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Cricket: Clarke in charge.

CRICKET: Michael Clarke's unbeaten half-century helped Australia post Sri Lanka a testing 254-run target at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Clarke finished on 77 not out while Adam Gilchrist scored his 54th half-century in one-day internationals with 61.

Chaminda Vaas and Ishara Amerasinghe each took two wickets as Australia made 253 for six off their 50 overs, but a quickfire 34 from James Hopes could prove valuable for the hosts.

Opening batsmen Matthew Hayden and Gilchrist got the hosts off to a steady start before three batsmen departed.

Clarke took little time to get his eye in stating his intent as he blasted Muttiah Muralitharan for six over long on. Wickets fell but Clarke continued to flourish, reaching his 50 in 63 balls, before Hopes joined Clarke in the middle to help Australia to a competitive total.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Feb 8, 2008
Words:136
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