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Australia win 5-run thriller against Lanka

Clint McKay of Australia celebrates with team mates after running out Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka during game three of the one-day international tri-series at WACA on Friday in Perth, Australia. (GETTY)

By Reuters

Australia clinched a thrilling five-run win in a low-scoring one-day international against Sri Lanka in Perth on Friday for their second successive triangular series victory.

Chasing 232 for victory, Sri Lanka were all out for 226 on the penultimate delivery of their innings for their second loss in the tournament.

All-rounder Angelo Mathews (64) was the last batsman to depart after he almost took Sri Lanka to an unlikely victory in the last over of the match.

Needing 18 off six deliveries against left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc, Mathews hit a boundary from the first ball, followed by a six off the next but holed out on the fifth trying to repeat his pyrotechnics.

Sri Lanka lost their way in the middle, losing wickets in a cluster, after a dogged 50-run stand between Tillakaratne Dilshan (40) and Kumar Sangakkara (22) for the second wicket.

Sangakkara was unfortunately run out when he slipped while trying to get back to his crease after being sent back by his partner Dilshan while going for a quick single.

Dilshan fell soon after, followed by captain Mahela Jayawardene and Lahiru Thirimanne in quick succession that reduced Sri Lanka to 119 for five.

But Mathews and paceman Dammika Prasad held on and got them close with a 46-run partnership for the last wicket.

Left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty was the most miserly of the Australian bowlers and conceded just 24 runs for his two wickets in his 10-over spell.

Earlier, the visitors, who lost their opening game to India, bowled tightly and fielded with agility to restrict Australia to a meagre total 231.

All five Sri Lankan frontline bowlers picked up two wickets each and vindicated captain Mahela Jayawardene's decision to field first after winning the toss.

The hosts, who were reduced to 81 for four at one stage, kept losing wickets at regular intervals and had just one half-century partnership of 56 runs between captain Michael Clarke (57) and Daniel Christian (33) for the sixth wicket.

Clarke, who played a patient 88-ball knock, was the top-scorer for Australia and also added 49 runs for the fifth wicket with David Hussey.

Paceman Clint McKay, who walked in at number nine, added some crucial runs towards the end with a run-a-ball 25 before the innings folded up on the first delivery of the 50th over.

India take on Australia in the fourth match of the tri-series at Adelaide on Sunday.