Twitter Reactions: Sri Lanka outsmart Australia to level ODI series 1-1

Australia's confidence from the first innings was broken by Sri Lankan pacers.

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Sri Lanka Cricket Team
Sri Lanka Cricket Team. (Photo Source: Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka had a joyous outing against Australia, courtesy of their bowlers who made the ball talk. Australia were outsmarted by the hosts, who picked wickets on a regular basis and did not let the visitors maintain consistency with the bat. Even after a rain-delayed match, Sri Lanka maintained their composure on the field to win the game by 26 runs (D/L method).

The match began with the Australians taking the Sri Lankan openers Danushka Gunathilaka (18 off 30) and Pathum Nissanka (14 off 17) out of the game early and putting curtains on the hosts’ plans of making it big. The duo of Dhananjaya de Silva (34 off 41) and Kusal Mendis (36 off 41) helped the Lankans get back into the game as the two stitched up a 61-run partnership to keep their team on the track.

All seemed to be going well for Sri Lanka until the spinners returned and took nearly all of the wickets, with the lower-order batters scoring the final few runs. Pat Cummins was brilliant throughout his spell of 8.4 overs before rain stopped the play towards the end of the first innings. Cummins was forced to end his spell with four wickets in the bag as he could not get to a fifer and the Sri Lankan innings ended at 47.4 overs with 220 runs on the board at the loss of nine wickets.

A memorable outing for the Sri Lankan seamers

The rain halted the game for quite sometime before the action began. Due to time being cut short, the game was reduced to 43 overs in the second innings with the Australians getting a target of 216 runs to win. After getting just one run off the first over, opener David Warner played some fine shots in the second over and hit Maheesh Theekshana for three consecutive fours.

The openers kept finding gaps at regular intervals but could not put up a big partnership. Both Aaron Finch (14 off 15) and Warner (37 off 51) were taken down by De Silva in the eighth and 14th over respectively. Shortly after, Steve Smith (28 off 35), who hurt his leg and was seen limping in the game, was sent back to the pavilion and Australia lost their rhythm in the game.

Two quick wickets of Travis Head (23 off 34) and Marnus Labuschagne (18 off 30) by the 19-year-old Dunith Wellalage kept Sri Lanka’s hopes of winning the contest alive. It was Glenn Maxwell again who steadied the Australian innings in the middle after they were put under a miserable condition by the hosts. The 35th over dropped like a nightmare for the visitors, as both set batters Maxwell (30 off 25) and Alex Carey (15 off 20) found their way back.

The game became even more interesting when the hosts showed their agility on the field and gave a tough time to the visitors. Aussies had cut short the chase really well. The asking rate had reduced drastically, but the visitors fell short of batters and were dished out for 189 runs. The Sri Lankan seamers outclassed the visitors and overpowered them to win the game by 26 runs, thereby leveling the five-match series 1-1.

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