Pathum Nissanka century stuns in win - petsitterbank

Pathum Nissanka century stuns in win

Pathum Nissanka scored a brilliant maiden ODI century on Sunday as Sri Lanka stunned Australia to go 2-1 up in the third one-day international.

It is the first time Australia has won back-to-back ODIs against Australia since 2012.

Set a tricky 292 to win after a Travis Head 70, the hosts won comfortably with nine balls to spare in Colombo, in their second straight victory in the five-match series.

Glenn Maxwell bowled Niroshan Dickwella for 25 but helped by the dew, Nissanka and Kusal Mendis ground down the injury-depleted Australian attack of Josh Hazlewood, Jhye Richardson and Matthew Kuhnemann.

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Mendis retired hurt unbeaten on 87 off 85 balls and was replaced by Dhananjaya de Silva who made 25, but Nissanka clung on until almost the end, caught off Richardson for 137 off 147.

Richardson then skittled captain Dasun Shanaka for a duck, but Charith Asalanka — with an ice-cold six in the penultimate over off Hazlewood — and Chamika Karunaratne saw Sri Lanka home.

“In the dressing room we talked about tempo and awareness and they delivered,” Shanaka said. “It is a great chance for this team to pull out a series win.”

“The heat and humidity was a challenge for both teams. But we handled it to our advantage,” said 24-year-old Nissanka.

“The wicket seemed to get a little bit better, it wasn’t stopping as much on the surface. But all credit to Sri Lanka, that was a great run chase,” Australian captain Aaron Finch said.

“It was quite clinical, particularly Nissanka. That was a very classy inning. And Kusal (Mendis), we know the quality of player he is,” Finch said.

Earlier Australia braved a spin onslaught to reach 6-291 in their 50 overs after winning the toss and opting to bat first.

The hosts were once again without key all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga, who injured his groin in the first match while Dickwella replaced Danushka Gunathilaka.

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Australia made three changes for the match, with an injured Smith replaced by Marsh, who returned from an injury of his own. Cameron Green entered the team, as did Jhye Richardson, with Pat Cummins rested and Mitchell Swepson dropped.

Having won the toss and opting to bowl first in the first two matches of the five-match series, Aaron Finch once again won the toss, before opting for a different strategy on a slow and dry Colombo pitch on a scorching hot day.

But it soon backfired as his fellow opener David Warner was dismissed in the third over for just 9 off 12 balls, top-edging an excellent bouncer from Dushmantha Chameera. Warner had tried to pull it to square leg, but only found Maheesh Theekshana at fine leg, leaving Australia 1/14.

Australia appeared to be settling into the innings as Finch and returning bat Marsh built steadily, before Marsh failed to read a slower ball that was tossed up beautifully by 19-year-old talent Dunith Wellalage. Marsh tried to drive on the up and spooned it straight to Kusal Mendis at cover, departing for 10 off 23 to leave Australia 2/47.

The Australian batsmen were all struggling to read the pace of the pitch, with Sri Lanka’s spinners regularly beating the bat and forcing false shots. Captain Finch was by far the most comfortable of the top order, though he was not immune to the mishits and mistimed shots that burned his colleagues from him.

He was dropped in the slips in a sharp chance off spinner Jeffrey Vandersay while on 38 runs, and he soon responded by smashing a deep six – the first boundary in 40 balls – before bringing up his half-century soon afterwards. It was his third against Sri Lanka and 30th in ODI cricket.

Vandersay had nearly nabbed Marnus Labuschagne’s wicket early in his innings with a beautiful piece of bowling, and finally got his man with a delightful dipping leg spinner that beat Labuschagne and sent him almost sprawling to the ground as Dickwella whipped off the bails and stumped the batsman on 29 off 36.

Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne (R) is dismissed by Sri Lanka’s Niroshan Dickwella (L) during the third one-day international (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Australia at R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo on June 19, 2022. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP)Source: AFP

And in his next over Vandersay made it a double, as Finch tried to flick a slower ball off his hips – but only outside-edged it to a diving Dhananjaya de Silva in the slips.

Travis Head was given a lifeline on four runs when Maheesh Theekshana rapped him on the pads and Sri Lanka appealed strongly for LBW. But it was given not out due to the appearance of an inside edge, and Sri Lanka opted not to review. But a replay showed the ball hit the pads before the bat, and should have been given out.

Head and Carey rotated the strike well without scoring boundaries (for 50 balls in a row at one time), rebuilding the innings patiently with a 72-run partnership – and setting the scene for Australia’s strike finisher in Glenn Maxwell to explode.

On 27 runs, Carey smashed a cut shot in the air towards cover, where Shanaka soared brilliantly but couldn’t hold onto what would have been a remarkable one-handed catch.

He began to fire, reaching 49 off 52 runs, before being cruelly denied a half-century when he was out LBW trying to lap sweep Dhananjaya de Silva. Carey unsuccessfully reviewed the decision, with ball tracking finding that the ball would have hit half-way up leg stump.

His departure left Australia 5-193 after 40 overs, and it could have got worse soon after as Maxwell was dropped on his second ball off Wellalage.

Maxwell mistimed the ball and lofted it over Dhananjaya de Silva, who sprinted backwards from cover and dived well, getting two hands on the ball before losing it as he hit the deck.

He raced to 33 off 18 before falling to Sri Lanka’s fielding trap, trying to whack a ball well outside the off stump through to his on side and being caught finely in the deep by Wellalage off Vandersay’s bowling. That left Australia 6/233 with five and a half overs remaining.

Head brought up his 50 in the penultimate over by launching the ball over long on for a six. It was his 12th ODI half-century and his first of him against Sri Lanka, and he added two more sixes in that 21-run 49th over as Australia finished with a flourish.

He finished on 70* off 65, Australia having put on 98 runs in their final 10 overs thanks to a 58-run partnership between Head and Cameron Green.

Green finished unbeaten on 15 off 12, after being dropped by Asalanka at long off after mistiming a slower ball.

Vandersay was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with 3-49 off his 10 overs; Maheesh Theekshana an efficient 0/37 off his 10 overs – and was unlucky not to pick up a wicket.

Youngster Dunith Wellalage finished with 1/56, though 21 of those runs came on the penultimate over of the innings – with Sri Lanka punished for a disastrous decision to throw the left-armer against his left-handed rival in Head.

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