Brisbane, Mar 4 : David Warner cracked a scintillating 163 as Australia warded off a dramatic Sri Lankan late-order fightback to snatch a thrilling 15-run victory in the first final of the tri-series here today.
After posting 321 for six, largely built around Warner's career-best knock, the hosts got a scare with Nuwan Kulasekara (73) coming up with a blistering counter attacking innings and Sri Lankan tailenders producing some lusty hits before they fell short by 15 runs in match played under a steady drizzle.
Sri Lanka were 144 for six in the 31st over and the match seemed to be as good as over before an unexpected resistance from the lower-order batsmen nearly pulled off what could have been a thrilling victory.
The visiting side would have been in for a humiliating defeat but for the seventh wicket stand between Upul Tharanga (60) and Kulasekara (73 of 43 balls), who put on 104 runs off 70 balls, clobbering 68 in the five overs of batting powerplay between 36-40 overs.
So impressive were the two that the Lankans, at one stage, needed only 42 runs from the final five overs with three wickets in hand. But Kulasekara departed in the 42nd over and Tharanga in the 46th to leave the Sri Lankans needing 36 runs from the final four overs.
With persistent drizzle around, the Australian bowlers were finding it difficult to grip the ball and there were a lot of full-tosses and wides bowled in the closing stages.
Brett Lee bowled the 47th over and conceded 13 runs, including a six over extra cover by Dhammika Prasad (31 not out) to bring the equation down to 23 from final three overs.
Shane Watson accounted for Rangana Herath (5) in 48th over and the Lankans needed 21 with two wickets remaining. They required 20 runs from the final two overs and 16 from the final over.
Lasith Malinga (1) then lofted the second ball of the final over from Watson to deep square leg to draw curtains on Sri Lanka's heroic run chase.