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Thirimanne's ton leads Sri Lanka past Australia

Published:Monday | January 14, 2013 | 12:00 AM

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP):

Lahiru Thirimanne's unbeaten century helped Sri Lanka to an eight-wicket win over of an injury-hit Australia yesterday to level the five-match limited-overs series at 1-1.

Thirimanne contributed 102 from 166 balls as Sri Lanka reached 172-2 with almost 10 overs to spare in reply to Australia's meagre 170.

Australia won the series opener by 107 runs on Friday but lost two pacemen - Mitchell Starc (calf muscle injury) and Mitch Johnson (side strain) - to injury between the matches.

Compounding those concerns, recalled wicketkeeper Brad Haddin limped off with a hamstring strain early in Sri Lanka's run chase.

Australia was forced to give fast bowlers Ben Cutting and Kane Richardson an international debut, with teenager Richardson having a forgettable match. He was out for a first-ball duck and bowled six wicketless overs before his spell was suspended for frequently running on the pitch.

expensive inexperience

The Australians batted first and lost wickets at regular intervals, with the inexperienced top order failing.

Haddin (50) was the top-scorer for Australia and shared a 57-run stand with Cutting (27).

David Hussey (29) and skipper George Bailey (26) bolstered the middle order.

The Australians were dismissed in the 47th over, with fast bowler Lasith Malinga taking 3-32.

Australia coach Mickey Arthur said it was likely regular skipper Michael Clarke, opener David Warner and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade would return for the third match at Brisbane on Friday. He also said Johnson and Starc would be back in contention.

Thirimanne said Sri Lanka was happy with the way it responded to the opening loss in Melbourne, regardless of the strength of the Australian line-up.

"We won't think about it that way, if it's Australia 'A' or Australia 'B,' it doesn't matter," he said. "We just want to win the series."