Colombo, Sri Lanka ( Associated Press) – Australia beat Sri Lanka by three wickets to win a three-match Twenty20 series on Wednesday.
A day after their 10-wicket win, Sri Lanka’s bowlers put up a fine performance defending a modest target at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, leaving the visitors working hard for the series.
Chasing 125 for victory, Aaron Finch (24) and David Warner (21) got Australia off to a fine start with a 16-ball 33-run partnership for the first wicket.
Australia lost some early wickets and were on 80 for five, needing 45 runs to win. But the T20 world champion still had a lot of overs left to bat.
Despite leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga taking four wickets, wicket-keeper Matthew Wade kept his spirits up to watch Australia finish with an unbeaten 26.
When Ashton Agar fell without scoring a run and Hasaranga took two wickets in two balls, Australia still needed 26 runs to win. Wade and Jhye Richardson chased down the runs with 13 balls to spare.
The clinical performance showed why Australia are a strong contender to win the world title again later this year when it hosts the tournament.
Not much has been going well for Sri Lanka in T20s this year as they have won just one of their 10 matches.
Once again there was the problem of batting. The hosts could manage only 28 runs in the power play and failed to score a challenging total.
Australia’s bowlers were very good in the death overs and at one point Kane Richardson took four for no runs, claiming that three wickets from four balls were called for in the final over. He took four wickets for 30 runs, which was the best figure of his career.
Richardson, who replaced the injured Mitchell Starc, was equally good at taking three for 26, his best in his short career.
The final game of the series is in Kandy on Saturday.
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