Australia end dismal run with win over Sri Lanka

BRISBANE, November 7, 2010 (AFP) – Australia avoided an unwanted record as they cruised to a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the third and final one-day international at Brisbane’s Gabba ground on Sunday. Staring at a record eighth straight international defeat, the Australians skittled Sri Lanka for 115 off 32 overs and rattled up the winning score of 119 for two off just 21.4 overs to canter home in the dead rubber match.

Despite the big defeat Sri Lanka return home having won their first series in Australia, after victories in Melbourne and Sydney.

Paceman Clint McKay put in a man-of-the-match performance with five for 33 off nine overs, supported by giant newcomer Mitchell Starc’s four for 27 off nine to rip through the Sri Lankan innings.

Michael Clarke, standing in for skipper Ricky Ponting who was rested ahead of this month’s Ashes series, hit the winning runs in an unbeaten 50, with Mike Hussey six not out.

“If we continue to learn, we will take some positives out of tonight,” Clarke said. “Can we start our summer tonight?”

The Australians lost only the wickets of openers Shane Watson and Brad Haddin in easing to victory over the lacklustre Sri Lankans. Watson was out for