Starc reaches ODI landmark in comfortable Australia win


Mitchell Starc reached 100 one-day international wickets in record time as Australia recorded their first competitive win of what had been a miserable tour of Sri Lanka with a three-wicket victory in Colombo on Sunday.

Australia suffered a 3-0 whitewash at the hands of Sri Lanka in the Test series but were finally given reason to celebrate in the opening ODI, thanks largely to Starc and James Faulkner, who starred with the ball as Sri Lanka were limited to 227-8.

Starc returned 3-32, his second wicket - which saw George Bailey take a brilliant diving catch at midwicket to dismiss Dhanajaya de Silva (2) - making him the fastest player to 100 one-day scalps.

Dinesh Chandimal led the way with an unbeaten 80 for Sri Lanka and Kusal Mendis added 67 but the tourists were rarely troubled in their subsequent pursuit of 228 - Aaron Finch (56) and captain Steve Smith (58) each hitting half-centuries to help Australia home with 19 balls to spare.

Starc knocked out Kusal Perera's off stump with just the fourth delivery of the day as the Sri Lanka opener went for just one, while Tillakaratne Dilshan (22) fell to Moises Henriques (1-48) following a stand of 42 with Mendis.

Mendis found a more stable partner in the form of Chandimal, the duo together for 18 overs before a battling partnership of 79 was broken.

Man of the match Faulkner (4-38) removed Mendis and four balls later ensured captain Angelo Mathews went for a duck.

Starc's landmark wicket soon followed and, although Milinda Siriwardana (19) and Thisara Perera (21) provided the defiant Chandimal with some support, Sri Lanka appeared short of a par score.

The aggressive Finch got Australia's response off to a positive start - racking up seven fours and two sixes in his 46-ball innings.

Smith, who found his form with the bat in the third and final Test, striking 119 in the first innings, utilised a far more patient approach to keep his side on top.

Dilruwan Perera, the pick of the Sri Lankan attack with 3-48, ended Smith's stay at the crease but, though Australia stumbled in losing a raft of late wickets, Starc fittingly hit the winning run with a punched single through the covers.