Sri Lanka lost the third and final T20 to Australia by 7 wickets despite a better batting performance having totaled 142 for 6 wickets in 20 overs after being sent in to bat at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds on Friday.
Australia reached the target like a stroll in the park finishing on 145 for 3 off 17.3 overs with opening batsman David Warner coming thumbs up the ace in the pack stroking yet another unbeaten winning knock of 50 off 57 balls inclusive of 4 boundaries and a six. It earned him the third Player of the Match award as well as the Player of the Series to boot.
While the Australians asserted their home dominance to good effect by the 3-nil clean sweep, Sri Lanka’s dismal performance in the wake of a clean sweep of Pakistan the No.1 T20 team in world cricket in their own backyard by a second string team raised eyebrows back home as to the selectors decision to have changed a winning composition and removing the winning captain 23-year old Dasun Shanaka in favour of 36-year old Lasith Malinga. Four players who contributed to the success of the Pakistan tour including Minod Banuka, and Sadeera Samarawickrema were axed for the Australian tour in preference for Kusal Mendis who once again had a disastrous run with the bat.
Sri Lanka’s 142 revolved around a 45-ball 57 by Kusal Janith Perera containing 4 fours and a six.
Sri Lanka 142/6 (20 Overs) Run Rate:7.1
(M.D.K.G. Perera 57, W.I.A. Fernando 20, P.B.B. Rajapaksa n.o. 17, B.K.G. Mendis 13, G.S.N.F.G. Jayasuriya 12, P.J. Cummins 2/23, K.W. Richardson 2/25, M.A. Starc 2/32)
Australia 145/3 (17.4 Overs) Run Rate: 8.2
(D.A. Warner 57, A.J. Finch 37, A.J. Turner n.o. 22, N. Pradeep 1/20, S.L. Malinga 1/22, C.B.R.L.S. Kumara 1/49)
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-