Hughes impresses in one day debut

Australian opener Philip Hughes cuts through point during his debut ODI ton.

MELBOURNE – Phil Hughes became the first Australian to score a century on his limited-overs international debut as Sri Lanka crashed to a 107-run defeat in the opening ODI at the MCG today.

Left-hander Hughes cracked 112 while captain George Bailey (89) and Dave Hussey (60 not out) added late impetus to help the hosts post 305 for 5 batting first.

Sri Lanka started brightly in reply thanks to half-centuries from Dinesh Chandimal (73) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (51) but Clint McKay (4 for 33) put paid to their hopes of victory as they crumbled to 198 all out.

Hughes had been made to wait for his international debut in one-dayers and he seized his opportunity in style to put Sri Lanka on the back-foot from the outset. The Australia top three were all making their first ODI appearances however Aaron Finch (16) and Usman Khawaja (3) made little impression as Hughes stole the show.

The 24-year-old struck 14 boundaries in total and shared a run-a-ball 140 partnership with captain Bailey for the fourth wicket, a stand which set the platform for Hussey’s late fireworks. Despite losing two early wickets, Sri Lanka were in the game at 111-2 after 25 overs with Dilshan and Chandimal looking comfortable at the crease.

However a period of madness that saw Australia complete three run outs – two of which were direct hits – in less than five overs effectively ended the contest as Dilshan, Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne were sent back.Pacemen McKay, a standout performer with figures of 4-33, and Mitchell Johnson mopped up the tail as Sri Lanka were eventually dismissed for 198 in front of 27,461 fans in Melbourne, giving Australia a 1-0 lead after the opener in the five-match series. (Sky)

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