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Shock seekers look for new thrill ‘poo-machine’

News4u-Features Desk- SYDNEY: Smelling excrement may not be everyone’s idea of fun, but for those who like to push the boundaries, Australia’s most controversial new museum may be just what they are looking for. 

Dubbed “the subversive adult Disneyland”, theMuseum of Old and New Art (MONA) is located in Tasmania and features around 400 works of art from Egyptian mummies to young British artists including Chris Ofili and Jenny Saville.

But the most talked-about piece is the Cloaca Professional, labelled the “poo-machine.” It was built by Belgian artist Wim Delvoye to mimic the actions of the human digestive system. A series of glass receptacles hang in a row with the machine being “fed” twice a day on one end. The food is ground up “naturally,” the way it is in the human body, and the device produces faeces on the clock at 2 pm at the other end.

The smell is so powerful that not many visitors can take it. “It put me off because of the overwhelming assault on the senses,” said Diane Malnic, a Sydney-based accountant.

Yet this was her second visit in five months, following a family holiday in Tasmania earlier in the year. This time, she flew without her husband and children just to have another look at the collection, interested in Delvoye’s other pieces.

She took great care to avoid the “smelly” parts and still talked vividly about the “vomit room” which was part of an earlier exhibit no longer on display.

“I wouldn’t go back to see them,” she said, laughing. The Cloaca is part of a series of at least five similar machines built by the artist, another of which will soon be exhibited at the Louvre. It is the most hated piece in the museum but also the most visited.

The museum, which opened in January 2011, is owned by eccentric and philanthropist David Walsh, who made his fortune as a professional gambler, and features one of the largest private art collections in the world with an estimated value of around A$100 million.

Its motto is to shock, offend, inform and entertain. “It definitely challenges your interpretation of what art is,” said Malnic.

Pieces include Chris Ofili’s Holy Virgin Mary, which features elephant dung and porn-magazine cutouts of genitals. It caused controversy in 1996, with then-New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani reportedly describing Ofili’s work as “sick”.

Another much-talked-about piece is the Matrix by Jenny Saville, a full-frontal large painting of a naked transgender man with his modified genitals exposed. “It’s confronting,” said Margarita Silva, a Melbourne-based dentist making during her third trip to the MONA.

Detractors argue that some of the pieces don’t belong to a museum, which is also what Malnic initially thought. But upon reflection, she said the Cloaca machine opened her mind and argued that perhaps it was the future of art.

For Silva, her favourites were a soundproof room of 30 Madonna fans who were individually filmed singing a capella the artist’s Immaculate Collection album. The other was a waterfall with droplets spelling out a series of words.

Keeping with the MONA’s sensibility, none of its art work is grouped or chronological, leaving viewers to walk at random. “Overall, it’s a fantastic experience,” said Silva.

The museum charges A$20 ($20) for entry and has drawn around 389,000 visitors in its first year.Reuters

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Ponting becomes second highest Test scorer

News4u-Sports Desk-ROSEAU (Dominica): Former Australia captainRicky Ponting overtook India’s Rahul Dravid to become the second highest Test run scorer on Monday during the opening day of the third Test against West Indies.

Ponting, who made his Test debut in 1995, moved past Dravid’s career total of 13,288 shortly after tea.

Ten balls after going one run ahead of Dravid, Ponting was dismissed for 23 without having added to his total.

The 37-year-old was caught by West Indies captain Darren Sammy at leg-slip off off-spinner Shane Shillingford.

India’s Sachin Tendulkar has the highest total of Test runs with 15,470 at an average of 55.44. Dravid retired from international cricket last month.Reuters

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Australia Speaker quits over sex charges

News4u - News Desk : MELBOURNE: Australia’s parliamentary Speaker Peter Slipper has stepped aside following allegations of sexual harassment and fraud against him. Slipper, 62, on Sunday issued a statement emphatically denying the allegations that he harassed one of his advisers, James Ashby, and that he misused cab charges.

“The allegations include both a claim of criminal behaviour and a claim under civil law,” Slipper said, referring to the allegations of fraud and harassment has been accused by 33-year-old Ashby of making unwelcome advances towards him and sending him sexually explicit text messages. Ashby has laun8ched legal action in the federal court against Slipper.PTI

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Tour by B’desh suspended, big blow for Pak

News4u - Sports  Desk -   Pakistan’s hopes of hosting its first international cricket match in three years was thrown into jeopardy after the High Court in Bangladesh suspended the national team’s tour to the strife-torn nation for four weeks due to security reasons.

