Sri Lanka v Australia, 3rd ODI Review: Australia clinch a close win to go 2-1 up

Sri Lanka v Australia, 3rd ODI Review: Australia clinch a close win to go 2-1 up

Sri Lanka cricketer Dinesh Chandimal celebrates his century (100 runs) during the third One Day International (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Australia at the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket stadium in Dambulla on August 28, 2016. / AFP / ISHARA S.KODIKARA (Photo credit should read ISHARA S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
Sri Lanka cricketer Dinesh Chandimal celebrates his century (100 runs) during the third One Day International (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Australia at the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket stadium in Dambulla on August 28, 2016. / AFP / ISHARA S.KODIKARA (Photo credit should read ISHARA S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Australia registered a hard-fought 2 wicket win over Sri Lanka to go 2-0 up in the 5 match series. It was an evenly fought contest between both the teams. George Bailey’s superb 70 runs knock and handy contributions from Travis Head and Mathew Wade saw Australia chase down a modest target of 227 set by Sri Lanka batting first at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium.

It wasn’t an easy ride for Australia. They lost their top three batsmen inside the first 9 overs. Angelo Mathews struck twice during this time while left-arm spinner Amila Aponso snapped one.

David Warner was the first one to depart. Dilshan took a stupendous effort at the point region off Mathews bowlers to bring an end to the stand-in skipper’s stay at the crease.

Finch was the next to depart after getting trapped by Aponso. Mathews reduced Australia to three-wicket down after he snapped Marsh in the next over.

The middle order then began rebuilding the innings. George Bailey forged two useful partnerships with Travis Head and Mathew Wade to take the chase forward.

The trio took Australia to a position where it looked like the chase was in their pockets. However, then came the turnaround, a huge one. Australia from being 187/4 was reduced to 206/7. The hosts sniffed a close chance. But, fortunately, Mitchell Starc came out with a couple of crunch hits which eventually ensured that Australia accumulated the handful of runs and finish the game with a positive result.

Earlier, the day began with Sri Lanka players giving Tillakaratne Dilshan a guard of honour in his final ODI after Angelo Mathews chose to bat in Dambulla. The proceedings began quite badly as the visitors gained an upper hand in the first over itself. Mitchell Starc clean bowled Gunathilaka, just like the did in the previous ODI in Colombo, off the last ball in the first over.

An over later, Sri Lanka was brought down to 23/2 when Hazlewood picked his first of the day after Kusal Mendis nicked one to Warner at second slip. After two early successes, the home team showed some substance. Retiring legend Dilshan was joined by Dinesh Chandimal and things began to fall in line for them once again.

The duo opted for a cautious approach and resorted to taking singles and doubles. Both carried Sri Lanka towards 100 runs mark putting up a steady stand of 73 runs for the 3rd wicket before the most touching moment of the game arrived.

Dilshan ended his ODI career getting out off a full toss. Dilshan, who had not shown any signs of brashness throughout stay, chipped a low full toss off Adam Zampa to Bailey at mid-wicket. Sri Lankan spectators were in full attendance at the venue to give Dilshan a proper send-off. The former skipper walked off with his arms aloft for the crowd as the spectators gave him a standing ovation. He finished as the 11th highest run-scorer in ODIs, and the fourth-highest among Sri Lankans

Zampa’s success saw Sri Lanka lose their track. They began losing at regular intervals and the scoreboards never really saw a boost. The middle and the lower middle order could not help Chandimal rebuild the innings.

Zampa continued his great work. After taking the wicket of Dilshan, he trapped Angelo Mathews for leg before for just two runs. Dhananjaya de Silva struggled for his 30-ball 12 and was subsequently dismissed by Faulkner. Kusal Perera also could not replicate the performance he gave in Colombo and was bowled by a yorker from Starc just after Sri Lanka crossed 150.

Chandimal was unaffected, however. He kept fighting even as Sri Lanka stumbled to 178 for 8 after all-rounders Thisara Perera and Seekuge Prasanna returned to the pavilion for single digit scores.

No. 10 Dilruwan Perera finally gave Chandimal some support. Both put together vital 39 runs for the 10th wicket and took the Lankan score past 200. Soon, Chandimal brought up his fourth ODI century after toiling for the whole innings. But, he was soon dismissed for 102 and Sri Lanka were bowled out for 226 with four balls to spare.

Brief Scores:

Sri Lanka: 226 in 49.2 overs (Dinesh Chandimal 102; Adam Zampa 3/38)

Australia: 227/8 in 46.0 overs (George Bailey 70; Angelo Mathews 2/30)

Player of the matchGeorge Bailey