A changed and revitalized Australia defeated Sri Lanka by three wickets in the first ODI at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo on Sunday night signalling a return to contention after losing the Test series.
Australia got everything right on the day as Sri Lanka found run-making a difficult task after being put into bat mustering just 227 runs off 50 overs with Kusan Mendis (67) and Dinesh Chandimal (80) making substantial contributions while the rest fell including skipper Angelo Mathews without scoring.
Overall Sri Lanka never looked comfortable at the crease after opener Kusal Perera had his off stump slammed down to the ground by Australian paceman Mitchell Starc in the fourth ball of the innings.
Playing in his 52nd match Starc in the process completed taking a hundred wickets in the least number of ODIs beating a previous fastest to a hundred scalps held by Pakistan’s Saqlain Mushtaq in 53 matches.
Starc finished with three wickets for 32 runs while left arm paceman James Falkner took 4 for 38.
Australian opener Aaron Finch set the ball rolling for his team in the run chase with a power-packed 56 with seven fours and two sixes after which skipper Steven Smith (58) and Gerge Bailey (39) steered the ship just as the Sri Lankan spinners threatened to make inroads on the slow turning pitch.