Warner’s innings is enough for hosts

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CRICKET: Australia opener David Warner smashed a brilliant 163 and the hosts then survived an incredible Sri Lanka fightback to win the first Commonwealth Bank Series final by 15 runs in Brisbane.

Australia bowled their opponents out for 306 in the 50th over after Warner’s magnificent 157-ball knock, the highest ever one-day international total at the Gabba, had helped them to an imposing 321-6.

The Sri Lankans looked dead and buried at 144 for six in the 30th over only for Upul Tharanga (60) and Nuwan Kulasekara (73) to drag them back into the match.

By far the best of the visitors, the pair put on a defiant 104-run seventh-wicket stand at an incredible nine runs per over to give Australia cause for concern.

When both fell in quick succession, Dhammika Prasad and Rangana Herath kept on hitting big, taking the equation down to 22 from 16 balls before Herath was caught on the boundary.

Prasad and No 11 Lasith Malinga swung valiantly to the death, but 16 from the final over was too much to ask and, after missing the first delivery, Malinga swung the second ball from Shane Watson into Mike Hussey’s hands at deep square-leg.

Having snuck across the line, Australia will now have two chances in Adelaide to seal the best-of-three final.