The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Aussiesí 5th win

Brisbane: Sri Lanka off spinner Muttiah Muralidharan suffered a thigh muscle injury as Australia scored a four-wicket win in their triangular one-day series International on Wednesday.

ďItís a pull, not a tear. He should be fit for the World Cup,Ē Sri Lanka team manager Ajit Jayasekera said.

However, he informed that the 30-year-old would miss the match against England in Adelaide on Friday but is expected to return next week if his side qualifies for the best of three finals series which starts on January 23.

Earlier, Sri Lanka, who won the toss and batted, scored 211 for nine in 50 overs, including four run outs. Australia notched up the required runs in 48.5 overs.

The win puts Australia on 27 points from six matches ahead of England on 14 and Sri Lanka on 13. Each side has two more games before the finals.

Muralidharan took three wickets in eight overs before suffering what early reports described as a quadriceps muscle strain in his left leg while chasing a ball in the outfield.

The 30-year-old limped off the Gabba in the 39th over. He returned two overs later and bowled off a short run to claim a fourth wicket for figures of four for 27.

Man of the Match Michael Bevan (45 not out from 79 balls) paced Australiaís innings after Matthew Hayden (42), Darren Lehmann (38) and Jimmy Maher (30) all made useful scores.

Australia had appeared to be cruising when suddenly Murali struck.

Openers Hayden and Maher and Damien Martyn (1) fell to the offie as Australia lost four wickets in quick succession after being 76 without loss.

Patient partnership

Lehmann and Bevan added 72 in a patient fifth wicket partnership knowing that they were only chasing a modest target.

Lehmannís run out in the 40th over made the game a contest again, however, as Murali bowled with a limp for his final two overs, dismissing all-rounder Shane Watson for four in the 44th over.

Watsonís wicket was Muraliís 304th, taking him to third on the all-time list, one ahead of Indiaís Anil Kumble and behind Pakistan pair Wasim Akram on 490 and Waqar Younis on 409.

Australia spinner Brad Hogg, who had taken two for 38, kept his cool to score 14 not out from 15 balls. Bevan hit a boundary to long-on off Aravinda de Silva to seal the win with seven balls to spare.

Earlier, Sri Lanka opener Maravan Atapattu hit 70 and put on 112 runs for the fourth wicket with Mahela Jayawardene, who made 56.

Sri Lanka lost three early wickets for 35 runs and later six for 54. Captain Sanath Jayasuriya (6) was among the run-outs after scores of 122 and 106 in his past two matches.

Wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara, who was the only other Sri Lanka batsman to reach 20, scored a valuable 42 not out from 42 balls including successive boundaries over Watsonís head in the 50th over.

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