MELBOURNE, Feb 29, 2008 (AFP) – Australia’s Adam Gilchrist smashed a blistering 83 in his farewell appearance at the MCG but his teammates collapsed to hand Sri Lanka an unlikely 13-run win here on Friday. The tourists, in their final match of the tri-series, made 221, and Australia looked well set when Gilchrist launched an extraordinary attack at the top of the order.
However, in a disappointing performance just two days away from their first tri-series final against India, the home side were dismissed for 208 from 48.1 overs to end a seven-match winning streak against the Sri Lankans.
Gilchrist smashed the Sri Lankan bowlers to all parts of the ground and Australia had already raced to 107 when opening partner James Hopes was controversially bowled for 28 by Muttiah Muralitharan (2-42) in the 15th over.
Although there was confusion over how Hopes was dismissed, it seemed a minor hiccup for his side.
However, the match turned when Gilchrist holed out to a fine catch by Lasith Malinga from the bowling of Nuwan Kulasekara (2-36) at long off for 83 just six runs later.
The veteran left-hander, set to retire at the end of this tournament, faced just 50 balls, belting 11 fours and two