PERTH, October 31, 2010 (AFP) – Australian captain Michael Clarke again failed with the bat as his side lost their first Twenty20 game at home in a one-off international against Sri Lanka at the WACA Ground in Perth on Sunday. After winning the toss and batting first, the home side, featuring only four players expected to play key roles in the upcoming Ashes series, struggled to 8-133, after slumping to 5-43 in the 11th over.
Sri Lanka cruised to 3-133 in reply, winning with 21 balls to spare, inflicting Australia’s first home defeat in 11 Twenty20 matches.
Clarke dismissed any suggestion the Australians were already eyeing the Ashes series and said his team was comprehensively outplayed.
“Our top five batters didn’t perform as well as we need to tonight and full credit to Sri Lanka, they bowled really well and taking wickets up front puts a hold on your innings,” he said.
“Then they came out and showed us how to bat in those conditions, with a bit more pace and bounce in the wicket.”
Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said: “The first over that Dilhara (Fernando) bowled set the tone for the whole innings.”
Fernando conceded just two runs in the first over.
“It was very encouraging how the b