Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera (L)
acknowledge their supporters in the crowd after winning
their Twenty/20 match against Australia in Sydney.
David Warner's unbeaten 90 went in vain as Sri Lanka beat
Australia by five wickets in the first Twenty20 International
to go 1-0 up in the two-match series.
Shot-making was not easy on the drop-in pitch at Sydney's
Olympic Stadium but Warner blasted an unbeaten 62-ball 90 in
a brilliant display of controlled aggression to power
Australia to 137 for three wickets.
Kushal Perera (33) and captain Angelo Mathews (35 not out)
shone with the bat for Sri Lanka before Thisara Perera (19
not out) clobbered back-to-back sixes to see the visitors
home with seven balls to spare.
Melbourne hosts the second and final match on Monday.
Australia were reeling at 53-3 in nine overs after opting to
bat first on a tricky surface before Warner added 84 runs in
11 overs with Adam Voges (25 not out) to give the bowlers a
decent total to defend.
The hosts lost opener Aaron Finch (one) in the second over
when Kushal Perera took a diving catch at short cover after
Nuwan Kulasekara had induced a thick leading edge.
Shaun Marsh (six) was sent back by Tillakaratne Dilshan's
direct throw while Australia captain George Bailey (11) did
not last long either, leaving the onus on Warner to put up a
Warner hit Kulasekara for a boundary to bring up his fifty
before hitting Mathews for a four and a six in an eventful
over in which Kulasekara dropped him at mid-wicket when the
batsman was on 69.
In contrast, Sri Lanka were off to a flying start with
openers Kushal Perera and Dilshan (16) adding 46 runs before
departing in successive overs.
Dilshan was soon in his elements, bending down to play that
audacious scoop shot off Mitchell Starc that sailed over the
wicket-keeper's head for a six.
Two overs after playing the "Dilscoop", the right-hander
sustained a nasty cut over his right eye but batted on with a
bandaged eyebrow until Ben Laughlin ran backwards to take a
spectacular diving catch and send him back.
Glen Maxwell removed Kushal Perera and Dinesh Chandimal to
trigger a mid-innings collapse but Mathews stayed put while
Thisara Perera struck successive sixes off Laughlin to score
the winning runs.