Pathum Nissanka celebrated the 100th anniversary of the beautiful ODI on Sunday as Sri Lanka stunned Australia to go up 2-1 in a third day of international competition. Set a 292 trick to win after Travis Head 70, the Warriors won comfortably with nine balls to advance in Colombo, in their second straight victory in a five-game series. Glenn Maxwell Bow Niroshan Dickwella for 25 but helped by Dew, Nissanka and Kusal Mendis land to the injury-depleted Australian attack of Josh Hazlewood, Jhye Richardson and Matthew Kuhnemann.
Mendis retired injured unbeaten on 87 off 85 balls and was replaced by Dhananjaya de Silva who made 25, but Nissanka stuck on until almost the end, taking Richardson for 137 off 147.
Richardson then skittled captain Dasun Shanaka for a duck, but Charith Asalanka – with an ice-cold six penultimate off Hazlewood – and Chamika Karunaratne found Sri Lanka home.
“In the living room we talk about time and attention and they deliver,” Shanaka said. “It is a great opportunity for this team to pull out a series win.”
“Night and humidity are a challenge for both parties. But we treat it to our advantage,” said Nissanka, 24.
“The wicket looks a little better, it doesn’t stand as much in the world.
“It’s a lot of hospital, especially Nissanka. That was a very good innings. And Kusal (Mendis), we know the quality of the player he is,” Finch said.
Before Australia they had the courage to reach 291-6 in their 50-man squad after the defeat and chose to retire first.
Opener David Warner went for nine in the third and Mitchell Marsh, back from injury, struggled to go and went for 10 off 23 deliveries.
Marnus Labuschagne and Finch added 69 before Labuschagne stumed off Jeffrey Vandersay for 29 and Finch suppressed the same foul to remove two after later making 62 off 85.
Head and Alex Carey added 72 before de Silva trap Carey foot-before. Maxwell hit 33 off 18 but became Vandersay’s third scalp, miscuing spinner to Dunith Wellalage scurrying back from the midwicket.
But Head stood firm, reached his half-century and suffered Wellalage with three sixes in penultimate over and ended 70 not out off 65 deliveries.
Vandersay finished with a score of 3 for 49.
Already missing Marcus Stoinis, Kane Richardson and Mitchell Starc, Australia released Steve Smith after the batsman injured his left batting quad on Thursday of a 26-run defeat at Pallekele.
Cameron Green and Richardson return from injury, while test heroes Pat Cummins and Mitchell Swepson. Spinner Kuhnemann is also available for injured Ashton Agar.
The hosts are also without key-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga, who injured his stomach in the first game while Dickwella replaced Danushka Gunathilaka.
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