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has now informed their Pakistani counterpart that they would not be able undertake the brief tour on the scheduled dates of 29th and 30th April in view of the court order.

Bangladesh team was set to play a one-dayer on 29th April and a Twenty20 international the next day at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore in the first full international matches in Pakistansince March 2009, when Sri Lankan cricketers and officials were attacked by gunmen in Lahore.

“Suspend the tour for four weeks,” said an order issued on Thursday by a two-member bench responding to a petition challenging BCB’s decision to send the national team to Pakistan, where it was set to take part in two matches.

The High Court bench comprising judges Farid Ahmed and Sheikh Hassan Arif questioned the legality of decision to sendBangladesh cricketers on a short trip despite the security risks and ordered the Sports Ministry Secretary and chiefs of National Sports Council chief and BCB to justify the decision in the meantime.

A Supreme Court lawyer and a private university professor challenged the decision citing security concerns as Pakistan Cricket Board was yet to provide a “security plan” for theBangladesh team’s tour as demanded by International Cricket Council (ICC).

“Pakistan is not safe for any foreign teams now. Their own media including their English daily Dawn says so. For that reason, no country agrees to play there. Under the same circumstances, we should not go there also,” the petition read.

The sudden court development took the PCB by surprise and has now cast a shadow on whether the tour would take place at all.

The PCB reacted with disappointment and concern after the High Court injunction order against Bangladesh team touringPakistan later this month for a short series.

“It is astonishing to note that a matter lacking any legal issue has been dragged in the court by petitioners who appear to have vested interest and want to jeopardize the Pakistan-Bangladesh cricketing relations,” the PCB said in a statement on Thursday.

“The matter before the court, prima facie, does not contain any legal issue and it is extremely disturbing to note for Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan cricket fans and the world cricketing nations that such an adverse order has been passed to block a bilateral cricket series. PCB has been extremely disappointed due to the creation of this new situation,” the statement added.

The PCB had managed to get a confirmation from Bangladesh Cricket President Mustafa Kamal on Sunday leading to the announcement that Bangladesh would play a ODI and a Twenty20 International match in Lahore on April 29 and 30 respectively.

Bangladesh would have been the first Test-playing nation to visit Pakistan since March 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore killing six Pakistani policemen and a van driver and wounding five of the visiting players.

The news of suspension of the tour by Bangladesh came just as the national selection committee was meeting in Lahore to announce the Pakistan team for the two matches.

TV channels quoted PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf as saying that he was extremely disappointed with the news fromBangladesh.

“We are surprised that a purely cricketing matter has been dragged into the courts,” Ashraf was quoted as saying.

“We will give a detailed reaction later on. But it is a big setback for Pakistan cricket and fans who were ready to welcome the Bangladesh team,” Ashraf said.

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Australian troops to exit earlier from Afghanistan: PM Julia Gillard

News4u-News Desk-SYDNEY: Australia expects to pull most of its troops out of Afghanistan nearly a year earlier than planned, the prime minister announced on Tuesday, saying Australian soldiers have nearly completed their mission to transfer security responsibilities to Afghan forces in the decade-long war.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard cited security improvements and the death of Osama bin Laden and many of al-Qaida’s senior leaders among the reasons behind the accelerated withdrawal, which will likely see most troops home by the end of 2013. But one opposition lawmaker suggested the strategy was an attempt by Gillard to win over war-weary voters ahead of federal elections.

“This is a war with a purpose. This is a war with an end,” Gillard said in a speech to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Canberra. “We have a strategy, a mission and a timeframe for achieving it.”

Australia has 1,550 troops in Afghanistan, the largest force provided by any country outside NATO. The soldiers’ primary objective has been training an Afghan National Army brigade to take responsibility for security in Uruzgan province.

Australia had originally planned to withdraw its soldiers by the end of 2014, though Gillard had hinted at an early exit in November when she said the troops’ mission could be finished before then. The US plans to withdraw all of its combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

Gillard said she expects Afghan President Hamid Karzai to announce in the next few months the transition of security responsibilities to Afghan forces in Uruzgan and other provinces. Once that process starts, it will take 12 to 18 months to complete. Based on that timeframe, most of Australia’s troops would be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2013.

