Gunaratne fireworks win T20 series for Sri Lanka

Published : 8:56 am  February 20, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (259) reads | 



Asela Gunaratne slammed a pulseracing 84 to power Sri Lanka to a lastball victory against Australia yesterday, clinching their Twenty20 series. Gunaratne pounded the Australian bowlers with five sixes and six fours off 46 balls to get his side home by two wickets to scenes of wild jubilation at Geelong. It was the second time the Sri Lankans had denied Australia victory off the last ball, with Chamara Kapugedera hammering a boundary to win Friday’s opening match in Melbourne.

The Sri Lankans remain unbeaten in five T20Is in Australia, but this was their finest come-frombehind performance in front of their excited expatriate fans. With four overs left Sri Lanka needed 52 to win but an undaunted Gunaratne tore into the Australian attack, slamming Moises Henriques for three consecutive sixes and a four and then taking two fours and a six off Andrew Tye’s final over. The bashful Gunaratne offered only a few words – “It is a very happy moment” – before dashing away from his post-match manof- the-match presentation. “Asela’s was an amazing innings. We lost too many wickets early but Asela finished the game for us,” skipper Upul Tharanga said. “Winning in Australia is a huge achievement.

This is Asela’s first tour to Australia and we are happy.” Australia’s captain Aaron Finch paid tribute to Gunaratne’s dynamic innings. “When you’ve got an in-form batter in, it is tough. That was one hell of an innings,” Finch said. “I thought the way we bowled in the middle was outstanding. When you have a good player in good form, they hurt you. “Sri Lanka played very well there. Take nothing away from them. We have been on the receiving end again. The series is gone, hopefully we can salvage something in Adelaide.” – AFP