Australia see off Sri Lanka in T20 after Pathum Nissanka forces super over

The Guardian
The Guardian
Steve Smith bats during the second T20 International match in Sydney.

Pathum Nissanka struck a brilliant 73 from 53 balls in vain as Australia beat Sri Lanka after a super over in the second Twenty20 international in Sydney.

Australia posted 164 for six and were cruising to victory until powerful hitting by Nissanka and Dasun Shanaka – who struck 34 from 19 balls – kept the tourists in the game and they finished level on 164 for eight.

In the tie-breaking super over, Australia’s Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell easily chased down the five-run target to put their side 2-0 up in the five-match series.

Josh Hazlewood was the pick of Australia’s bowlers, taking three for 22 in addition to his miserly super over. It capped a brilliant weekend for the 31-year-old who was bought for $1m in the Indian Premier League auction on Saturday.

A superb run-out by Steve Smith at deep midwicket ended Shanaka’s effort, leaving Sri Lanka at 115 for five after 16 overs and the game delicately poised.

Nissanka holed out in the deep with 12 off four balls required, and one ball later there was concern when Smith hit his head on the ground in an acrobatic effort to save a six. “It was great to get the win, but pretty sloppy overall,” said the Australia captain, Aaron Finch.

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After losing the toss, Finch survived two close lbw reviews before departing for 25, stumped off the bowling of Wanindu Hasaranga. The leg-spinner ended with figures of two for 33. Josh Inglis top-scored with 48, including five boundaries.

Sri Lanka, who did not concede a six until Matthew Wade’s 20th-over cameo of 13 from four balls against Nuwan Thushara, bowled with discipline and the seamers utilised clever changes of pace.

“The boys showed character, these youngsters when they go to the middle, they take the fight on,” Shanaka said.

The series moves to Canberra for game three on Tuesday.

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