Sri Lanka take unbeatable 2-0 lead against Australia with narrow Geelong Twenty20 win
Melbourne [Australia], Feb.19 (ANI): Sri Lanka on Sunday took an unbeatable two nil lead against Australia in a three-match Twenty20 international series through a two wicket win in Geelong.
The Lankans, chasing an Australian score of 173, scored 178 for the loss of eight wickets, and had middle order batsman Asela Gunaratne to thank for his swashbuckling innings of 84 not out.
Asela sets off on a celebratory sprint after the win, with his team-mates finally mobbing him. Victory seemed an impossibility for the Lankans at one stage in the match when they slid to 40 for the loss of five wickets. They needed 79 off the last seven overs, and 48 off the last three, but Asela hammered three successive sixes off all rounder M. Henriques and another three boundaries in the last over off right medium fast bowler Andrew Tye to seal a stunning last-ball win for the visitors. In all he hit six fours and five sixes.
Gunaratne described the win as a very happy moment for him and side after being declared man of the match.
Australian 20-20 skipper Andrew Finch said Asela's batting cameo was one hell of an innings and took the match away from the hosts.
"I thought the way we bowled in the middle was outstanding. When you have a good player in good form, they hurt you. Sri Lanka played very well there. Take nothing away from them. We have been on the receiving end again. The series is gone, and hopefully we can salvage something in Adelaide.
Opener U. Tharanga said,"Asela's was an amazing innings. Even in South Africa he has done well. 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."
Having lost their first Twenty20 clash against Sri Lanka at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) , Australia looked to redeem itself against the visitors in the second Twenty20 international clash at Kardinia Park in Geelong on Sunday evening.
Kardinia Park is located a little more than an hour's drive from Melbourne's south-west.
Both sides were keen on improving their respective performances.
Sri Lanka had come straight from playing T20s and one-dayers in South Africa, while the Australians have had a couple of Sheffield Shield matches since the Big Bash tournament ended.
The third match of the series will be played in Adelaide. (ANI)