Australia suffer batting nightmare as they lose third ODI to Sri Lanka

Last Updated: 18/01/13 9:51am

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Australia suffered a disappointing four-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka in the third ODI in Brisbane after they were dismissed for just 74.

The score could have been considerably worse for the hosts after they were reduced to 40-9 - with last-wicket pair Mitchell Starc and Xavier Doherty able to steer the score past Australia's record low of 70.

Starc led the way with an unbeaten 22 off 28 balls, while Doherty added 15 before Shaminda Eranga ended their partnership - the duo were the only Australians to reach double figures.

The hosts had twice been dismissed for 70 in the past - against England in 1977 and then by New Zealand in 1985/86 - while this was only the fifth time they had scored less than 100.

Nuwan Kulasekara did much of the damage with the ball, taking a career-best 5-22 to rip the heart out of the Australia innings.

Salvo

Lasith Malinga also weighed in with three wickets, while Angelo Mathews started the rot with the removal of David Warner with the 13th ball of the day.

Sri Lanka didn't have things their own way, though, as Clint McKay removed Mahela Jayawardene in the opening over, while Mitchell Johnson took advantage of the conditions with a triple salvo.

The tourists were guilty of looking for the big shots - and, indeed, had Australia taken their chances, they too could have been dismissed for a low total.

Tillakaratne Dilshan's luck finally ran out - after two close calls - when he edged Johnson to Michael Clarke for 22, while a stunning catch from Warner off the same bowler accounted for Lahiru Thirimanne (7).

Mathews followed for a golden duck to give Australia hope, however the break in play for tea came at the wrong time for the home team.

Sri Lanka came out swinging after the interval; although Starc removed Upul Tharanga for 12 and Jeevan Mendis for two, Kushal Janith Perera (22no) saw them over the finishing line with an astonishing 30 overs to spare.

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