AUSTRALIA BEAT SRI LANKA AT MCG TO GO 4 NIL LEAD IN FRONT OF THOUSANDS OF CRAZY SRI LANKAN SUPPORTERS
Australia’s bowlers strangled Sri Lanka with the ball before a middle-overs batting masterclass from Josh Inglis and Glenn Maxwell rescued the home side from a precarious position to post another comfortable six-wicket win at the MCG and go 4-0 up.
Sri Lanka lost 6 for 12 in 19 balls in their under par innings of 8 for 139 with Ashton Agar bowling 10 dot balls to claim 1 for 14 from four, while Jhye Richardson picked up 2 for 20 on his international return. Australia slumped to 3 for 49 in the ninth over in the chase before Inglis stroked a masterful 40 off 20 and Maxwell manipulated the chase with a classy 48 not out from 39 balls to steer his side home with 11 balls to spare and claim player of the match honours.
Maxwell also produced a stunning direct hit run out to remove the dangerous Kusal Mendis during Sri Lanka’s innings just as he and Pathum Nissanka were laying the visitor’s best platform of the series. Nissanka made 46 from 40 but failed to kick on. Australia managed all this without their big three fast bowlers Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins who were sent home to Sydney to rest for the last two games of the series.
Nissanka had been holding up Sri Lanka’s top order in this series but finally he got some support from Mendis. He was one of the few Sri Lankan batters to show some true power-hitting intent in this series. Danushka Gunathilaka struck a powerful six down the ground but fell for a run-a-ball 17 to Ashton Agar. Mendis took a few balls to get off the mark but he opened his account with a sublime piece of timing. He then attacked Maxwell and Kane Richardson with two excellent blows down the ground. Nissanka was busy as well as the pair were intent on facing fewer dot balls in this innings after Sri Lanka absorbed 55 dots in game three in Canberra. They laid the perfect platform moving Sri Lanka to 1 for 73 after 10 with both Mendis and Nissanka well set.
Australia: 143/4 (Maxwell 48*, Kumara 2/22)
Sri Lanka: 139/8 (Nissanka 46, J. Richardson 2/20, K. Richardson 2/44) (Cricinfo)