Gilchrist ton steers Australia to win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gilchrist ton steers Australia to win

By James Dampney 30/01/2006 05:28:43 AM Comments (0)

Adam Gilchrist's form slump was reduced to a distant memory after the stand-in skipper guided Australia to a crushing six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the tri-series match at the WACA.

Replacing rested skipper Ricky Ponting at the helm for the second straight game, Gilchrist smashed a stunning 116 from 105 balls as Australia reached 4-237 from 41 overs in reply to Sri Lanka's 8-233.

Gilchrist improved his captaincy record in the one-day arena to nine wins from 10 matches in the process.

After scoring just 58 runs in his past six one-day innings prior to the match, Gilchrist was a relieved man at the post-match media conference.

But, while he admits his form had been a concern, he isn't getting ahead of himself after one, albeit extremely impressive, innings.

"There's so much focus on results," he said.

"It's hard not to get clouded by all that when the results aren't coming.

"(But) I've got to front up again next Friday (against South Africa) and start again. Not by any means am I now set for the rest of my career or the next year."

The home side ensured a place in the series final after Gilchrist and Simon Katich (82) put on 191 for the first wicket, the third-highest opening stand in Australian one-day history.

Only Geoff Marsh and David Boon's 212 against India in 1986-87 and Gilchrist and Mark Waugh's 206 against the West Indies in 2000 lie ahead of Gilchrist and Katich.

Their effort also surpassed Mark Taylor and Mark Waugh's ground record of 189, also against Sri Lanka in 1995-96.

The selectors' decisions to rest Gilchrist and stick with Katich ahead of Phil Jaques had copped plenty of recent criticism.

But the moves paid handsome dividends, with Katich hitting his highest one-day score on a superb night for the world champions.

Gilchrist's dismissal sparked a mini-collapse, Brad Hodge (2) failing again as a replacement for Ponting before Katich and Andrew Symonds (5) were also sent packing.

But the home side was never in danger in a commanding display with bat and ball, falling just six balls short of a bonus point.

Earlier Stuart Clark (2-40) and Brett Lee (2-42) led the way as the Sri Lankans were restricted to 8-233 from their 50 overs.

The tourists managed just 11 boundaries in their innings, a feat Katich and Gilchrist equalled in 14.2 overs.

West Australian Gilchrist hammered 10 boundaries and four sixes alone to decimate the visiting attack, much to the delight of the partisan 20,085-strong crowd.

His relief was plain for all to see in an outpouring of emotion upon reaching three figures.

He jogged half way to the dressing room to personally thank wife Melinda in the crowd, before turning and waving both arms in the air, embracing Katich and taking a bow to his adoring fans.

"Obviously I was pretty relieved, it's just nice to get back amongst some runs," he said.

"All along through this tough spell you've got a lot of friends, family and teammates that support you.

"But Mel in particular has been a tower of strength for me and gives me every opportunity to play well.

"She makes any sacrifice that needs to be made.

"I almost wanted to jump the fence, but thought I'd better not."

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