MELBOURNE, November 3, 2010 (AFP) – Sri Lanka won a stunning one wicket victory over Australia in their opening one-day international Wednesday, courtesy of a record-breaking ninth wicket partnership by Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga. Looking dead and buried at 107 for eight and chasing Australia’s 239 for eight in Melbourne, the Sri Lankans roared home on the back of a sensational 132-run stand from man-of-the-match Mathews and fast bowler Malinga.
Sri Lanka’s astonishing comeback condemned Australia to their sixth successive international defeat and cast a pall over the side, shattered to have thrown away apparent victory to the pair’s lusty last-ditch hitting.
Mathews remained unconquered on 77 off 84 balls, spiced with one six and eight fours, while Malinga clobbered his highest one-day score of 56 off 48 balls with two prodigious sixes and six fours.
Malinga was run out with the scores tied and it was left to No.11 Muttiah Muralitharan to hit a winning four off Shane Watson to claim a famous victory for Sri Lanka.
It looked as though Australia were romping to victory earlier in the innings when debutant left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty claimed four wickets and a brilliant run out to have the Sri Lankans 13