All-rounder Asela Gunaratne struck a superb 84 off 46 balls to inspire Sri Lanka to a dramatic two-wicket victory over Australia in the second Twenty20 International in South Geelong, Victoria on short while ago.
The touring side needed 48 runs off the last three overs to clinch the series and Gunaratne, who smashed five sixes and six fours, led them home.
Australia got off to a flying start, hitting 60 runs in the first six overs, and although medium-pacer Nuwan Kulasekara took four wickets, Moises Henriques made an unbeaten 56 off 37 balls to lift the hosts to a decent total of 173.
Sri Lanka stumbled early as their top order collapsed, losing five wickets for 41 runs in the first five overs.
A spirited 52-run partnership between Gunaratne and Chamara Kapugedera steadied the innings, however, before the 31-year-old Gunaratne took charge to guide his side to an unlikely victory.
"Asela's was an amazing innings," Sri Lanka captain Upul Tharanga said.
"We lost too many wickets early but Asela finished the game for us. Winning in Australia is a huge achievement. This is Asela's first tour to Australia and we are happy."
Australia is fielding a depleted side with their full-strength test squad currently in India. The third and final match of the series will be played on Wednesday in Adelaide.
"That was one hell of an innings," Australia captain Aaron Finch said. "When you have a good player in good form, they hurt you.
"Sri Lanka played very well there. Take nothing away from them. The series is gone, but hopefully we can salvage something in Adelaide." (Reuters)
Goda Monday, 20 February 2017 06:52 AM
Watched the match and it was unbelievable performance by Gunaratne. Congratulations to Gunaratne and the whole team.
Desmond Jeromme Monday, 20 February 2017 12:24 PM
Malinga's existence in our team brings fruit, but he should not play IPL anymore and develop our team. Congrats boys.
Dev Monday, 20 February 2017 12:16 PM
He is from a little unknown schools in Kandy. Shows that talent goes unrecognized when someone is not from a big league college.
Eng.M.V.R.Perera Monday, 20 February 2017 10:47 AM
hope like Mathews he will not be brought by IPL
Mokan Monday, 20 February 2017 10:18 AM
Well Done Guys.But don't forget Australia was represented by their B team.
J Palitha Monday, 20 February 2017 10:14 AM
Defineitely these days not the Thomians, Royalists, Trinity boys are doing well, but schools like Rahula produce great guns.
Manuel Benjamin Monday, 20 February 2017 10:10 AM
Correct both matches were nail biting. Anyway, the credit should go to our Iron boys.
Bubble Banda Monday, 20 February 2017 10:03 AM
Beating Australia in our soil is a different matter, but beating the strong Australians in Australian soil is a great achievement. It was really a team work, special thanks to Asela.
Kiris Baba Amaray Monday, 20 February 2017 10:01 AM
This alone brings a great mile stone crossed by our young bullets. Well done and keep it up boys.
German Jacob Monday, 20 February 2017 10:00 AM
Excellent performance of our young Lions. Congratulations !!!
Desmond Jeromme Monday, 20 February 2017 10:00 AM
Good show... I presume that Asela will beat all the batting records in the world the years to come.
kaboos Monday, 20 February 2017 09:03 AM
Mathews replacement and his position, Mathews withdrawal at the last moment its a blessing in disguise. Chandimal and Mathews position in balance.
Damitha Aus Sunday, 19 February 2017 06:32 PM
It was a great win with these conditions. Game start with 15 degrees centigrade. At the end it was 11 degrees. It was a hell of a day in Victoria. In Geelong, it was raining and hailing all morning and afternoon.
shan Monday, 20 February 2017 01:27 AM
well done srilanka.
Hameed Sunday, 19 February 2017 11:03 PM
wht an innings...Asela keep continuing ur good form...hope he will be inspiration to all new comers...well done. SL need more like him...selectors identify the right talents and give them opportunity.... via DM Android App
Bala Sunday, 19 February 2017 10:04 PM
An innings of great courage and a never say die attitude. Congratulations Asela. Yes we made the Aussies realise we are made of sterner stuff, though aussie team not full strength, we ourselves are with new comers as the old guard has left and our selectors never blooded the second level in time.
Pf Sunday, 19 February 2017 08:44 PM
Great achivement of lions.Whole credit goes to Gunaratne. via DM Android App
Raja Sunday, 19 February 2017 08:25 PM
Well done Asela for single handedly winning the game for SL, when most people almost thought we lost the game in the 17th over.
shiha2 Sunday, 19 February 2017 07:36 PM
This a fantastic match what a innings by A.gunarathne !!!!!!well played
Asanka Sunday, 19 February 2017 07:30 PM
Well played young man. Batting or fielding, your body language always showed us that you have what it takes to be competitive at the highest level. Friday's innings gave us a glimpse in to what your future could hold and today you cleared any remaining doubts we had. Good luck brother!
sn Sunday, 19 February 2017 07:29 PM
Take a bow .. Congrats to Asela for being man of the match in 2 games from Katugastota Rahula Old boys... U made SL proud...
Kadiya Sunday, 19 February 2017 07:10 PM
Another nail biting last ball win for the lions although the Aussies made a good try through Tye to fry the Sri Lankans. this time around they were too good for the Aussies! Well done Simbas!!!
Jagath Leanage Sunday, 19 February 2017 07:02 PM
Undoubtedly, this should be the most interesting 20-20 match ever played in the Cricket history.
Jans Sunday, 19 February 2017 06:43 PM
Asela you have played professionally and bring SriLanka a victory Thanks to Entire Team via DM Android App
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