sport

Sri Lanka hold nerve for win

Sri Lanka clinched a two-run win in a rain-affected second Twenty20 International against Australia at the MCG.

An unbeaten half-century from Mahela Jayawardene and a bludgeoning knock of 35 not out from Thisara Perera helped the tourists reach 161-4 after being put into bat.

Australia had reached 60-2 at the halfway stage of their reply, openers David Warner and Aaron Finch having fallen for seven apiece, when the heavens opened and play was held up in Melbourne.

Their equation was adjusted by Duckworth-Lewis to a further 62 off 30 deliveries and despite the best efforts of skipper George Bailey (45) they were still left needing 18 off the last over.

Glenn Maxwell suddenly gave Australia renewed hope with back-to-back boundaries off Perera after replacing Bailey. But, needing another four for victory from the final ball of the contest, he failed to make any contact.

Shaun Marsh finished up unbeaten on 47 having hit two fours and the same number of sixes; the left-hander had put on an 86-run stand with Bailey either side of the showers.

Sri Lanka had earlier produced an explosive finish themselves to boost their final total, including taking 20 off the last over bowled by Ben Laughlin (1-40).

They had slipped to 39-3 before Jayawardene combined with captain Angelo Mathews in a fourth-wicket alliance worth 63, the latter making 25 before falling to the left-arm spin of Xavier Doherty.

Perera replaced him at the crease and duly helped lift the pace in the closing stages, blasting three fours and two sixes during the 15 balls he was on strike.

Jayawardene managed two sixes himself as well as five boundaries, as he finished up on 61. He reached his 50 with a reverse sweep for four against Laughlin that began the carnage in the 20th over of the innings.