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Gunaratne stuns Australia

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 19-02-2017 skysports.com
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Asela Gunaratne smashed an unbeaten 84 off 46 balls as Sri Lanka secured a final-ball T20I win over Australia for the second time in three days to win the series. 

Set 174, Sri Lanka slid to 40-5 inside the opening five overs, and despite Gunaratne's fifty, and a run-a-ball 32 for Chamara Kapugedera, a hugely unlikely 36 runs were still required to win from the last two overs.

But Gunaratne - who also scored 52 in the opening T20I win - smashed three consecutive sixes as 22 runs were taken off Moises Henriques' penultimate over.

Andrew Tye dismissed Nuwan Kulasekara (12) with the first ball of the final over to have the hosts again on top, only for Gunaratne to take 10 off his next two deliveries and secure a stunning win with a boundary off the final ball with two runs required.

Scores: Australia: 173 lost to Sri Lanka: 176/8 by 2 wickets

It's Sri Lanka's third successive T20 series win in Australia; they lead 2-0 going into the final T20I in Adelaide on Wednesday.

Australia, put into bat on the Simonds Stadium surface in Victoria - hosting its first ever T20I - got off to a strong start as Michael Klinger cracked 43 off 37 balls, while Ben Dunk blasted 32 off 14.

Henriques (56no) built on their fine work by hitting a 33-ball fifty, but regular wickets fell at the other end, with no other Australia middle or lower order batsman scoring double figures.

Kulasekara (4-31), who took three wickets in the final over, and Lasith Malinga (2-31), did the bulk of the damage as Australia were ultimately bowled out for 173 off the final ball of their 20 overs.

In reply, Sri Lanka suffered a dreadful start, losing skipper Upul Tharanga (4) in the opening over, and then when Tye (3-37) dismissed Dilshan Munaweera (10) and Milinda Siriwardana off consecutive deliveries in the fifth over, the visitors were teetering at 40-5.

Gunaratne's 52-run stand with Kapugedera for the sixth wicket brought Sri Lanka back into the game, but at 138-7 with two overs to go, victory looked out of reach.

Not so, as Gunaratne's stunning ball-striking in the closing overs saw Sri Lanka to a sensational comeback victory.

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