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12-Jun-2022 01:49:00 GMT
SL vs Aus - 3rd T20I, Kandy

Shanaka blinder gives Sri Lanka unlikely win

Sri Lanka 177 for 6 (Shanaka 54*, Stoinis 2-8, Hazlewood 2-25) beat Australia 176 for 5 (Warner 39, Stoinis 38, Theekshana 2-25) by four wickets

Kandy: Dasun Shanaka's magnificent knock of 54* off just 25 balls helped Sri Lanka to a four-wicket win in the final over of the third T20I. Australia take the series 2-1.

With the series in the bag with two wins, Australia opted to bat after winning their third toss in a row.

Both teams rung in a change each – Praveen Jayawickrama replaced Nuwan Thushara for Sri Lanka while Josh Inglis made the XI in place of Mitchell Marsh, who was out with a minor calf strain.

David Warner was slow to get off the blocks for Australia but Aaron Finch made up for his partner's slow start. He welcomed Dushmantha Chameera into the bowling with two fours in his first over and dished out the same treatment to Maheesh Theekshana in his next.

The change of ends didn't help Chameera, though it did with Theekshana. Finch and Warner accumulated a boundary each in the penultimate over of the Powerplay but the spinner broke through for his side, ending the Aussie skipper's entertaining knock of 29 from 20 balls.

Maxwell sent the ball into the stands off his second ball while Warner broke loose after the end of fielding restrictions. The three overs after the Powerplay fetched 33 runs.

It looked like Australia were going to set a massive total for Sri Lanka to chase down but the hosts were not going down without a fight. Wanindu Hasaranga got the big wicket of Maxwell, who picked the googly but failed to gain the elevation for a maximum.

Off the very next ball, DRS came to Sri Lanka's rescue as Theekshana trapped Warner in front of the stumps for 39. Inglis, who was drafted into the XI for the game, was run-out for a first-ball duck, making it three wickets in three balls for Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka tightened the screws in the middle overs, with overs 9-15 accounting for three wickets while giving away only one boundary.

Marcus Stoinis took on Praveen Jayawickrama with a six and two boundaries but the spinner had the last laugh off the final ball of the over.

Despite a flurry of wickets that fell in the middle, Australia set Sri Lanka a challenging target of 177, thanks to Steve Smith's 27-ball 37* and a couple of boundaries from Matthew Wade in the death.

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