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Published: Tue, February 21, 2017
Sport | By Desiree Waters

Gunaratne inspires Sri Lanka to series victory over Australia


The visitors won the three match series with one more match to be played.

With Sri Lanka seemingly cruising to victory needing 18 runs off the last three overs, Turner injected fresh excitement into the contest claiming two wickets in the 18th over.

All-rounder Asela Gunaratne struck a superb 84 off 46 balls to inspire Sri Lanka to a dramatic two-wicket victory over Australia in the second Twenty20 global in South Geelong, Victoria on Sunday.

Chamara Kapugedera (32 off 32 balls) was the other notable contributer. Next stop is Kardinia Park in Geelong on Sunday for another big T20 double-header.

"Papare" music was heard in the stands, which also produced roars of delight when the winning runs were struck as Gunaratne's team-mates charged the field to hoist him up on their shoulders.

But anyone who left early didn't count on Asela Gunaratne, who made a stunning 84 not out from 46 balls after making 52 at the MCG on Friday night.

Henriques brought up his maiden T20 fifty in 33 balls with two fours and two maximums. But the man of the moment continued to provide nuisance value, and it soon became much more.

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Sri Lanka's reply started disastrously with Upul Tharanga out for a duck in the first over, caught-behind off Pat Cummins. Leg-spinner Adam Zampa temporarily blunted the Sri Lankan charge when he dismissed Dickwella (30 from 25 balls) and Munaweera (44 from 29) in successive overs.

Ben Dunk dives to avoid being run out.

Cricket Australia says it was "really pleased" with the crowd for Sunday night's Twenty20 global in Geelong despite the attendance being smaller than at any AFL home and away game played at the venue in more than 25 years.

Back for his first T20 worldwide in more than two years, Dunk threatened to take the game away from Sri Lanka but was a deceived by a slower ball from Gunaratne for 32 from 14 balls.

Sri Lanka have travelled to Australia directly from South Africa, where they were thrashed in the ODI series, but they managed to record a 2-1 success against the Proteas in the T20Is. Even Henriques' 56 not out from 37 balls was somewhat scratchy, given he was dropped in the deep by Kapugedera on 19.

Nuwan Kulasekara was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, three of which came in the final over of Australia's innings, while Sanjaya and Lasith Malinga snapped up two wickets apiece.

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