Angelo Mathews steered Sri Lanka to a five-wicket victory against Australia in the 1st Twenty20 international at Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.
Chasing a target of 138, Thisara Perera smashed two consecutive sixes off Ben Laughlin in the 19th as Sri Lanka romped home with seven balls to spare and take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
Skipper Mathews remained unbeaten on a top score of 35 off 27 balls which contained three boundaries and a six as Sri Lanka finished with 139 for 5 in 18.5 overs.
It was the fourth consecutive win by top-ranked Sri Lanka against Australia in T20 internationals.
Perera made 19 off 12 balls with two sixes adding a 35 off just 21 balls during their unbroken sixth wicket stand.
Sri Lanka nearly squandered a flying start given by openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kushal Perera who put on 46 runs in just seven overs when they collapsed to 69 for 4 in the 11th over.
Lahiru Thirimanne (20) appeared to throw it away after a fifth wicket partnership of 35 with Mathews.
But all-rounder Mathews who went for plenty when he bowled, atoned for it by keeping his nerve during the frantic run-chase ably assisted by Thisara Perera.
Ben Laughlin was the most expensive going for 46 in 3.5 overs while Mitchell Starc took one for a miserly 19.
Spinners Xavier Doherty (2-21) and Glenn Maxwell (2-15) kept Australia in the hunt after David Warner's sterling knock of 90 not out had helped them make 137 for 3 in 20 oves.
Warner was later adjudged player of the match.
SRI LANKA INNINGS
Angelo Mathews has hoisted Ben Laughlin for a straight six in the 17th over.
Sri Lanka are 120-5 after 18 overs chasing a target 138 in the 1st Twenty20 international against Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.
Sri Lanka lose their fifth wicket with Lahiru Thirimane caught by Adam Voges as Mitchell Starc strikes returning for a new spell in the 16th over.
Angelo Mathews brings up the 100 of the Sri Lanka with a screeching boundary straight down the ground with David Warner diving over the ball and lofting Aaron Finch to long on for two consecutive boundaries.
Thirimanne just throws it away after making 20 off 15 balls and added 35 runs in 27 balls with Mathews.
Lahiru Thirimanne has hit two consecutive boundaries off Ben Laughlin in the 13th over.
Sri Lanka are imploding after a flying start losing veteran Mathela Jayawardena bowled by spinner Xavier Doherty in the 11th over.
Jayawardene who hit a boundary off Maxwell in the previous over is bowled by a beauty from Doherty who finishes with 2-21 after making 8 off 10 balls
Glenn Maxwell gets his second wicket as Dinesh Chandimal fails to clear Ben Cutting in the long off boundary in the 10th over.
Australia have struck in successive overs with Glenn Maxwell removing dangerous left-hander Kushal Perera who is caught behind by Mathew Wade slashing at a widish delivery from Glenn Maxwell in the eighth over.
Perera made 33 off 22 balls with two boundaries and a six.
Ben Laughlin takes a brilliant diving catch running back in the covers to dismiss Tillakaratne Dilshan for 16 in the 7th over as Sri Lanka lose their first wicket.
Dilshan made 16 off 21 balls which included an extraordinary scoop six off Starc.
Sri Lanka are well ahead of the asking rate after getting off to a flying start chasing a target of 138 being 45 without loss after the six Powerplay overs.
Tillakaratne Dilshan has been struck by a bouncer attempting to hook Ben Laughlin whose first delivery was despatched to the fence by Kushal Perera in the fourth over.
He needed treatment after being knocked down with a snorter which hit him just above the right eye but decided to box on.
Sri Lanka are off to a blazing start with Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kushal Perera having struck extraordinary sixes.
Kushal Perera has struck Xavier Doherty for a brilliant six over mid off in the 3rd over.
The first boundary of the Sri Lanka innings is a spectacular scoop over the keeper's head by Tillakaratne Dilshan which landed in the sightscreen of Mitchell Starc in the second over.
Sri Lanka begin chasing target of 138 opening with Kushal Perera while Australia give the new ball to left arm spinner Xavier Doherty.
Australia were restricted to 137 for 3 by Sri Lanka in the 1st Twenty20 international after winning the toss at Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.
David Warner carried his bat remaining unbeaten on a career-best 90 off 62 balls which contained five boundaries and three sixes.
Adam Vogues who made 25 off 29 balls was more of a spectator during the unbroken fourth wicket stand of 84 off 66 balls with Warner.
David Warner gratefully accepts a full toss from Thisara Perera slamming it over the bowler's head for his second six.
Australia are 129-3 after 19 overs in the 1st Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka after winning the toss at Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.
