Australia scraped past Sri Lanka to take control of their five-match Twenty20 series Sunday after late fireworks from the visitors forced their second clash in Sydney to a rare super over after it ended in a tie.
Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka won the toss and bowled for the second game in a row, despite his side struggling in the run chase during their 20-run defeat in the first clash of the series on Friday.
It appeared to be heading the same way after Josh Inglis’ 48 spearheaded Australia to 164 for six, and the Sri Lankan top order again failed to fire.
But Pathum Nissanka’s 73 and a breezy 34 off 19 balls from Shanaka sent the game to the wire.
With Marcus Stoinis bowling, Sri Lanka needed 12 off the last three balls to win. Maheesh Theekshana hit a six, then a single before Dushmantha Chameera smacked a four to tie the match and send it into a nail-biting super over.
Josh Hazlewood bowled the over for Australia with Shanaka and Dinesh Chandimal facing. After two dot balls, Chandimal was run out and Sri Lanka managed just five runs.
That left Australia needing six to win with Glenn Maxwell and Stoinis reaching the target off three balls from spinner Wanindu Hasaranga.
“Great to get the win but pretty sloppy overall, we might have got away with one tonight," said skipper Aaron Finch. “We bowled some great overs, we bowled some poor overs. But the fielding was poor."
Earlier, Hazlewood struck in the first over, with Danushka Gunathilaka out for a golden duck, caught by Ben McDermott at cover.
Hazlewood pounced again in his next over to remove Avishka Fernando for five and when Pat Cummins bowled Charith Asalanka without scoring, Sri Lanka were in big trouble.
Reeling at 25 for three after five overs, Chandimal and Nissanka knuckled down to steer them to 64 for three at the halfway mark before Chandimal fell for 19 to leg spinner Adam Zampa.
That brought Shanaka to the crease and he unleashed some huge shots, putting on 39 in four overs with Nissanka, before being run out, courtesy of a 50-metre throw from Steve Smith.
Nissanka steered his side to needing 19 off the final over. He was out going for a boundary before Theekshana and Chameera sent it to the super over.
“It was a thriller. The boys showed character," said Shanaka. “These youngsters, when they go to the middle they take the fight on, so it’s a good sign. I’m really glad about the performance."
Inglis had five boundaries in his 48, coming in when opener McDermott fell for 18.
Finch put on 27 with Inglis before he was undone by a slower delivery from leg-spinner Hasaranga, stumped for 25.
Australia were 80 for two after 10 overs with Inglis steady as a rock until Hasaranga struck again, with Shanaka taking a blinding catch to deprive him of a half-century.
With Glenn Maxwell (15) controversially given out after the ball appeared to brush his glove, it was down to Smith and Stoinis to deliver late runs.
Smith made 14 before holing out off Chameera, who then bagged Stoinis (19), with Matthew Wade (13) hitting the first six of the night on the second last delivery.
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