Sri Lanka beat Australia in 2nd ODI to level ODI series 1-1 ￼
Sri Lanka produced a spirited performance in all departments on Thursday to level the ongoing three-match ODI series against Australia by winning the rain-truncated second match at Pallekele by 26 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis Method.
After they were restricted to 220/9 from 47.4 overs batting first, Sri Lanka fought hard with the ball to bowl Australia out for 189 in 37.1 overs to record an important victory which will not only help in their confidence, but also give them an opportunity to keep a formidable but injury-struck Australian cricket team on their toes, in the remaining three matches of the five-game ODI series.
Pat Cummins returned with 8.4-0-35-4 whereas Mathew Kuhnemann and Glenn Maxwell took 2 wickets each and Mitchell Swepson took 1 wicket to help Australia restrict Sri Lanka to a moderate total in the second match on Thursday.
The home team batsmen were guilty of not being able to convert starts since plenty of them spent time in the middle and did well to get some vital runs. Sri Lanka number three batsman Kusal Mendis was the top run getter for his side as he scored 36 from 41 balls whereas Dhananjaya de Silva made 34 from 41 balls with both the batsman hitting 2 boundaries and 1 six each.
Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka scored 34 from 36 balls with the help of 5 boundaries whereas Dunith Wellalage made a crucial 20 from 35 balls to take their side past the 200-run mark in the first half of the match.
In their reply, Australia batsmen once again produced an ordinary show with the bat and put a lot of pressure on their lower order to deliver victory — something similar to the first ODI where Glenn Maxwell played a match-winning knock of 80 not out to take them past the finish line.
The left-handed aggressive opener David Warner scored 37 from 51 balls but Aaron Finch once again disappointed, being dismissed for 14 of 15 balls. Steve Smith perished after getting off to a strong start to make 28 from 35 balls whereas Travis Head (23), Marnus Labuschagne (18) and Alex Carey (15) could not deliver in crucial stages of the contest with the bat.
Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell once again threatened to deny Sri Lanka a possible victory but Chamika Karunaratne accounted for him on a short ball that surprised the batsman. The right-handed aggressive Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell scored 30 from 25 balls with 5 boundaries, and his dismissal in the 35th over of the contest sealed the fate of the game.
For Sri Lanka, Dushmantha Chameera bowled superbly to return with 6.1-0-19-2 whereas Dhananjaya de Silva also impressed with the ball, returning with 6-0-26-2. Even though he was expensive, Chamika Karunaratne took 3/47 from his 7 overs accounting for the likes of Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Swepson.