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MELBOURNE: Sri Lanka conjured a stunning one-wicket victory over Australia in their opening one-day international Wednesday, powered by a record-breaking ninth wicket partnership between Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga.

Looking dead and buried at 107 for eight and chasing Australia's 239 for eight in Melbourne, the Sri Lankans roared home on the back of a sensational 132-run stand off 110 balls from man-of-the-match Mathews and fast bowler Malinga.

The previous ninth-wicket record for an ODI was the 126 by Kapil Dev and Syed Kirmani for India against Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup.

Sri Lanka's astonishing comeback condemned Australia to their sixth successive international defeat and cast a pall over the side, shattered to have thrown away apparent victory.

Mathews remained unconquered on 77 off 84 balls, spiced with one six and eight fours, while Malinga clobbered his highest one-day score of 56 off 48 balls with two prodigious sixes and six fours.

Malinga was run out with the scores tied and it was left to No.11 Muttiah Muralitharan to hit the winning runs off Shane Watson to claim a famous victory for Sri Lanka.

It looked as though Australia were romping to victory when debutant left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty claimed four wickets and a brilliant run out to have the Sri Lankans 136 runs away from their target with just two wickets left.

But Mathews and Malinga gradually turned the tide with some power hitting that left stand-in skipper Michael Clarke bemused at how to stop the run flow.

Sri Lanka's innings did not start out well when Tillakaratne Dilshan was out for seven and opening partner Upul Tharanga was run out for three by debutant Doherty.

Doherty claimed a wicket with his second ball in ODI cricket when he had Mahela Jayawardene lbw for 19.

Chamara Silva gave away his wicket, skying Doherty to Watson at mid-on for a duck, and the next ball bowled Kumar Sangakkara for 49 as he left his stumps exposed while attempting to paddle sweep.

It got worse for Sri Lanka with Thisara Perera bowled by Mitchell Johnson for a duck, leaving the tourists flailing at 86 for six in the 19th over.

Sri Lanka's fortunes had dived losing four wickets in 22 balls.

Suraj Randiv was run out for 10 by a throw from the deep from substitute fielder Mitchell Starc and Nuwan Kulasekara became Doherty's fourth victim, lbw for a duck.

Then Malinga joined Mathews at the wicket in a seemingly hopeless cause, only for one of international cricket's great recoveries to get under way.

Mike Hussey had topscored with a fighting unbeaten 71 to steer Australia to 239 for eight off their 50 overs.

Hussey, who has been struggling for form ahead of this month's Ashes series against England, grafted for 91 balls with just one boundary and 40 singles as the anchor of the Australian innings at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Only Hussey and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, with 49 off 55 balls opening the innings, looked comfortable against the tight Sri Lankan bowling, with Perera finishing with 5-46.
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