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Sri Lanka keep Australia on back foot

Australia’s dismal pre-Ashes form continued as they lost a one-off Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka in Perth - by seven wickets.

It was the hosts’ fifth consecutive international defeat. Their last victory was back in July in the first MCC Spirit of Cricket Test against Pakistan at Lord’s.

Sri Lanka meanwhile illustrated why they are one of the most exciting limited overs sides in the game with Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara starring in their thumping win.

It was confirmed on Friday that Sangakkara’s side will play a NatWest One Day International (as well as an npower Test) at Lord’s next summer, after the third match of the series was switched from the Emirates Durham ICG to the Home of Cricket.

Baggy Green woes

Australia’s latest defeat comes on the back of a disappointing tour of India, where they lost all three completed matches to the world’s number one Test side.

The Indian’s, who also visit Lord’s next year, added to the pressure mounting on Australian Test skipper Ricky Ponting.

Ponting would become the first Australian captain to lose three Ashes series if England conquer his men Down Under, something which Andrew Strauss believes his side are perfectly prepared for.

Swann injury worry

England’s buoyant departure for the tour almost cracked within days of arriving in Perth, when star spinner Graeme Swann was struck on the thumb by Tim Bresnan in the nets.

Teammate Stuart Broad was quick to quell rumours of a serious injury, stating that Swann was fine and the strapping applied was merely precautionary.

Green Gabba

Perhaps of more interest for England fans is the latest Sheffield Shield result from The Gabba in Brisbane - the venue for the first Test.

New South Wales bowled the hosts Queensland out for under 100 twice - to win inside two days on a green, seaming wicket.

Mark Cameron collected 11 wickets from the match but there was frustration for his captain and Australian first-choice spinner Nathan Hauritz, who allowed himself only two overs all game.

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