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Buoyant Sri Lanka look to close out series win as Australia search for right balance
Tuesday, 21 June 2022 - 23:11 | Views - 43

The visitors' spinners were handled with ease in Colombo leaving Aaron Finch with issues to ponder


Other than the opening T20I which was a very one-sided affair, Sri Lanka have heaped the pressure on Australia during this tour. They nearly stole a low-scoring clash in the second T20I, thrillingly won the third game off the bat of captain Dasun Shanaka, were only beaten by a Glenn Maxwell special at the start of the one-dayers and have now taken back-to-back ODIs against Australia at home* for the first time in 20 years to stand on the cusp of a series victory.

It was a superb run-chase on Sunday night in Colombo when they made what had looked a strong total prove under par. It shone a harsh light on Australia's spin bowling - which, admittedly, is missing the first-choice pair of Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar - and raised questions about the allrounder-heavy balance of the side.

However, with these matches not carrying any Super League points Australia do have one eye on the upcoming Test series, especially when it comes to their all-format fast bowlers. Barely a day has gone by on this tour without an injury being added to the list and there will have been some concern when Maxwell grabbed at his left leg after a piece of fielding.


Significantly for Sri Lanka they have won the last two matches without their main weapon Wanindu Hasaranga who had appeared the major threat to Australia. Instead the 19-year-old Dunith Wellalage has shown outstanding composure in his first international series and legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay caused plenty of problems in the third game with sharp turn.

The starring role in the record chase in Colombo, though, went to Pathum Nissanka, who played the innings of his short career with a superbly-paced 137, as he battled the oppressive heat which forced Kusal Mendis to retire hurt. It was a statement innings from a young player who should have a huge role to play in Sri Lanka's future


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