Lankans to chase 281

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Feb 24, 2012
Australia start out everything without two-time World Cup winning ex- captain Ricky Ponting in the ODI format, planning to settle their spot at the top of the points table when they tackle a lively Sri Lanka in their tri-series league battle on Friday.
Celebrating his century - Peter Forrest  © AFP

Australia start out everything without two-time World Cup winning ex- captain Ricky Ponting in the ODI format, planning to settle their spot at the top of the points table when they tackle a lively Sri Lanka in their tri-series league battle on Friday.

Implementing a perform or give up on policy, Australia dismissed an out-of-form Ponting from the team despite his substantial popularity and the record of being the country's leading run-getter in the one-day format with 13,704 runs - second only to Sachin Tendulkar in the all-time listing.

The Australians sit atop the table with 14 points after succeeding three out of their five matches. The Lankans are three points adrift after a couple of wins, the same number of losses and a tie from their five games so far.

Head to head, both the teams have defeated each other once in the series and with India fighting to stay adrift, they could be the ultimate finalists as well.

On the face of it, Australia can be classified favourites because of the home benefit but granted how the Sri Lankans have tailored and milked the conditions to their benefit is also hard to ignore.

The islanders have been surprisingly hard and have not gone without a struggle even in matches they have forfeited.

Squads (from):

Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (Captain), Angelo Mathews, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal, Sachithra Senanayake, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Thisara Perera, Dhammika Prasad and Lahiru Thirumanne.

Australia: Michael Clarke (Captain), Shane Watson (Vice-captain), Dan Christian, Xavier Doherty, Peter Forrest, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Brett Lee, Clint McKay, Matthew Wade, David Warner.

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