AUSTRALIA’S Twenty20 deficiencies bit hard again as Sri Lanka scored a thrilling, rain-marred two-run victory for a 2-0 series sweep at the MCG.
Although a 46-minute delay prevented the hosts from launching their planned assault on Sri Lanka’s 4-161, more than enough cricket had been played to highlight the inexperienced Aussie team’s key flaws against the world’s best short-form team.
And only an action-packed final Thisara Perera over with a wicket, no-ball and a flurry of boundaries will paper over the cracks.
Glenn Maxwell almost became the unlikely hero when he smashed his first two balls for four to the backward point fence.
But requiring another boundary off the final ball to win, the young Victorian swung and missed to leave the home team two runs shy and Shaun Marsh unbeaten on 47 at the other end.
Rain interrupted play with Australia at 2-60 after 10 overs, 14 runs behind the Duckworth-Lewis par score with Marsh and George Bailey both on 22.
Sri Lanka Innings
T DILSHAN b Faulkner 6 (10)
K PERERA c Bailey b Maxwell 15 (17)
D CHANDIMAL c Bailey b Laughlin 5 (9)
M JAYAWARDENE not out 61 (45)
J MENDIS c Faulkner b Doherty 25 (24)
T PERERA not out 35 (15)
Sundries (1b 8lb 5w) 14
Four wickets for 161
Fall: 15 (Dilshan), 33 (Chandimal), 39 (K Perera), 102 (J Mendis).
Bowling: G Maxwell 4-0-23-1 (1w), M Starc 4-0-35-0 (4w), J Faulkner 4-0-24-1, B Laughlin 4-0-40-1, X Doherty 4-0-30-1.
Batting time: 84 mins. Overs: 20.
A FINCH lbw A Mendis 7 (6)
D WARNER c T Perera b Kulasekara 7 6
S MARSH not out 47 (40)
G BAILEY c K Perera b T Perera 45 (36)
G MAXWELL not out 8 (3)
Sundries (1b 2lb 1w 1nb) 5
Three wickets for 119
Fall: 10 (Warner), 20 (Finch), 106 (Bailey).
Bowling: T Dilshan 2-0-10-0, N Kulasekara 3-0-18-1 (1w), A Mendis 3-0-25-1, L Malinga 3-0-26-0, A Dananjaya 1-0-12-0, T Perera 3-0-25-1 (1nb).
Batting time: 75 mins. Overs: 15. Umpires: Simon Fry (AUS), John Ward (AUS).
Match Referee: Javagal Srinath (IND).
Third Umpire: Paul Reiffel (AUS).
Result: Sri Lanka won by 3 runs under Duckworth-Lewis method
Man of the Match: Thisara Perera
Series: Sri Lanka won the 2-match series 2-0