You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Aussies win back pride in opening ODI

AAP logoAAP 21/08/2016 By Scott Bailey and Pete Smith

Australia took the first step towards reclaiming some pride on the sub-continent with a three-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the opening one-day international in Colombo.

On a sharp-turning deck, Steve Smith and Aaron Finch each scored half-centuries in a hard-fought victory as the visitors chased down 227 to start the five-match series.

While Australia's Test team have struggled to nine consecutive losses on the sub-continent and lost 3-0 in Sri Lanka in the past month, the Aussies have now won their past five one-day internationals in turning conditions.

"Just to get the feeling that we can do it in these conditions, in the extreme conditions, that gives everyone a real lot of confidence going forward," Finch said.

"I think that the chase there to get 227 was fantastic.

"We saw how much the ball was spinning, it was extreme. To win a game like that was fantastic."

A determined Smith led the way with a gritty 58 under lights in the Sri Lankan capital, while Finch overcame early nerves to smash 56 from 46 deliveries as Australia chased down the total with 19 balls to spare.

George Bailey scored 39 in a key 62-run fourth wicket partnership with Smith, before Sri Lanka, without injured leading spinner Rangana Herath, staged a late fightback to at least cause some stress for the Aussies.

Earlier Mitchell Starc (3-32) became the fastest man to reach 100 ODI wickets, achieving the mark in 52 matches.

He further entrenched confirmed his status as the world's best one-day bowler as he broke Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq's mark of 53 matches which had stood for almost two decades.

"He's been the best in the world for a number of years now, and when he gets it right, there's no one better around," Finch said.

"The skills that he has with swing, pace, left-arm, yorkers, he can bowl good bouncers. It's a pretty good package when you look at it."

Man-of-the-match James Faulkner claimed his best international figures, taking 4-38 with the ball, including the crucial wickets of Kusal Mendis (67) and captain Angelo Mathews for a duck.

Dinesh Chandimal scored an unbeaten 80 for the home side at the R Premadasa Stadium, however the mid-innings wickets ultimately stopped them from posting a winning total.

The second match of the series will be played at the same venue on Wednesday.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon