Sri Lanka hold nerve for victory

  • Last Updated: January 30 2013, 7:32 GMT

Sri Lanka claimed a 2-0 Twenty20 international series win over Australia with a tense two-run victory on the Duckworth-Lewis method in the second match in Melbourne.

Sri Lanka celebrate the departure of David Warner
Sri Lanka celebrate the departure of David Warner

Chasing a revised target of 122 due to a mid-innings rain delay, Australia fell just short in the end as Sri Lanka followed up their five-wicket win in Sydney on Saturday with another triumph.

Australia looked out of it after needing 34 off the last two overs and then 12 off the final three balls, but back-to-back fours over point from Glenn Maxwell left the hosts requiring one more boundary off the final delivery from Thisara Perera to take the victory.

However, after a lengthy discussion between Sri Lanka's senior players which did not go down well with the Australians and led to heated conversations between the sides after the match, Maxwell missed Perera's final delivery and the tourists were able to celebrate.

Earlier, the Sri Lankans had set a testing-looking target after being sent in to bat at the MCG with Mahela Jayawardene guiding the tourists to 161 for four.

Jayawardene finished unbeaten on 61 from 45 balls while Perera clubbed a 15-ball 35 to add some late fireworks, a cameo that combined with his bowling effort (one for 25 off three) led to the 23-year-old being named man of the match.

Australia lost openers David Warner, who scored an unbeaten 90 in the first match, and Aaron Finch cheaply in their reply but Shaun Marsh and George Bailey were building a steady recovery when a downpour saw the teams head off the pitch.

Rain stopped play with Australia on 60 for two off 10 overs, and when play resumed the revised target left them needing 62 off 30 balls.

That proved to be just beyond the hosts, although they came within one hit of victory after a late charge.

Captain Bailey went for 45 in the final over but Marsh (47 not out) was joined by Maxwell and the all-rounder almost snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, only to miss Perera's final delivery.

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