The third and final T20I match between Australia and Sri Lanka saw the visitors suffer another humiliating defeat at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds, with the hosts winning the toss and putting Sri Lanka in to bat.
After surrendering the series without even testing the hosts in the first two matches, one would have hoped that Sri Lanka would put up more of a fight in the final game, especially in front of the large Sri Lankan crowd. It was not to be however, as Australia proved to be far too good once again, securing a 7 wicket win, with David Warner yet again finishing unbeaten.
Sri Lanka’s 142 was chased down with minimum fuss with the Australian openers capitalizing on 2 missed opportunities in the powerplay to get the hosts off to a flier. Sri Lanka had a brief glimmer of hope of getting back into the game when Lahiru Kumara sent Aaron Finch packing and Nuwan Pradeep had Steven Smith caught well in the deep by Lakshan Sandakan short after, but with Warner at the crease, the hosts cantered along to safety.
Earlier in the innings, Oshada Fernando (Finch) Lasith Malinga (Warner) put down chances off the bowling of Kumara and Pradeep and Warner had a further stroke of luck when he played a Kumara delivery back onto the stumps but the bails stayed on. He made the most of the opportunity, going to his 3rd consecutive 50+ score in the series, staying unbeaten throughout the three games.
Earlier in the day, in a bid to give everyone in the touring squad an opportunity, both Lahiru Kumara and Shehan Jayasuriya came into the playing XI alongside Oshada Fernando and Bhanuka Rajapakse, who were surprisingly dropped for the 2nd game. Danushka Gunathilake, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga and Isuru Udana were benched.
Sri Lanka got off to the worst possible start after being put into bat by Finch, with Niroshan Dickwella, promoted back to the opening position, falling for a golden duck. Kusal Mendis played a couple of exquisite strokes but lofted one straight to the deep square leg fielder to leave Sri Lanka in trouble at 33/2 inside the powerplay.
Kusal Perera, who looked good in the 2nd game too, was the backbone of the Sri Lankan innings, making the visitors’ only half century on tour. Avishka Fernando and Vhanuka Rajapakse too looked good briefly, but another below-par performance with the bat meant that Sri Lanka suffered their 1st T20I series sweep in Australia.
|Niroshan Dickwella||c Ben McDermott b Mitchell Starc||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Kusal Mendis||c Ben McDermott b Kane Richardson||13||18||0||1||72.22|
|Kusal Perera||c Ashton Turner b Pat Cummins||57||45||4||1||126.67|
|Avishka Fernando||c Ben McDermott b Pat Cummins||20||22||0||0||90.91|
|Oshada Fernando||c Alex Carey b Kane Richardson||6||4||1||0||150.00|
|Shehan Jayasuriya||b Mitchell Starc||12||15||0||0||80.00|
|Bhanuka Rajapakse||not out||17||11||0||0||154.55|
|Lasith Malinga||not out||8||4||0||1||200.00|
|Extras||9 (b 0 , lb 8 , nb 0, w 1, pen 0)|
|Total||142/6 (20 Overs, RR: 7.1)|
|Fall of Wickets||1-3 (0.6) Niroshan Dickwella, 2-33 (4.4) Kusal Mendis, 3-76 (11.6) Avishka Fernando, 4-99 (14.2) Oshada Fernando, 5-110 (16.1) Kusal Perera, 6-132 (18.6) Shehan Jayasuriya,|
|Aaron Finch||c Shehan Jayasuriya b Lahiru Kumara||37||25||1||3||148.00|
|David Warner||not out||57||50||3||1||114.00|
|Steve Smith||c Lakshan Sandakan b Nuwan Pradeep||13||9||2||0||144.44|
|Ben McDermott||lbw b Lasith Malinga||5||7||0||0||71.43|
|Ashton Turner||not out||22||15||0||2||146.67|
|Extras||11 (b 0 , lb 5 , nb 0, w 6, pen 0)|
|Total||145/3 (17.4 Overs, RR: 8.21)|
|Fall of Wickets||1-69 (8.5) Aaron Finch, 2-85 (10.5) Steve Smith, 3-99 (12.5) Ben McDermott,|