It's another good over for Sri Lanka as Lasith Malinga returns giving away just 6 runs inthe 17th over.
Ajanta Mendis pegs back Australia in the 16th over giving away just 5 runs.
Angelo Mathews goes for 15 in an eventfull 15th over in which David Warner hits consecutive boundaries before Kulasekera drops a skier.
David Warner gets a life on 68 as Nuwan Kulasekera drops a sitter off Angelo Mathews as Australia's 100 comes up in the 11th over.
David Warner is on fire banging Angelo Mathews over his head and then hooking a short one over the wicketkeeper for a six in the 15th over.
David Warner completes his half century off 37 balls in style punching a full toss Nuwan Kulasekera to square leg for his fourth boundary in the 13th over.
David Warner shrugs off being 'caught' behind off his arm by cracking Angelo Mathews past backward point for his third boundary in the 11th over to move into the 40s.
David Warner has made 38 off 29 balls as Australia attempt to wrest back the initiative from Sri Lanka at the halfway stage of the innings.
Thisara Perera gets sees the back of Australia captain George Bailey who slaps him straight to Dilshan at point having hit a massive six three balls earlier.
Bailey goes for 11 off 9 balls.
George Bailey brings up the 50 of the Australian innings in the ninth with a straight six off Thisara Perera.
David Warner unfazed by the dissmissals of Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh is launching a counter attack smashing Ajanta Mendis's second ball for a massive six over long on.
Ajanta Mendis is introduced into the attack into the attack in the 8th over with Australia struggling but goes for 10.
Shaun Marsh is gone for 6 after facing 17 balls failing to beat brilliant underarm throw from Tillakaratne Dilshan as Australia lose their second wicket.
Thisara Perera into the attack who nearly got David Warner with a direct hit as the batsman scrambled back.
Sri Lanka restrict Australia to 31 for the loss of Aaaron Finch in the 6 Powerplay overs with David Warner unbeaten on 22 off 19 balls with two boundaries.
Lasith Malinga seems to be choking Australia giving away over 3 runs in his second over.
Nuwan Kulasekara is back into the attack in the 5th over having switched ends now and gives away only 3 runs in his second over.
Lasith Malinga into the attack in the fourth over with David Warner on fire but Australia manage only 5 runs in that over.
David Warner cracks two boundaries off Angelo Mathews in the third over which goes for 12 runs.
David Warner punches Mathews past the bowler and then cuts hims to the fence two balls later.
Nuwan Kulasekera strikes with Kushal Perera taking a brilliant catch as Aaron Finch gives him the charge.
Finch tried to flick Kulaskera over midwicket but only succeeded in giving a leading edge to Kushal Perera at short cover who plucked it from the air diving to his right.
David Warner scampers for a single after three dot balls including a confident shout for leg before.
Nuwan Kulasekera bowls the second over to David Warner.
Angelo Mathews opens the attack against David Warner.
David Warner survives a scare going for a second run of the second ball of the match with Jeevan Mendis failing to get a direct hit.
Australian skipper George Bailey won the toss and elected to bat first in the 1st Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka at Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.
Sri Lanka are aiming to finish their tour of Australia after sharing the honours in the ODI series 2-2 bouncing back from 3-0 drubbing in the Test series.
Kushal Perera is making his Twenty20 debut for Sri Lanka while Ben Cutting has been handed a debut by Australia.
Sri Lanka can strengthen its grip on the No.1 ranking by winning the series 2-0 against Australia.
Even one win in the two-match series will be enough for it to retain the number-one rank.
Nevertheless, it would result in dropping at least two ratings points.
In the event of Sri Lanka winning the series 2-0 against Australia, it would strengthen its hold at the number-one position with 131 ratings points, nine ahead of the West Indies.
Sri Lanka, the losing finalist of the ICC World Twenty20 2012, is currently ranked number-one on the Reliance ICC T20I Championship Table with 127 ratings points and leads second-placed West Indies by five ratings points.
However, if seventh-ranked Australia wins both its games against Sri Lanka, then Angelo Mathews’ side will drop down to fourth place on 117 ratings points, putting West Indies at the top of the table.
A 2-0 series win for George Bailey’s side would see it gain eight ratings points to join sixth-ranked Pakistan on 116 ratings points but below Mohammad Hafeez’s side when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.
Australia next plays West Indies in a one-off Twenty20 International on February 13 at Brisbane.
A positive result for Australia against Sri Lanka could help West Indies strengthen its claim for the number-one rank in the one-off match.
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, George Bailey (captain), Adam Voges, Matthew Wade (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Ben Cutting, Mitchell Starc, Xavier Doherty, Ben Laughlin.
Sri Lanka: Kushal Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews (captain), Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis.
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