In the third T20 International, Sri Lanka were bowled out for a four-wicket victory over Australia, with Dasun Shanaka scoring a quick half-century.
Chasing a target of 177, the hosts were bowled out for 6-108 but an unbeaten 69 for the seventh wicket between Shanaka and Chamika Karunaratne revived the innings. Sri Lanka then needed 59 runs in the last three overs and went on to win with one delivery remaining.
In just 25 deliveries, Shanakar scored 54 runs in five fours and four sixes.
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Australia have already confirmed the series by winning the first two matches in Colombo.
Shanaka was under pressure to lead the game as Sri Lanka lost nine out of 10 matches under his captaincy this year, but his daring strokes gave the spectators something to cheer about.
“It took me a few balls to settle down. I just wanted to hang in there and finish the game and be quite happy with the effort,” Shanaka said.
“By leading up to the game, I tried to inspire the boys to tell them that even though we lost the series, we need some momentum to move forward in the ODIs. I’m glad they delivered. It was a difficult month. “
Josh Hazelwood’s pace changed in the 18th over. He was Aaron Finch’s most trusted bowler in the series and spent just three runs in his first three overs. But with 22 runs coming in his fourth over, Shanaka followed suit with two sixes in a row and two more fours.
This equation came down to 37 in two overs and the last over by Jie Richardson went to 18, which required Sri Lanka 19 runs in the last over.
Ken Richardson struggled under pressure to get two wides down to start the over. Sri Lanka needed 15 off four balls, with Australia still in control. But Shanaka hit two boundaries in the third and fourth delivery of the over and now Sri Lanka need seven runs off two balls.
The final delivery was hit straight to the ground to lift Shanakar’s half-century to equalize the score. Richardson’s next delivery was a wide one and it gave Sri Lanka a thrilling win.
“It’s an incredible blow to Dasun tonight,” said Australia captain Aaron Finch. “It simply came to our notice then. I don’t think there was any reason for the defeat for us to bat first today. Dasun played really well. ”
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