Colombo: Kusal Mendis scored 69 runs from as many balls and was backed up by aggressive 50s from captain Angelo Mathews and Kusal Perera, as Sri Lanka recovered from a poor start to score 288 in the second one-day international against Australia here on Wednesday.
Seam bowler James Faulkner took a hat-trick later in the innings to help Australia bowl Sri Lanka just shy of their allotted 50 overs. Mathews opted to bat first after winning the toss but Sri Lanka soon lost two wickets for 12 runs.
Danushka Gunathilaka, who was called up in place of Milinda Siriwardana and sent to open the innings, was bowled by fast bowler Mitchell Starc for two runs with Sri Lanka’s total on 12. Tillakaratne Dilshan was out in the next over, bowled off the edge of his bat by spinner Nathan Lyon as he attempted a leg glance.
Then Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal, who made 48, shared 125 runs for the third wicket to pull Sri Lanka out of trouble. Chandimal, who top scored with an unbeaten 80 in the first match, scored his runs off 67 balls — hitting one six and two fours before being out lbw to leg spinner Adam Zampa after the Australians sought a review.
Zampa trapped Mendis lbw in his next over for a crucial wicket, after the aggressive Mendis hit struck nine boundaries. Dhananjaya de Silva’s dismissal for 7 runs reduced Sri Lanka to 158-5, but Mathews and Perera shared a stand of 103 from 94 balls to revitalise Sri Lanka’s innings.
Faulkner had good reason to celebrate, dismissing Kusal Perera lbw for 54 with a slower ball in the last ball of the 45th over, returning in the 47th over to have Mathews caught in the deep for 57 and clean bowling Thisara Perera for 12 to complete the hat-trick.
Perera faced 53 deliveries and hit a six and five boundaries, but had a reprieve on 28 when Zampa dropped an easy catch.
Zampa returned the best bowling figures for Australia with 3-42. Starc also took three wickets, but went for 53 runs. Australia lead the five-match series having beaten the hosts by three wickets in the series opener last Sunday. AP
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