Still, Gillard declined to give a specific date for the conclusion of the withdrawal, saying the start of the process is dependent upon Karzai’s announcement.

“When this is complete, Australia’s commitment in Afghanistan will look very different to that which we have today,” Gillard said. “We will have completed our training and mentoring mission. … And the majority of our troops will have returned home.”

Australia will consider keeping some special forces soldiers in Afghanistan beyond 2014, and will help fund the ongoing costs of Afghan security forces, Gillard said. The prime minister said she and Karzai will sign a partnership agreement at a meeting of NATO nations’ leaders in Chicago next month.

“Australia has an enduring national interest in ensuring that Afghanistan does not again become a safe haven for terrorists,” Gillard said.

Australia’s military deployment in Afghanistan maintains bipartisan political support, but opinion polls show the popularity of the commitment among the Australian public has plummeted amid the rising the death toll. Thirty-two Australian soldiers have been killed in the conflict.

Australia’s federal elections are due next year, and one of Gillard’s political foes suggested the early withdrawal was an attempt by the prime minister to boost support for her unpopular Labor Party.

“It would be a shameful thing if, after nearly 12 years of deployment in Afghanistan and the loss of more than 30 Australian lives, this mission was foreshortened for reasons of domestic political convenience for the Labor Party rather than on the basis of the advice of the military commanders in the field,” opposition Senator George Brandis told Sky News ahead of Gillard’s announcement.

But opposition leader Tony Abbott signaled support for the early withdrawal, telling reporters in Melbourne he had no reason to believe “it shouldn’t be possible to finish the job sooner rather than later.”

Citing the deaths of Australian soldiers in the conflict Abbott said, “We want to make sure that sacrifice has been worthwhile and that will happen if our troops come home soon with their mission accomplished.”AP

deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard

OZ Prime Minister Julia Gillard

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Now, flying high on cooking oil

News4u-News Desk-  MELBOURNE: Australian airliner Qantas on Friday flew the country’s first commercialbiofuel flight between Sydney and Adelaide using a mix of conventional fuel and refined cooking oil.

John Valastro of Qantas said the flight on Friday morning was a commercial first in Australia, and would have produced far less carbon emissions than if conventional jet fuel were used. “We’re talking about a 60% reduction in overall life cycle of the fuel, so that’s a substantial improvement,” ABC News quoted him as saying.

The biofuel component of the fuel used for the flight was from refined cooking oil.

The report said Friday’s flight has cost more than four times an equivalent flight using normal fuel, partly because of the shipping distance involved since the fuel came from Houston.

Qantas said it absorbed the one-off cost because it was keen to highlight the need for an biofuel source, at a time when airlines and passengers are dealing with high jet fuel and carbon emission costs. Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said government had given them $500,000 to fund a study into the feasibility of alternative aviation biofuels.PTI

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Australia’s most wanted man Malcolm Naden captured

News4u-News Desk- SYDNEY: Australia’s most wanted fugitive — a survival expert and suspected murderer who outwitted police for seven years by living in rugged forest — was finally captured in a remote cabin on Thursday.

Malcolm Naden, whose ability to evade police evoked comparisons to famous 19th century Australian outlaw Ned Kelly, had been on the run since disappearing in June 2005 from his grandparents’ home.

He went missing days before mother-of-twoKristy Scholes, 24, was found strangled in his bedroom and was also wanted for questioning over the indecent assault of a 15-year-old girl and the disappearance of his 24-year-old cousin.

The 38-year-old was charged with Scholes’ murder, two counts of aggravated indecent assault on the teenage girl and the attempted killing of a police officer when he appeared in court.

“He’s in reasonable health but he’s very tired,” his lawyer Michael Jones said after Naden was refused bail and the case adjourned until April 24.

“He’s got serious bite marks on both legs inflicted by police dogs at the time of his arrest. Other than that, that’s all I can say.”

Naden was arrested just after midnight when officers swooped on a private property near Gloucester in the hinterland of New South Wales state’s north coast following a tip that he was there. No shots were fired in the raid.

“I am very pleased to be able to confirm for you today that Australia’s most wanted man is behind bars,” New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione told reporters.

Assistant Commissioner Carlene York, the commander of the strike force set up to capture him, said she never doubted the operation would succeed.

