Australia beats Sri Lanka by six wickets in third T20I, takes unassailable 3-0 lead


Australia’s Kane Richardson and Ashton Agar combined for a miserly bowling performance as the host outclassed Sri Lanka by six wickets in Tuesday’s low-scoring third Twenty20 international in Canberra.

The home side now has an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

Richardson (3-21) and Agar (1-14) helped restrict Sri Lanka to a modest 121-6 from its 20 overs. Australia chased the target with ease, reaching 124-4 with 19 balls to spare.

Glenn Maxwell rode his luck for a quick 39, aiding skipper Aaron Finch (35), who anchored the reply, in overpowering a Sri Lankan bowling attack missing leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, who tested positive for COVID-19 before the match.

Off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana ploughed a lonely furrow for the touring side, accounting for Ben McDermott in the first ball of the innings and finishing with 3-24.

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Batting first after losing the toss, Sri Lanka started sluggishly and was reduced to 51-4 at the halfway mark of its innings after Richardson claimed two early wickets.

“I wasn’t at my best the other night, so it was nice to bounce back and I think that pitch, bowling first, suited my strengths,” Richardson said.

All-rounder Daniel Sams completed a spectacular diving catch in the deep to give Maxwell the prized wicket of Pathum Nissanka, Sri Lanka’s leading run-scorer in this series, who departed for 16.

Sams replaced Steve Smith in the side after the former captain was concussed in the previous match in a flying attempt to save a six.

Captain Dasun Shanaka (39 not out) and Dinesh Chandimal (25) were left to pick up the pieces after Sri Lanka’s top order failed, but were unable to mount an offensive and went six overs without finding the rope as their side limped to a meagre total.

“No positives today, yet again a poor start from our boys as it’s been throughout the series,” Shanaka said.

The series continues in Melbourne with game four on Friday.


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