BRISBANE  - David Warner scored a magnificent 163 as Australia downed a gallant Sri Lanka by 15 runs in the first tri-series one-day international final on Sunday. Warner, whose previous highest ODI score was 74, smashed 13 fours and two sixes in his 157-ball innings to lead Australia to an imposing total of 321 for six after skipper Michael Clarke won the toss and chose to bat.

After a bright start, the Sri Lankans fell behind the run rate as wickets began to fall, slumping to 144-6 before an entertaining 73 from Nuwan Kulasekara and 60 from Upul Tharanga kept them in touch. The pair put on 104 runs from only 70 balls -- including 68 runs in the five-over batting powerplay -- to get the Sri Lankans right back in the match.

However, the target proved too great as they fell just short in a hugely entertaining first final. "I was thinking you can't lose the game from that position (144-6), that's for sure," Clarke said. "It doesn't matter how much you win by so I'm really happy with the end result. Our performance with the bat was outstanding, the start we got from Davey (Warner) and Matthew Wade was just what we've been looking for. But we've got a lot of work to do with our powerplay. Our bowling (during the powerplays) hasn't been good enough this whole series and unfortunately it continues to let us down. Under pressure we're not executing."

Part-time spinner David Hussey was the unlikely bowling hero for Australia with 4-43, while allrounder Shane Watson chipped in with 3-33 including two vital wickets in the final overs. But the real star of the day was Warner, who finally delivered on the ODI stage after starring in both tests and T20s for Australia.

The 25-year-old left-hander was in imperious touch as he became only the seventh Australian to pass 150 in a one-day international, batting through the entire innings until he was bowled on the last ball of the 50th over by medium pacer Dhammika Prasad. Warner also passed Englishman David Gower (158) to record the highest ODI score by any player at the Gabba.

"The first 50 runs were a bit scratchy -- I feel like I didn't hit one ball out of the middle but I knew I had to keep going and be there at the end," Warner said. "I knew through that middle period that if I stayed in there and got a big hundred we would get 300." Clarke won the toss and had no hesitation batting first on an overcast Brisbane afternoon.

Warner and fellow opener Matthew Wade got the Australians off to a blistering start, smashing their first 50 runs from just 40 deliveries. Wade brought up his 50 and the Australian 100 in just the 18th over as the home side continued to dominate. Warner reached his 50 soon afterwards with the two powerful left-handers providing the platform for a massive score.

The Sri Lankans eventually broke through when Rangana Herath took a spectacular catch in the deep to dismiss Wade for 64 with the total on 136. Wade smashed Kulasekara over long-on, only for Herath to leap backwards, thrust out his left hand and snare the ball, somehow managing to hold on to it as he crashed into the ground just inside the boundary rope.

However, Warner kept going and shared 50-run partnerships with Clarke and Watson to keep the score ticking over. Mike Hussey played a late cameo of 19 to ensure the visitors would be chasing well over 300 under lights, which proved just too big a target. "I'm quite happy with the effort from the boys, they showed a lot of character to get back into it," Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said. "Obviously we didn't play a perfect game today.

They got off to a good start and it was difficult to bring them back -- 320 was always going to be a tough score and we lost wickets trying to keep up with the run rate."



D Warner b Prasad    163

M Wade c Herath b Kulasekara    64

S Watson c Thirimanne b Maharoof    21

D Christian c Sangakkara b Prasad    10

D Hussey c and b Herath    1

M Clarke c Jayawardene b Malinga    37

M Hussey not out    19

EXTRAS: (lb1, w5)    6

TOTAL: (6 wkts; 50 overs)    321

FOW: 1-136, 2-186, 3-223, 4-224, 5-288, 6-321

BOWLING: Malinga 8-0-74-1, Kulasekara 10-0-60-1, Maharoof 9-0-64-0, Dilshan 9-0-35-0, Prasad 7-0-51-2, Herath 7-0-36-1


M Jayawardene c Wade b Lee    14

T Dilshan b Lee    27

K Sangakkara c Watson b Lee    42

D Chandimal c Pattinson b D Hussey    14

L Thirimanne c Wade b D Hussey    14

U Tharanga c D Hussey b Watson    60

F Maharoof c Christian b D.Hussey    8

N Kulasekara c Doherty b D Hussey    73

D Prasad not out    31

R Herath c Doherty b Watson    5

L Malinga c M Hussey b Watson    1

EXTRAS: (b1, lb3, w11, nb2)    17

TOTAL:  (all out; 49.2 overs)    306

FOW: 1-39, 2-52, 3-93, 4-115, 5-125, 6-144, 7-248, 8-285, 9-301, 10-306

BOWLING: Lee 9-1-59-3, Hilfenhaus 4-0-46-0, Pattinson 5-0-49-0, Watson 9.2-0-33-3, Doherty 10-0-39-0, D Hussey 8-0-43-4, Christian 4-0-33-0