The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Aussies in easy win

Melbourne: Australia captain Ricky Ponting smashed an unbeaten century to lead his side to a nine-wicket win over Sri Lanka the last of the tri-series league matches on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka won the toss and batted, scoring 214 for eight before Australia reached 215 for one in 34.3 overs in reply.

Ponting hit 106 off 97 balls and put on a record stand of 178 for an unbroken second wicket with opener Matthew Hayden, who was 80 not out.

There was nothing at stake in the match with Australia and England already through to the best-of-three finals starting in Sydney on Thursday.

Earlier, Sri Lanka veteran Aravinda de Silva became the third player to reach 9,000 runs in one-day Internationals.

Only Indian pair Sachin Tendulkar with 11,546 runs from 303 games and Mohammed Azharuddin on 9,378 from 334 matches stand ahead of De Silva on the all-time list.

Sri Lanka’s batting fell away after a promising start of 86 for one from 20 overs. Opener Avishka Gunawardene made 45 and Kumar Sangakkara hit 43 before becoming two of Brad Hogg’s three victims.

The partnership between Ponting and Hayden was a record for the second wicket by Australia against Sri Lanka, beating the 157 by Steve Smith and Wayne Phillips in 1984-85.

Ponting hit 11 fours and one six in his 11th century in 155 one-day Internationals and second hundred of the tri-series. Hayden hit one four and thumped four sixes in his 87-ball innings. (Reuters)

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