SL vs AUS 3rd T20I: Shanaka shines as Sri Lanka deny clean sweep to Australia

Author: Yuvi June 12, 2022

SL vs AUS 3rd T20I: Dasun Shanaka shines as Sri Lanka denies Australia clean sweep with 4-wicket win


Captain Dasun Shanaka’s quick innings (54 not out in 25) helped Sri Lanka beat Australia by four wickets in the third T20I and avoid a clean sweep in the three-match series at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium here on Saturday.

However, Aaron Finch-led Australia, who won the first two matches, won the series 2-1.

After winning the third consecutive toss, Australia opted to bat first and included Josh Inglis in place of Mitchell Marsh, who was out with a slight shin.

What a game! #SLvAUS #CheerForLions pic.twitter.com/Lh00gs9gjs

— Sri Lanka Cricket (@OfficialSLC) June 11, 2022

David Warner was slow to get off the block for Australia but Finch made up for his teammate’s slow start. He welcomed Dushmantha Chameera with two boundaries in her first over and treated Mahesh Thikshana in her next over as well.

The change of ends didn’t help Chamira, though it did with Thekshana. Finch and Warner hit a boundary each in the final over of the powerplay, but the spinner broke his side, ending the Australian captain’s amusing innings of 29 off 20 balls.

Maxwell sent the ball into the stands on his second delivery while Warner loosened up after the fielding ban expired. 33 runs from three overs after the powerplay and it looked like Australia were going to set up a massive chase to Sri Lanka but the hosts were not going down without a fight.

Wanindu Hasaranga got the big wicket of Maxwell, who opted for the googly but failed to get the maximum height. On the very next ball, DRS came to Sri Lanka’s rescue as Tikshana trapped Warner in front of the stumps for 39. Inglis was run out for a duck on the first ball, taking three wickets in three balls for Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka tightened the screws in the middle overs, taking three wickets in 9-15 overs, while conceding only one four. Marcus Stoinis hit Praveen Jayawickrama for six and two fours but the spinner got the last laugh off the last ball of the over.

Despite a flurry of wickets falling in the middle, Australia set Sri Lanka a challenging target of 177 runs, an unbeaten 37 off 27 balls by Steve Smith and a couple of fours from Matthew Wade in the death.

Chasing a challenging target, Sri Lanka started off with a bang by scoring 11 runs in the first over. He kept the scorecard up with some good shots from Danushka Gunathilaka.

At the beginning of the fourth over, Josh Hazlewood broke the opening partnership of 25 runs by dismissing Gunthilakah for 15 runs. Seventh over. His resistance came to an end when Stoinis dismissed him for 26, breaking a new 42-run stand.

Chasing 59 runs in the last three overs, the most runs scored by any team to win a game in the last three overs. #SLvAUS #CheerForLions pic.twitter.com/CKTVfnrcLz

— Sri Lanka Cricket (@OfficialSLC) June 11, 2022

At the halfway mark, Sri Lanka needed 100 more to win. In the 11th over, Stoinis hit Nissenka and two overs later Bhanuka Rajapaksa fell to Ashton Agar. Hazlewood then dismissed Kusal Mendis in the over and Jhye Richardson ended Hasaranga’s poor innings as Sri Lanka slipped to 108/6 in the 16th over. But, Shanaka’s captain’s knock turned the game upside down.

With 59 needed from the last three overs, the hosts had a tough task ahead. But Shanaka, refusing to give up, gave a brilliant performance of batting and clean bowled the Australian bowlers.

Chamika Karunaratne struck off Hazlewood’s delivery to Shanaka for a run, after which the Lankan skipper smashed two sixes and two fours to cheer the crowd. The equation read 37 off 12 balls and Shanaka this time patted Jhye Richardson for more runs. A six and two fours came in the final over and Sri Lanka were bowled out for 19 runs from the last one at home.

Kane Richardson opened the last over with two wides, a pair of singles later and 15 needed off four, Doubt hit one four and a six to ease the pressure, bringing up a scintillating half-century And eventually gave the hosts the lead. Exciting victory.

Interestingly, Sri Lanka scored 59 runs in the last three overs to win the game – the most runs scored by any team in the last 3 overs, surpassing the previous record of 56.

Brief Scores: Australia 176/5 in 20 overs (David Warner 39, Marcus Stoinis 38; Mahesh Thekshana 2/25) lose to Sri Lanka 177/6 in 19.5 overs (Dasun Shanaka 54 not out; Marcus Stoinis 2/8, Josh Hazlewood 2/25) by 4 wickets

12 June, 2022, 7:43 am

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