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03 October 2023

SL v Aus: Thirimanne hits ton as Lanka level ODI series

By Allaam Ousman/AP

Sri Lanka thrashed Australia by eight wickets to win the second one-day international with nearly 10 overs to spare at Adelaide Oval on Sunday and level the five-match series.

Lahiru Thirimanne completed a well deserved maiden one-day century remaining unbeaten on 102 and hit the winning hit - a boundary to point off Maxwell in the first ball of the 41st over - as Sri Lanka finished on 172 for two.

Having dismissed Australia who were invited to bat first in overcast conditions for 170, Sri Lanka got a dreadful start when they began their run-chase with Upul Tharanga going for a duck in the third ball of the innings.

Thirimanne and Tillakaratne Dilshan (51) laid the foundation for the resounding victory with a second wicket stand of 137 after having lost the first by 107 runs at Melbourne on Friday.

It was an innings of contrast by the duo as they clinically dominated the Australian attack during their partnership which lasted 33.1 overs.

Left-hander Thirimanne lived dangerously but showed that he was the batsman in form confidently stepping out to force the pace with some innovative shots particularly on the off.

His matchwining knock contained 12 fours and came off 134 balls.

Debutant Kushal Perera nearly spoiled his chances of getting to a century when he blasted a six and four off consecutive deliveries from spinner Maxwell.

But with nine required for his century and 12 needed for victory, Thirimanne managed to hit a boundary off Doherty's first ball.

With one run needed for victory, Thirimanne duly smashed Maxwell to the fence.

Australia managed to break the second wicket partnership in the 34th over when Ben Cutting claimed his first ODI wicket when Dilshan cuts straight to Maxwell at point.

Dilshan made 51 off 88 balls, a laboured innings which contained just four boundaries.

Sri Lanka's 100 and the century partnership for the second wicket between Dilshan and Thirimanne came in the 27th over and 29 balls less than Australia who had lost six wickets at that stage.

Thirimanne completed his fifth ODI fifty with a single off Smith after having faced 83 balls and hitting six boundaries.

Dilshan gained in confidence stepping out to drive Smith past mid wicket to put Sri Lanka on course to victory at the halfway stage of their innings.

Thirimanne was on fire in comparison, finding plenty of room and time to manouvre his shots as McKay found out when he despatched a short one to the mid on fence.

Dilshan was struggling to middle the ball and get his timing, broke the shackles by pulling McKay to the midwicket for his third boundary.

Sri Lanka reached their fifty just two balls quicker than Australia thanks to a cracking shot to third man boundary off Cutting by Thirimanne in the last ball of the 15th over.

Australia were unsuccessful with a decision referral after a confident leg before appeal against Dilshan off left arm spinner Xavier Doherty's second over in which Thirimanne was let off by Smith who failed to hang on to a sharp chance.

Thirimanne mixing aggression with compact defence overshadowed his more senior partner Dilshan to lead Sri Lanka's run chase.

He refused to be tied down by the Aussie attack punching holes with his cavalier approach.

Thirimanne's fifth boundary came via a upper cut between cover and point off Richardson.

Thirimanne turned aggressor giving the charge to Ben Cutting to cut him past backward point for his third boundary in the 13th over.

Left hander Tharanga attempting to drive Clint McKay only succeeded in getting a thin inside edge to be caught behind by Brad Haddin.

Sri Lanka fared only slightly better than Australia in the opening Powerplay overs.

Australia were two down for 21 while Sri Lanka managed to recovery from the early dismissal of Tharanga to reach 32 for one after 10 overs.

Earlier, a defiant half century by Brad Haddin (50) helped Australia make 170.

After overnight rain delayed the start, Australia got off to a horror start with both openers Aaron Finch and Phillip Hughes back in the pavilion by the seventh over with just 12 runs on the board.

George Bailey (26) and David Hussey (29) revived the innings but Sri Lanka struck at regular intervals to have Australia reeling at 83 for 6.

Haddin then led the rearguard action with a dogged knock during a seventh wicket alliance of 57 with Ben Cutting (27).

Lasith Malinga struck a double blow to cause another mini collapse to finish with impressive figures of 3 for 32 from nine overs.

Haddin was last man out holing out to Thirimanne off Thisara Perera for 50 off 67 balls with four boundaries and a six.

Sri Lanka's debutant wicketkeeper Kushal Perera had a field day having four scalps behind the stumps.

Angleo Mathews and Thisara Perera bowled impressively to pick up two wickets apiece.

Haddin defied the Sri Lanka attack smashing Thisara Perera for a huge six over mid wicket into the crowd.

McKay was adjudged caught behind off Perera the decision being given after much deliberation following a referral as Australia lost their ninth wicket in the 46th over.

The two Pereras combined once again to give Kushal his fourth scalp on his one-day international debut.

Malinga broke Australia's resistance with a double strike in the 40th over by removing Cutting and Richardson but Clint McKay averted the hat-trick ball with a confident forward defensive shot.

Cutting became Kushal Perera's third victim with the debutant keeper latching on to an outside edge with a diving effort to end the seventh wicket partnership which yielded 57 runs.

