Aussies beat Sri Lanka, clinch T20 series 2-0

Colombo—Australian bowlers set up a four-wicket victory over Sri Lanka to spoil veteran batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan’s farewell and sweep the two-match Twenty20 series in Colombo on Friday.
The visitors, who won the first match after scoring a world record 263, rode on opener Glenn Maxwell’s 29-ball 66 to chase down their 129-run target with 13 balls to spare.
Earlier, James Faulkner and Adam Zampa claimed three wickets each to restrict the hosts to 128 for nine despite Dhananjaya de Silva’s fighting half-century.
Sri Lanka had been changing their side every match and Australia had already sent several men home, but like a well-heeled theatre troupe, the players that remained delivered the same performance they seemed to have given many times already this series.
Sri Lanka won the toss again, batted again, did well for a little while, but mainly: they collapsed. Australia were disciplined with the ball, and athletic in the field, bruising at the top of their innings, a little shakier in the middle against spin, but got home with some comfort. The margin of this particular victory was four wickets, and they had 13 balls to spare – Glenn Maxwell providing the game’s best innings again. If you have been following this series closely, though, this report may feel familiar.
One point of difference was that this was Tillakaratne Dilshan’s final international. What didn’t change, really, was his limited impact with the bat. He was out for one, edging an attempted cut off John Hastings to slip, before the stadium had even properly filled. Kusal Perera dazzled briefly, sending a top edge off James Faulkner to a running, diving David Warner, to be dismissed inside the Powerplay, for 22. That wicket brought two more in quick succession. Dinesh Chandimal and Kusal Mendis were both out in single figures, seven runs apart.
Steering clear of trouble at the other end, was a serene Dhananjaya de Silva, who had leant into a flowing cover drive off Mitchell Starc fourth ball, and set about gracefully collecting runs into the outfield after that. He was light on his feet to spin, and was wise to the seamers’ pace variations, hitting five fours in his 62 off 50 balls. One of the more memorable of his strokes was a delightfully late dab to third man, off Maxwell. At the other end, teammates played out a series of forgettable innings. Only de Silva and Kusal Perera made double figure scores.
Chamara Kapugedara and Thisara Perera were both out slogging Adam Zampa, and Seekkuge Prasanna holed out at long on, to Faulkner, and it was these two bowlers who each collected three wickets this time around. They were economical as well as penetrative – neither conceding 20 runs off their four overs. John Hastings was also effective taking two for 23, while Mitchell Starc ensured he would not go wicketless in a single innings of the tour, when he had de Silva caught at mid off in the final over of the innings.—AFP

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