“Our people were operating in extremely difficult conditions and we had to adapt our strategies along the way,” York said as pictures showed Naden with a shaved head, wild beard, shackled, handcuffed and covered in mud.

“However, we always understood that every day brought us closer and that our tactics would prevail.”

Naden previously worked as a shearer, skinner and boner in an abattoir and has been described as a “master bushman” with an intimate knowledge of the rugged terrain in which he was hiding.

According to earlier reports, before he disappeared he lived behind a locked bedroom door where he read the Bible, encyclopaedias and survival manuals.

Other reports said he often set up crude but sturdy camps on hilltops, giving him the widest possible field of vision, and survived on whatever the bush provided while breaking into remote homes to steal weapons and supplies.

His exploits drew parallels with Kelly, Australia’s most famous bushranger whose life was made into several films. Kelly was seen as a working-class hero despite murdering three police officers.

The father of Naden’s missing cousin Lateesha Nolan told ABC radio he hoped the arrest would shed light on what happened to his daughter.

“I sort of felt like falling to the ground on my knees, I didn’t know what to say,” Mick Peet said about hearing the news of Naden’s capture.

“I’m just glad we’re on the road to some kind of recovery to find out what happened to my daughter and some closure.”

An uncle of Scholes said the family were overcome by the developments.

“Overwhelmed, I’m just so shocked, we didn’t expect it,” Tony Scholes told the Seven Network.AFP

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Shane Warne lauds Sachin Tendulkar’s ‘awesome’ feat as tributes pour in

News4u-Sports Desk- NEW DELHI: Australian spin legend Shane Warne pleaded for an end to the talk of Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement as he joined the international chorus of appreciation for the iconic Indian cricketer who scripted history by completing a century of international tons.

Apart from his close friend Warne, cricketlegends such as Sir Vivian Richards, former Australian captain Ian Chappell, Ian Botham, Rahul Dravid, Keven Pietersen and Tony Greigwere among those who paid glowing tributes to the champion batsman.

“Congrats to Sachin on reaching his 100th international 100 - just awesome buddy. Please press no retirement Q’S and let Sachin enjoy the moment,” Warne tweeted after Tendulkar reached the milestone against Bangladesh in an Asia Cup match in Mirpur on Friday.

The 114-run knock ended a year-long wait for the 38-year-old star batsman, whose 99th ton came during a World Cup match against South Africa in March 2011.

Tributes continued to pour in for the veteran from other parts of the world as well with former England captain Tony Greig calling him a fine ambassador of the game.

“Just woke up to the wonderful news that Sachin has made that century. Great player and wonderful ambassador for our great game,” he said.

“Well played Sachin the little master…!!!” added legendary all-rounder Ian Botham.

England batsman Kevin Pietersen, who is in Sri Lanka for a series, said the effort was way beyond imagination.

“Seriously has anyone actually thought about what Sachin has done here?? 100 100′s!!!! Absolutely unbelievable.. Batters dream!” he said.

Tendulkar’s former teammate and the recently-retired Rahul Dravid marvelled at his genius.

“What stands out in an exceptional career of unbelievable achievements is Sachin Tendulkar’s ability to change, adapt and mould his batting according to the conditions around him. What makes him a phenomenal player is that he has done so many things, be it scoring the highest number of Test and one-day runs or scoring a century of international centuries,” he said.

“What he has done is set a benchmark for future generations which, probably, would be almost impossible for anyone to emulate. He has created a new milestone, which to my mind, is like Don Bradman’s average of 99.94, the most memorable feat that any cricketer has achieved.

“Like overtaking Bradman’s average appears almost impossible today, Sachin’s century feat too will in all probability stay forever,” he added.

Similar words of appreciation came from former Australian captain Ian Chappell.

“The skill, the tenacity and the competitive urge still flows freely through the veins of Tendulkar. He seemed destined to conquer the batting Mount Everest from the moment it was said about him as at the age of 17, Tendulkar scored his first Test century at Old Trafford,” he said.

“The fact that Tendulkar has handled fame so well and maintained an attacking outlook throughout is a tribute to not only his skill but also his wonderfully alert mind.

“Considering the length of his career and the fact that he was able to renew his attacking desires, I would now rate Tendulkar slightly ahead of Brian Lara and comfortably in front of a fadingRicky Ponting.”

