Australia vs Sri Lanka 2nd T20: Gunaratne hands Sri Lanka the series with last ball win

Gunaratne is mobbed by his team-mates after leading Sri Lanka to victory

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Asela Gunaratne blasted a career-best 84 not out to lead Sri Lanka to a spectacular come-from-behind win over Australia in Geelong.

As a result of their two-wicket win, Sri Lanka secured an unassailable 2-0 series lead.

Being put in to bat first, Australia lost stand-in captain Aaron Finch early on as he was caught and bowled by Vikum Sanjaya for 12.

Just as they were starting to rebuild their innings, Ben Dunk was clean bowled by Gunaratne for a 14-ball 32.

Michael Klinger managed to make 43 before he was caught behind off the bowling of Sanjaya.

Australia lost wickets at regular intervals after Klinger’s dismissal, but Moises Henriques stood tall and took the fight to Sri Lanka.

In the end, it was thanks to Henriques’ unbeaten knock of 56, which came off 37 balls and included two boundaries and two sixes, that Australia were able to make 173 before being bowled out.

Henriques’ unbeaten knock of 56 went in vain

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Nuwan Kulasekara was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, three of which came in the final over of Australia’s innings, while Sanjaya and Lasith Malinga snapped up two wickets apiece. Gunaratne and Seekkuge Prasanna, meanwhile, chipped in with one wicket each.

Chasing 174 to win, Sri Lanka struggled right from the get-go as stand-in skipper Upul Tharanga was dismissed by Ashton Turner off the fifth ball of the match.

Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Dilshan Munaweera and Milinda Siriwardana all fell shortly after, which left Sri Lanka in dire straits.

Reeling at 40/5, the tourists managed to stem the bleeding via a 52-run partnership between Gunaratne and Chamara Kapugedera.

But, their resistance was ended when Kapugedera was removed by Pat Cummins for 32.

Prasanna only made seven, but Gunaratne continued to fight on until Sri Lanka found themselves needing 14 to win off the final over.

Kulasekara was dismissed off the first ball, but Gunaratne plundered 11 runs off the next three balls to leave Sri Lanka just two runs away from victory.

Malinga took a single off the penultimate ball of the match before Gunaratne lifted the final ball of the match over the covers to seal the deal for Sri Lanka.

Gunaratne ended up finishing on a career-best 84, which came off 46 balls and included six boundaries and five sixes.

Andrew Tye was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while James Faulkner took two. Turner, Cummins and debutant Jhye Richardson, meanwhile, claimed one wicket each.

Gunaratne was named Man of the Match.

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