SL eye title as Aus struggle with injuries, bowling

Adelaide: A rejuvinated Sri Lanka would look to exploit the injury problems and bowling woes of Australia when the two teams clash for the title in the third and last final final of the cricket tri-series here tomorrow.

Just ahead of the decider, Australia have lost skipper Michael Clarke to a left hamstring problem and fast bowler James Pattinson to a buttock strain.

Australia`s cup of injury woes is overflowing as opener David Warner, who now has two successive centuries in the series, is also battling a serious groin injury. Brett Lee too has soldiered on with a broken foot.

Australia have just not been able to gather momentum against the Lankans and solidity at the top is in danger too with injury rearing its head in the ranks. So it will be a huge task for stand-in captain Shane Watson to lift the team and stop a rampaging opponent.

The major disappointment for the world number one team is how ineffective their bowling has been in the series. They have thrice let teams chase totals in excess of 270 – once by India and twice by Sri Lanka and their 321 at Gabba was barely good enough to prevail over the spirited Lankans.

Australia have rued the lack of solidity at the top and now that they have it, there is a worry that their lower half isn`t able to shift gears in the final overs.

Australia have planned to keep wickets in hand for the final onslaught against the Sri Lankans but it has never come about as Lasith Malinga led attack has invariably pulled them back.

Before the second finals, Clarke had also been left shaking his head in disgust in the manner they were unable to plug the run-leaks in powerplay and death overs. The second final on Tuesday only reconfirmed the worry as Lankans posted their first 100 inside the first 16 overs.