Pup: Tough day at the office
Aussie skipper shell-shocked after MCG defeat
By Joe Drabble. Last Updated: 03/11/10 5:10pm
Clarke: Tough defeat to take
Australia captain Michael Clarke was left to lament a "bad day at the office" after watching his side slip to a remarkable one-wicket defeat in the first one-day international against Sri Lanka in Melbourne.
"It was a tough day at the office. From 107-8, I don't know how we lost that game to be honest. "
Michael Clarke Quotes of the week
The Australians snatched defeat from the jaws of victory as they allowed Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga to put on a record 132 runs for the ninth wicket.
The stand took Sri Lanka on from 107-8 to level with Australia's 240 target before Muttiah Muralitharan completed the win with a boundary.
Mathews smashed an unbeaten 77 off 84 balls and Malinga (56) crafted his maiden ODI half-century to put the tourists 1-0 up in the three-match series.
Speaking after the match, a shell-shocked Clarke said: "It was a tough day at the office. From 107-8, I don't know how we lost that game to be honest.
"I think we probably could have performed much better with the bat, I don't think 240 was enough on a pretty good wicket, but having said that, having them 107-8 we should have definitely won the game, so it's very disappointing.
"Full credit to Sri Lanka, I thought Mathews played outstanding, a fantastic innings, and Malinga, we just couldn't stop him tonight with the bat."
The defeat was Australia's sixth on the bounce in all formats and the once dominant cricketing nation are without a victory since beating Pakistan in a Test match in England back in July.
And, while admitting losing is an infectious habit, Clarke insists he is determined to snap the streak in Sydney when the teams contest the second ODI on Friday.
"It's very disappointing, obviously all the boys are disappointed. It just seems at the moment that when we get close to winning matches we just can't seem to turn the corner and get over the line," Clarke added.
"I thought I tried to bowl just about everyone to be honest. I would have liked to have brought young Steve Smith back but he hurt his back in the field so I couldn't really give him a go.
"We've got two more one-dayers and we really want to win this series. We've got one day to get ready for Sydney on Friday. We've got work to do."