Sri Lanka contain Australia despite Gilchrist heroics

PERTH, Australia, Feb 15, 2008 (AFP) – Local hero Adam Gilchrist scored a fairytale century as Australia made 236 in their tri-series one-day match against Sri Lanka at the WACA here Friday. The 36-year-old left-hander is quitting international cricket at the end of the series and it was his final innings at his home ground.

Gilchrist was given an emotional farewell when he eventually fell for 118 in the 44th over, holing out to Chamara Kapugedera at mid-off from a leading edge off impressive speedster Lasith Malinga.

The wicketkeeper-batsman had faced 132 balls, hitting nine fours and three sixes, but despite his heroics, Australia’s score looked under-par after they won the toss and elected to bat on a good track.

In front of a sell-out crowd desperate to see one more big innings from their hero, Gilchrist batted with great determination and unusual patience to notch his 16th one-day hundred.

When he brought up the milestone with a push to long-on for a single off Muttiah Muralitharan, it was the signal for extended celebrations.

The crowd rose as one, a “Gilly” chant went up around the ground and Gilchrist savoured the moment, gesturing repeatedly to teammates, fa