Home Cricket National Cricket Scintillating Shanaka snatches victory for Sri Lanka

Scintillating Shanaka snatches victory for Sri Lanka

Australia Tour of Sri Lanka 2022

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By the end of the 17th over in the chase, the match result was almost a forgone conclusion, with Sri Lanka requiring 59 to win the 3rd T20I and bring the series scoreline to 2-1.

Dasun Shanaka was sitting on 6 off 12 deliveries when the 18th over of the Sri Lankan innings began. He had fellow all-rounder Chamika Karunaratne on the other end, but it wouldn’t be amiss to say, nobody expected a win, despite the pair being decent strikers of the ball.

Shanaka’s onslaught started off Josh Hazlewood, the man Sri Lanka had struggled to get off the square all series. The Aussie quick had bowled his first 3 overs for 3 runs when Aaron Finch threw him the ball, perhaps with the expectation that another tight over would more or less end the game.

The last 18 deliveries of Sri Lanka’s innings produced 4 sixes and 6 fours, 22 runs coming off Hazlewood, 18 off Jhye Richardson and 19 off Kane Richardson in the last over. Shanaka went from 6 off 12 to 54 off 25, becoming the first batter to score 50+ in the death overs of a T20I, undoubtedly his best international innings. Incidentally, Shanaka’s 54 is also the highest score by a Sri Lankan this series, beating Charith Asalanka’s 39 in the first game – symbolic of how badly the home team had batted in the 3 games.

In the preceding 37 overs of the game, Australia had pretty much dominated as they had all series, except for a small passage of play when Sri Lanka picked up 3 wickets in consecutive deliveries to stall the visitors’ quick progress at the beginning of the innings.

David Warner and Aaron Finch were back to their brilliant best, going at 8-9 runs an over early on, giving the visitors the launching pad to go big, like they did last time they were here (2016), when they smashed 263.

With Warner and Finch going hard at the top, Australia looked like they would push on towards the 200-run mark, but Wanindu Hasaranga started the mini-collapse, dismissing Glenn Maxwell off the last ball of the 10th over, before Maheesh Theekshana struck the critical blow, getting the prized scalp of Warner with the very next delivery on review.

With two new batters, Josh Inglis and Steve Smith, at the crease, Sri Lanka’s team hattrick came off a run-out, thanks to a brilliant bit of fielding from Charith Asalanka at slip. Asalanka anticipated the paddle sweep by Inglis and moved to the leg side, dived and threw down the stumps, catching the new man short of his crease as he attempted a run.

Smith and Marcus Stoinis put together a 48-run stand, the highest of the innings, for the 5th wicket, before Praveen Jawickrama picked up the latter stumped. It was a crucial over though, as Stoinis smashed the left-arm spinner for 16 before being caught short of his crease.

Smith, though considered by many as the weak link of the Australian batting line-up, played the finisher’s role to perfection, as the Sri Lankan’s conceded 38 off the last 3 overs.

For Sri Lanka, Dushmantha Chameera was expensive once again, going for 46 off his 4 overs, while Chamika Karunaratne was impressive, after being snubbed in the last game, conceding just 19 off 3 overs.

The pick was of course Maheesh Theekshana, who picked up both Finch and Warner to put the visitors on the back foot and allow Sri Lanka to restrict them to less than 180.

The win will Sri Lanka some much needed momentum and confidence going into the ODI series, which is set to commence on the 14th of June.


Result


Sri Lanka
177/6 (19.5)

Australia
176/5 (20)

Batsmen R B 4s 6s SR
David Warner lbw b Maheesh Theekshana 39 33 6 0 118.18
Aaron Finch b Maheesh Theekshana 29 20 5 0 145.00
Glenn Maxwell c Dhanushka Gunathilake b Wanidu Hasaranga 16 9 0 2 177.78
Steve Smith not out 37 27 2 2 137.04
Josh Inglis run out (Charith Asalanka) 0 1 0 0 0.00
Marcus Stoinis st Kusal Mendis b Praveen Jayawickrama 38 23 3 1 165.22
Matthew Wade not out 13 8 2 0 162.50


Extras 4 (b 0 , lb 0 , nb 1, w 3, pen 0)
Total 176/5 (20 Overs, RR: 8.8)
Bowling O M R W Econ
Chamika Karunaratne 3 0 19 0 6.33
Dushmantha Chameera 4 0 46 0 11.50
Maheesh Theekshana 4 0 25 2 6.25
Dasun Shanaka 1 0 10 0 10.00
Wanidu Hasaranga 4 0 33 1 8.25
Praveen Jayawickrama 4 0 43 1 10.75


Batsmen R B 4s 6s SR
Dhanushka Gunathilake c Jhye Richardson b Josh Hazlewood, 15 12 1 1 125.00
Pathum Nissanka c Josh Hazlewood, b Marcus Stoinis 27 25 2 0 108.00
Charith Asalanka c Aaron Finch b Marcus Stoinis 26 19 3 1 136.84
Bhanuka Rajapaksa lbw b Ashton Agar 17 13 1 0 130.77
Kusal Mendis b Josh Hazlewood, 6 8 1 0 75.00
Dasun Shanaka not out 54 25 5 4 216.00
Wanidu Hasaranga c Aaron Finch b Jhye Richardson 8 7 1 0 114.29
Chamika Karunaratne not out 14 10 2 0 140.00


Extras 10 (b 1 , lb 4 , nb 0, w 5, pen 0)
Total 177/6 (19.5 Overs, RR: 8.92)
Bowling O M R W Econ
Jhye Richardson 4 0 46 1 11.50
Josh Hazlewood, 4 1 25 2 6.25
Kane Richardson 2.5 0 44 0 17.60
Ashton Agar 4 0 23 1 5.75
Glenn Maxwell 3 0 26 0 8.67
Marcus Stoinis 2 0 8 2 4.00