Richardson was trapped leg before with a deceptive low full toss.

Cutting made 27 off 45 balls with two boundaries.

Haddin led Australia's recovery with a defiant stand for the seventh wicket with Cutting.

Haddin slammed Malinga over mid on for his third boundary to bring up their 50 partnership off 83 balls in the 38th over.

He brought up the 100 of the Australian innings by gliding Malinga to the square leg boundary in the 31st over.

Australia were in deep trouble after suffering a double blow as David Hussey was run out by a direct hit from Dilshan and Glen Maxwell caught behind off Mathews who bowled a wicket maiden.

Hussey made 29 off 41 balls with five boundaries while Maxwell made 8.

Sri Lanka bowled with their tails up to claim their fourth wicket as Steven Smith was caught behind off Thisara Perera becoming debutant KushalPerera's first ODI victim.

Australia lost their third wicket when George Bailey was caught at mid wicket by Lahiru Thirimanne off Malinga who survived some anxious moments before his delivery was declared not a no-ball.

Bailey made 26 off 46 balls with two boundaries and a six adding 39 runs for the third wicket with David Hussey.

Malinga let Australia off the hook with David Hussey punching him through the covers in two consecutive deliveries in his second over.

Earlier, he allowed Hussey to scramble back failing to back up a brilliant underarm throw by Jeewan Mendis from extra cover.

George Bailey, given a life by Jeewan Mendis who failed onto a sharp catch at extra cover off Mathews, hit the first boundary of the match in the 10th over when drove Mathews past mid on.

Bailey cut Thisara Perera over slips for his second boundary despite a valiant attempt by Ajanta Mendis to drag it back in.

Bailey hoisted Kulasekera over midwicket for the first six of the match in the 14th over.

Australia lost their second wicket when Phillip Hughes was trapped leg before by Kulasekera in the seventh over for 3.

Hughes who made a century on his ODI debut in Melbourne on Friday had to go after being unsuccessful with the referral.

Mathews struck early for Sri Lanka by removing Aaron Finch in the fourth over caught at extra cover by Ajanta Mendis with just seven on the board.

Hughes survived a run out attempt in the third ball of the match after both openers were stranded in the middle going for sharp single but Dilshan missed the stumps.

Sri Lanka made one change to the side which lost in Melbourne with 22 year old wicketkeeper batsman KushalPerera making his ODI debut replacing the injured Dinesh Chandimal.

Rain early in the day dampened the outfield and briefly delayed the start of play without shortening the match.

Jayawardene decided to give his fast bowlers first use of the conditions which were warm and overcast when play began.

Fast bowlers Kane Richardson and Ben Cutting were named to make their one-day international debuts for Australia.

The 21-year-old Richardson replaced Mitchell Starc, ruled out of the match with a minor calf stran, while Cutting took the place of Mitchell Johnson.

Allrounder Steve Smith was named in place of Usman Khawaja, who played the first match at Melbourne which Australia won by 107 runs.


Second limited-overs cricket international between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Adelaide Oval:
Australia InningsAaron Finch c Jeevan Mendis b Mathews 4
Phil Hughes lbw b Kulasekara 3
George Bailey C Thirimanne b Malinga 26
David Hussey run out 29
Steven Smith c K. Perera b T.Perera 8
Glenn Maxwell c K. Perera b Mathews 8
Brad Haddin c Thirimanne b Mendis 50
Ben Cutting c K. Perera b Malinga 27
Kane Richardson lbw b Malinga 0
Clint McKay c K. Perera b T.Perera 4
Xavier Doherty not out 5
Extras (1b,1lb,4w) 6
Overs: 46.5.
Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-12, 3-51, 4-60, 5-82, 6-83, 7-140, 8-140, 9-146, 10-170.
Bowling: Nuwan Kulasekara 9-0-24-1 (1w), Angelo Mathews 10-1-24-2 (1w), Thisara Perera 9-0-40-2 (1w), Lasith Maliga 9-0-32-3, Ajantha Mendis 7.5-0-41-1 (1w), Jeevan Mendis 2-0-7-0.
Sri Lanka InningsUpul Tharanga c Haddin b McKay 0
Tillakaratne Dilshan c Maxwell b Cutting 51
Lahiru Thirimanne not out 102
Kushal Perera not out 14
Extras: (3lb, 2w) 5
TOTAL: (for two wickets) 172
Overs: 40.1 overs. Batting time: 169 minutes.
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-137.
Did not bat: Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis.
Bowling: Clint McKay 10-0-43-1, Kane Richardson 6-3-15-0, Ben Cutting 10-0-42-1 (1w), Xavier Doherty 7-0-34-0, Steve Smith 4-0-16-0, Glenn Maxwell 3.1-0-19-0 (1w).
Toss: Won by Sri Lanka.
Result: Sri Lanka won by 8 wickets to level 5-match series 1-1.
Umpires: Simon Fry, Australia, Marais Erasmus, South Africa.
Third Umpire: Richard Kettleborough, England. Match Referee: Javagal Srinath, Indian.