Sri Lanka vs Australia,2ndT20 Match – Video Highlights.
Sri Lanka 157/9 (20/20 ov)
Australia 149/9 (20.0/20 ov)
Sri Lanka won by 8 runs
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Sri Lanka were held to 157 for 9 by an improved Australia despite a study in elegance from Mahela Jayawardene in the second Twenty20 in Pallekele.
Again batting first, this time after winning the toss, the Sri Lankans were unable to conjure the partnerships they managed in game one, even as Jaywardene's 86 off 63 balls provided a centrepiece to stand with Tillakaratne Dilshan's effort on Saturday.
Central to Australia's better showing was an outstanding spell by the tall Victorian John Hastings, who returned 3-14 from his four overs. Brett Lee also pouched a trio of victims, but his closing over was spoiled by the concession of five wides from what should have been the final ball of the innings.
Dilshan and Jayawardene each enjoyed narrow escapes in the first two overs. A short ball from Lee had Dilshan spoon an attempted pull shot on the air, only for the bowler to collide with the sprinting non-striker when he might have taken the catch.
Jayawardene himself was fortunate to edge Steve O'Keefe centimetres away from the stumps, but he was soon surging through the gears, driving through cover and then playing an easy pitching wedge down the ground for boundaries.
Two more Jayawardene strokes sent the new ball whistling through square leg and point before Lee won an lbw verdict against Dilshan from a delivery that might have flicked leg stump. A most un-T20 delay then followed for floodlight glare on a sponsor's sign, before Jayawardene resumed his flurry of shots.
White used O'Keefe for a solitary over before replacing him with Mitchell Johnson, just as he had done in the first game, and the formulaic approach suited the Sri Lankans. Jayawardene punctured a packed offside field three balls in a row before White posted a deep cover and reverted to spin.
O'Keefe was recalled to the attack as the fielding restrictions ended, and after his over quelled some of the scoring, Smith's introduction reaped a wicket. One legbreak prompted a Dinesh Chandimal squirt to the third man fence, then another drew a leading edge and a return catch from the same batsman.
Thisara Perera collected one boundary from an O'Keefe misfield, before slicing Johnson to third man, and on 53 Jayawardene appeared rather more lbw than Dilshan had been. However Smith's appeal was denied, and the next ball was swept for six. At times Jayawardene's placement seemed so precise as to be mocking Australia's fielders, and Sangakkara was soon joining him on the attack.
The stand of 46 was broken by Hastings, who followed up a tidy first over by coaxing a miscalculation from Sangakkara, again dismissed after making a start. Jeevan Mendis did not last the over before cuffing on, and at 123-5 Australia had wrested the upper hand. In his next over Hastings splayed the stumps of Angelo Mathews, sapping the innings of further momentum.
Dilruwan Perera miscued O'Keefe down the ground, where Smith held an admirable catch diving forward. Hastings' neat final over completed a spell both incisive and influential, but Jayawardene remained for the final over. First ball he was caught at short third man but was given a reprieve when the third umpire ruled it a no-ball for height, second he struck another boundary, but the third brought a legside swing and a catch at deep midwicket.
The Sri Lankans made two changes to the side to play at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, including Thisara Perera and Ajantha Mendis at the expense of Suranga Lakmal and Dhammika Prasad. Ajantha Mendis' inclusion has further bolstered the Sri Lankan spin attack that caused so many problems for the Australians in the tour opener, and they will need to find a more effective approach in order to avoid a 2-0 sweep by the hosts.
By contrast, Australia's captain Cameron White named an unchanged XI, meaning the batsman Aaron Finch will go home without playing a match.