Bitter end to tour as Lanka win ill-tempered T20
Thisara Perera produced an outstanding all-round performance to help Sri Lanka to a three-run win over Australia in a rain-affected Twenty20 international on Monday, securing a 2-0 victory in the series. After making a hard-hitting unbeaten 35 in Sri Lanka's innings of 161/4 — bolstered by Mahela Jayawardene's 61* — Perera bowled a pressure-laden final over to give his team victory under the D/L system. The match ended with angry scenes as players from both teams clashed verbally, even during the congratulatory handshakes.
Sri Lanka were displeased that Australian umpires Simon Fry and John Ward had ruled that the match should continue after an almost 90-minute rain delay that left the MCG outfield damp and slippery. The fourth ODI at Sydney last week was abandoned in similar circumstances when Sri Lanka were in a strong position to win both the match and the series. Australia then won the fifth match to tie the series 2-2.
On Monday, Sri Lanka would have won under D/L rules if the umpires had abandoned the match when rain intervened. Australia were 60/2 and trailed the 10-over D/L target by 15 runs. Sri Lanka's coach and captain made clear to the umpires their belief that the match should not continue because of the condition of the playing area.
The umpires ruled otherwise. Five overs had been lost and Australia now needed 62 runs from five overs with eight wickets in hand. Sri Lanka's anger intensified when Shaun Marsh edged Ajantha Mendis to wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal in the first over after the resumption but was adjudged not out. Australia took 16 from the penultimate over, with George Bailey hitting consecutive boundaries and Marsh hitting one off the last ball.
That left them 18 to get from six balls. Australia took two from the first ball but Bailey (45) was dismissed off the second, caught in the deep. The third ball was a no ball from which Marsh was caught on the boundary. Glenn Maxwell scored two boundaries to leave four runs for victory.