West Indies legend Viv Richards described Tendulkar as a “genius” when it comes to ability and a “Trojan” when it came to work ethics.

“I believe Sir Donald Bradman is the greatest of them all, but seeing Tendulkar bat, I can say that when he is in top flight, in a variety of conditions, I have seen the best.

“He has been a genius when it comes to ability, a Trojan when it comes to work ethic and manic when it comes to his focus. Yet we often miss the little things that make him both human and exceptional”, Richards said.

“As a sportsman, I know how damaging an injury can be. For a batsman, an elbow injury and corrective surgery could be akin to a professional death knell. But the way Sachin overcame those setbacks and played at the highest level with unmatched distinction is special”, he said.

Richards felt Tendulkar has earned the right to decide when to hang his boots.

“Friday’s century was a testimony to Sachin Tendulkar’s self belief and his unwavering focus. Many of his contemporaries who were spoken of in the same breath did not have the hunger and focus, which is why Sachin stands alone at the summit.

“And let it not be forgotten that he is no dour batsman, he still plays thrilling shots and has entertained more fans than any batsman has in the history of the game. All this with humility, bearing the burden of his team’s batting and the expectations of his millions of fans,” he said.

“I think Sachin has earned the right to decide when exactly he wants to put down his bat. He is mature and sensible individual and more importantly a very proud cricketer. He is not going to continue if he feels he is not performing up to his standards,” he added.

Veteran Indian tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi also took to Twitter to appreciate Tendulkar’s feat.

“…I guess chant today goes Sacccchiiiinnnn, Sachhhhhhiiiinnn.. Hmmm I have been chanting that for twenty years.”

England Test captain Andrew Strauss also congratulated Tendulkar for reaching a milestone that might remain unsurpassed.

“Sachin is a player by which all others are measured over the last 10-15 years, and for him to go out and get a hundred hundreds is an amazing achievement without precedent - it’s unlikely to be achieved again,” he told ‘BBC Sports’.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain said even if the 100th ton had not come about, Tendulkar would still have remained a great player.

“Don Bradman is sometimes remembered, unfairly, as the batsman who did not quite average 100 in Test cricket. And there was a danger, as we all waited for Sachin Tendulkar to reach three figures again, that he would be remembered for the one international century he did not score, rather than the 99 he did. That would have been a shame - and completely unjust,” he said.

“You could tell after he tucked that single off his pads on Friday in Dhaka how much it meant to him. He’s been criticised in the past for being a closed book, a guy who doesn’t show his feelings too easily. But you could see the more human side of him after he took his helmet off to celebrate,” he added.

“…he’s done it and no one can ever take the achievement away. Finally, he can move on. The mother of all monkeys has been removed.” PTI

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Clint McKay five-for helps Australia clinch tri-series title

News4u - Sports Desk : Australia clinched the cricket tri-series title as they relied on a spirited bowling display to beat Sri Lanka by 16 runs in a low-scoring thriller in Adelaide on Thursday.

After posting 231 all out on a difficult Adelaide Oval track, the hosts rode on pacer Clint McKay’s five-for to stop Sri Lanka at 215 in the third and deciding final.

Upul Tharanga hit 71 to help the islanders recovered from early jolts and almost put his side on track for a win but the Sri Lankans lost the plot after his dismissal to give the Australians a victory with seven balls to spare.

McKay was Australia’s hero, making a critical 28 batting at number nine and then claiming five for 28 which broke the visitors’ back.

The Sri Lankan top order failed and hard as the other batsmen rallied, it was not enough to win them the day. They lost too many wickets up front and were 53 for four in the first powerplay of 10 overs itself.

Brett Lee (3 for 59) and McKay wreaked havoc in this period by sharing these wickets and leaving too much for the rest of the batters to achieve in the remaining overs.

Tillakaratne Dilshan (8) got a leading edge while trying to work a delivery on the onside in Lee’s second over and fell to a soft dismissal, caught in the covers, in the third over.

Kumar Sangakkara (19) was off the block in a jiffy, striking three fours in his nine balls, before he became Lee’s second victim, driving a catch to slips in the seventh over.

Things were only to turn worse as McKay claimed two wickets in seven balls to leave Sri Lanka tottering at 53 for four. He first won a LBW shout against Dinesh Chandimal (5) and in his next over, cleaned up skipper Mahela Jayawardene (15), who played down the wrong line and having his stumps in a disarray.

