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Cricket | International

SL hold nerve in thriller at MCG



Sri Lanka won an ill-tempered and rain-shortened final T20 international against Australia off the last ball at the MCG on Monday.

Full Scorecard: Australia v Sri Lanka

Angry words were exchanged as the two sides walked off, with Sri Lanka winning by two runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method.

The tourists scored 161 for four wickets off their 20 overs but a shower which interrupted the home side's innings reduced the match by five overs.

That left Australia with a revised victory target of 122 off 15 overs -- meaning they needed 62 more off 30 balls with eight wickets in hand as play resumed after the rain.

The hosts finished on 119 for three after a tense final over which began with them needing 18 for victory.

Skipper George Bailey was caught for 45 off 36 balls with 16 more needed from the final four.

All-rounder Glenn Maxwell came in, requiring 12 runs off the last three, and smashed consecutive fours off Thisara Perera.

However the bowler recovered his composure to control the last delivery after lengthy consultations with teammates.

The time taken to bowl that last ball sparked some ugly on-field exchanges and ex-skipper Mahela Jayawardene was in the thick of it before Bailey restored some calm.

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Jayawardene had earlier cracked an unbeaten 61 from 45 balls in a well-built innings.

He came in with the tourists in trouble on just 39 after Australia had snared three early wickets by the seventh over.

But Jayawardene opened up in the final overs, striking two sixes and five fours. He was ably assisted by the big-hitting Perera, who plundered 35 off just 15 balls.

The pair took 20 runs off the last over.

Australia, a young side building for the future and facing the world's top T20 outfit, also lost early wickets. David Warner fell for seven and Aaron Finch went for the same score in the fifth over.

The tourists won the first match by five wickets at the Sydney Olympic Stadium on Saturday night.

Sri Lanka and Australia drew the one-day series 2-2 after Australia swept the tests 3-0.

AUSTRALIA: DA Warner, AJ Finch, SE Marsh, GJ Bailey (capt), AC Voges, MS Wade (wk), GJ Maxwell, JP Faulkner, MA Starc, XJ Doherty, B Laughlin

SRI LANKA: MDKJ Perera, TM Dilshan, LD Chandimal (wk), DPMD Jayawardene, AD Mathews (capt), BMAJ Mendis, NLTC Perera, KMDN Kulasekara, BAW Mendis, SL Malinga, A Dananjaya

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