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Australia thrash Sri Lanka by 107 runs

Associated Press
Jan 11, 2013 at 05:39pm IST

Melbourne: Opener Phil Hughes became the first Australian to score a century in his limited-overs international debut, making 112 to help the hosts to a 107-run victory against Sri Lanka in the series opener on Friday.

The understrength Australian side, featuring three top-order batsmen on debut under the leadership of stand-in captain George Bailey, posted 305 for 5 after winning the toss and batting at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Dinesh Chandimal scored 73 and Tillakaratne Dilshan posted 51 before the Sri Lankans were bowled out for 198 in reply, with Clint McKay taking 4 for 33, Mitch Johnson snaring 2 for 43 and allrounder Glenn Maxwell running out two batsmen in one over.

1st ODI: Australia thrash Sri Lanka by 107 runs

After posting a huge 305 for 5, Australia dismissed Sri Lanka for just 198 to go 1-0 up in the five-match series.

The five-match series moves to Adelaide for the second ODI on Sunday. After resurrecting his Test career during Australia's just completed three-match clean sweep of Sri Lanka, Hughes set about establishing himself as an integral part of a new-look one-day team, reduced in strength by the retirement of Ricky Ponting and the decision to overlook Mike Hussey after he ended his Test career. Regular skipper Michael Clarke and opener David Warner were rested from the first two matches of the series, and vice captain Shane Watson was injured.

"To get three figures on debut is a great feeling and one I'll never forget," said Hughes, who shared a partnership of 140 with Bailey (89) for the third wicket. The left-hander put on 51 for the first wicket with newcomer Aaron Finch, then had a short-lived partnership with Usman Khawaja, also on debut, who misjudged a run and was run out for 3 at 72 for 2.

The newcomers to the Australian team occupied the first three places in its batting lineup and Hughes, who also has three Test centuries to his credit, provided the foundation of its innings.

He reached his half century from 57 balls with seven fours and went on to his century from 123 balls in the 38th over. When he reached the mark, becoming the eighth player from all teams to make a century on one-day debut, Australia was 200 for 2 and he had scored exactly half of its total.

When Hughes hit a four to go from 93 to 97, he became the highest scorer on debut for Australia in one-day internationals. He showed sound technique and commonsense to move from 97 to 100 with three carefully placed singles.

Bailey's forceful 89 came from only 79 balls with eight fours and a six. He reached his half century from only 44 balls. David Hussey closed out the innings with an outstanding half century in an unbeaten 57-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Brad Haddin, who made 10.

Hussey reached his half century in the last over of the innings, from only 32 balls and with a straight-hit six off Ajantha Mendis. He took a total of 21 runs from the final over, propelling Australia past 300 and leaving Sri Lanka an exacting run chase.

The Sri Lankan chase started badly when Mitchell Starc removed Sri Lanka opener Upul Tharanga for 1 and McKay had Mahela Jayawardene caught at slip for 5. Sri Lanka recovered to reach 111 for 2 at the 25-over mark but Dilshan (51) was run out next ball by a direct hit from Usman Khawaja.

Maxwell, fielding in the covers, ran out Angelo Mathews (12) and Lahiru Thirimanne (0) in consecutive deliveries in the 30th over as Sri Lanka slumped to 128 for 5. The end closed in when wicketkeeper Haddin, returning to the national lineup, made a stunning, diving catch to remove Chandimal at 169 for 7.

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