The fifth wicket stand between Lahiru Thirimanne (30) and Tharanga broke the pattern with a 60-run fourth wicket stand before the former sliced a drive to point off Shane Watson.

Sri Lanka lost their sixth wicket on 142 when Chamara Kapugdeara (7) tried to steer McKay but only thick-edged a chance to wicketkeeper Wade.

Nuwan Kulasekara’s (15) presence at the crease brought some excitement but today was not his day as he made room to smash Lee but the bowler followed him on the legside and he could only lob it for mid-on to take an easy catch.

Left-handed Tharanga, all this while, kept one end going, playing slowly but surely, as he raised his half century from 94 balls with three fours.

Pressure began to mount as the Lankans reached their 200 for the loss of seven wickets in the 45th over, requiring only 30 runs from the final five overs.

Watson earned a critical wicket in the 46th over when Tharanga edged a slower delivery to wicketkeeper Wade for 71, made from 122 balls with three fours and a six. Lanka needed 28 runs from the final four overs with two wickets in hand.

It proved too much for the visitors as they lost their final two wickets to McKay in the form of bowled dismissals to leave the hosts winner by 16 runs.

Earlier, the Australian middle-order collapsed like a pack of cards as Sri Lanka restricted the hosts to 231.

The hosts were cruising along at 115 for 1 before a middle-order slump saw them get all-out in 49.3 overs.

Things could have got worse but for Lee (32) and McKay (28) who added 40 valuable runs for the eighth wicket.

The islanders were well served by nearly all five bowlers, none better than medium-pacer Ferveez Maharoof (3 for 40) and Rangana Herath (3 for 36) who triggered the collapse with six wickets between them.

Put into bat, Australian openers Matthew Wade (49) and David Warner (48) raised 75 runs inside the first 14 overs.

Warner, fresh from his two successive centuries, was the early aggressor as he slammed 48 off 45 balls with five fours and a six before being caught behind off Maharoof.

Wade, then found an able partner in stand-in skipper Shane Watson (19) put on 40 runs in next six-odd overs before the wheels came off the Lankan innings.

Once Watson fell to the off-spin of Dilshan, Maharoof and Herath wreaked havoc on the hosts on a slow pitch, mixing up their deliveries, and costing Australia five more wickets for 58 runs in a space of 15-odd overs.

Watson and Wade fell within an over of each other —the skipper brilliantly caught at the deep midwicket fence when he swept Dilshan fiercely and Herath flung himself to his right to bring off an outstanding catch.

It appeared to have shell-shocked Wade who steered Nuwan Kulasekara to short point and as non-striker Mike Hussey dashed down from the non-striker’s end only to find Dilshan’s direct throw catching him well short off his ground.

Two overs later, it was Wade’s turn to trace his steps back home, cutting Herath into the hands of Sangakkara who took a juggling catch. Wade’s 49 off 74 balls didn’t last the distance as he wanted to and left the innings in the hands of two new batsmen.

Herath struck with scalp of Peter Forrest (3) who played the wrong line to see his off-stump disturbed in 27th over.

Australia’s misery was far from over. David Hussey (19) was ruled out by umpire Asad Rauf off Maharoof though the ball appeared to have hit his pads a shade above the stumps.

Dan Christian (19) got couple of boundaries off Herath but was fooled by a slower Maharoof delivery, mistiming a drive straight into the hands of Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene at mid-off.

The smart recovery for the eighth wicket which added 40 runs and took the innings to 46th over, was not good enough to see through Herath. The left-arm spinner struck with his second last ball, fooling McKay into hitting one into the deep. McKay made 28 off 32 balls with three fours and six and Australians were now 217 for 8.

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Lanka beat Aus by 9 runs ; India abandoned

News4u - Sports Desk : India were finally knocked out of the tri-series as Sri Lanka brought a heart-breaking end to their nervous wait with a nail-biting nine-run victory over Australia in the last over of a must-win contest on Friday.

India needed an Australian win to qualify for the finals but it was Sri Lanka who secured a passage to the summit showdown as they scraped past the hosts in a match which saw fortunes fluctuating from one team to another till the very end at the MCG.

