Cricket Australia

http://www.cricket.com.au/Global Items/news/2013/1/28/sri-lanka-reign-in-the-rain

Sri Lanka reign in the rain

UPDATED 19 March, 2013 4:03PM AEST | by Robert Somers 101

Sri Lanka finished their eight-week tour on a high by beating Australia in a rain-affected Twenty20 International that went down to the last ball at the MCG on Monday night.

Needing four runs from the final delivery, Glenn Maxwell failed to make contact with Thisara Perera's full delivery and could only scamper a bye, handing Sri Lanka a 2-0 series sweep through a two-run win under the Duckworth-Lewis method.


The drama didn't end there as players from both sides entered into a heated discussion when shaking hands.

There was tension throughout Australia's run chase after the number one-ranked Sri Lanka compiled 4-161 after being sent in to bat.

They had Australia on the back foot at 2-60 when rain stopped play 10 overs into the run chase.

After a frustrating 45-minute delay, Australia's target was reduced to 122 from 15 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis method.

That meant they needed 62 from 30 balls, and despite fighting efforts from Shaun Marsh (47 from 40 balls) and captain George Bailey (45 from 36), the challenge appeared beyond the Aussies. 

The hosts needed 18 from the final over and when Bailey was caught in the deep a Sri Lanka win looked to be a formality.

But a Perera no-ball and consecutive fours through backward point from new batsman Maxwell (eight from three balls) ensured Australia fought to the end.

Earlier, Sri Lanka's batsmen scored just 56 runs in the first 10 overs but came back strongly, smashing 105 in the second half of their innings.

Spinners Maxwell (1-23) and Xavier Doherty (1-30) and paceman James Faulkner (1-24) took a wicket each as Australia made inroads into Sri Lanka's batting order.

But Mahela Jayawardene (61 not out off 45 balls), Jeevan Mendis (35 not out from 15) and Perera (25 off 24) ensured Australia faced a difficult run chase.

Sri Lanka's late flurry yielded 80 runs from the final seven overs.

It started when Jayawardene lifted Maxwell for a straight six that remarkably rebounded off a seat and rolled all the way back to the bowler. 

And by the closing overs Jayawardene was flourishing in a 59-run partnership with Perera.

The pair clubbed 20 from Ben Laughlin's final over, including three fours and a six, as Australia again closed out their bowling innings poorly.

Laughlin finished with the untidy figures of 1-40 while Mitchell Starc (0-35) also copped late punishment.

The result means Australia have just 30 wins from 60 Twenty20 Internationals. 

Worryingly, their top order again failed to fire as Aaron Finch and David Warner were both out for seven.

The match ended on a sour note as Perera and Warner started an argument. Jayawardene and Matthew Wade then took over before Bailey intervened to bring a halt to discussions.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 28 January, 2013 11:33PM AEST

Commercial Partners