearguard by Starc (22 not out) and Doherty (15), putting on 34 for the last wicket, that saved their team from more embarrassment.

When Doherty leg-glanced his first ball to the boundary, Australia passed the lowest total by a recognised Test nation - 43 endured in South Africa by both Pakistan (1993) and Sri Lanka (2012).

The spinner's last boundary ensured they crept beyond 70 - which Australia made in 1977 in England and also in 1986 against New Zealand in Adelaide.

It looked to be a superb Brisbane one-day pitch and Michael Clarke had no hesitation in batting first on winning the toss.

While it was Angelo Mathews who struck first by having a returning David Warner caught at mid-off, Kulasekara did the real damage, ripping through the bamboozled top order with a mixture of brilliant swing and seam bowling.

He already had Phil Hughes caught at second slip before dismissing David Hussey and George Bailey off successive inswingers in his fourth over to be on a hat-trick.

Matthew Wade survived but it wasn't long before Kulasekara clean bowled both Clarke and Moises Henriques through the gate with the two best deliveries of the day to have Australia 6-30.

Malinga then chipped in by dismissing Mitchell Johnson, Wade and Clint McKay in quick succession.

Starc wore two bouncers on his helmet but both he and Doherty showed more ticker than their top-order teammates.

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- AAP

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