Electing to bat, Sri Lanka put up a modest 238 runs and then bowled out the hosts for 229 to win with five balls to spare.

In then nerve-wrecking final moments of the game, Australianeeded 10 runs in the last over off Nuwan Kulasekara but David Hussey’s mighty heave was caught by Tillakaratne Dilshan at long-off to trigger off wild celebrations in the Sri Lankan camp.

Both Australia and Sri Lanka now have 19 points each and will clash in the best of three finals, beginning at Brisbane on Sunday.

India remained on 15 points and it marked the end of the a disastrous tour, in which they suffered a 4-0 Test series whitewash and had mixed results in the tri-series.

The Australian chase was guided well by stand-in skipper Shane Watson, who scored 65 runs, and David Hussey’s fighting 74, but they lacked the fire power in the end to overhaul the modest target.

For Sri Lanka Kumar Sangakkara (64), Dinesh Chandimal (75) and Lahiru Thirimanne (51) were the chief contributors to the total.

Lasith Malinga, who had a horrendous last match againstIndia, was the star performer this time as he picked four wickets including that of Watson, David Warner (6) and Peter Forrest (2).

Australia were reeling at 26 for three — having lost Matthew Wade (9), Warner and Forrest — when Watson and Mike Hussey steadied the chase with a 87-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

The match was looking like going Australia way but Lahiru Thrimanne broke the stand by scalping Hussey (29).

David was playing well from one end but was running out of partners with Watson, Daniel Christian (3) and James Patinson (12) departing early.

David fought hard with his fighting knock and was the last man dismissed. His effort was only enough to reduce the defeat margin.

Earlier, all-rounder Daniel Christian sparkled with a hat-trick during a career-best five-wicket burst as Australia dismissed Sri Lanka for 238.

Playing only his eighth ODI, the 28-year-old Christian’s hat-trick in the 44th over was the highlight of the first session’s play in today’s match — the batsmen falling victim to him being Thisara Perera (5), Sachithra Senanayke (0) and Nuwan Kulasekara (0).

The right-arm pacer ended the day with impressive match figures of 5-31 in nine overs. James Pattinson picked up four wickets, conceding 51 runs in his 10 overs.

Opting to bat first, it was a wobbly start to the proceedings for the islanders as they lost their openers with less than 20 runs on the scoreboard.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardene (5) was the first to head to the dressing room when he was run out by David Hussey in only the second over of the day.

It was Dilshan who called for a very risky single and Jayawardene responded after some hesitation.

Hussey, from the second slip, pounced on the ball with one hand and managed a direct hit finding Jayawardene well out out of his crease.

Dilshan didn’t last long either with comeback pacer James Pattinson getting his scalp after the right-hander had contributed merely nine runs to the total.

Dilshan was surprised by a bouncy one that caught him on the backfoot and ended up giving a thin edge through to Matthew Wade behind the stumps. Sri Lanka were reeling at 17/2 at this stage.

But the Lankans started the rebuilding job soon enough with the experienced Sangakkara and the exciting new talent Chandimal joining hands for an entertaining third-wicket partnership of 123.

Sangakkara was perfect foil to the natural aggression of Chandimal as the duo stitched together a crucial stand that resurrected the Lankan innings.

Sangakkara’s knock came off 93 deliveries during which he struck three boundaries before Pattinson induced a top edge off his bat that was caught by Peter Forrest at deep square leg off the final delivery of the 29th over.

But Chandimal held fort for quite some while and even got a life in a bizzare manner during the course of his innings which was studded with three fours and a couple of sixes.

In the 35th over of the innings, Thirimanne pushed for a risky third run off Australian skipper Shane Watson’s bowling.

Ben Hilfenhaus made a sliding effort at the point boundary which caught Chandimal well short of crease but the batsman was saved as TV replays showed that Hilfenhaus’ foot had touched the boundary rope before he threw the ball.

Chandimal was eventually dismissed by Pattinson, caught at mid-off by McKay while trying to strike one down the ground.

Thirimanne held one end with his gritty 59-ball knock that included a couple of boundaries but Sri Lanka needed an accelerator after Chandimal’s dismissal.

However, the usually effective Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera both let the team down.

While Mathews spooned a Christian delivery down the ground which was caught on the run by Xavier Doherty.

Perera was dismissed when he was caught by Mike Hussey at the deep midwicket boundary.

Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga

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