Sri Lanka tour of Australia, Only T20I: Australia v Sri Lanka at Perth, Oct 31, 2010
Sri Lanka 135/3 (16.3/20 ov) beat Australia 133/8 (20/20 ov) by 7 wickets (with 21 balls remaining)
A brutal Sri Lankan performance delivered Australia their first Twenty20 defeat at home as Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara thrust the tourists to a commanding seven-wicket victory. The hosts were first overwhelmed by a stunning bowling display, dropping to 5 for 43 in the 11th over and finishing at 8 for 133, before becoming the victims of an explosive batting effort.
The opener Dilshan guided the small chase with 41 off 34 balls while the captain Kumar Sangakkara registered a delightful 44 off 43 and the game was over 21 balls early. With the English squad staying a short walk away as they prepare for the Ashes – Kevin Pietersen was in the stands – Australia suffered their fourth Twenty20 loss in a row and their first in 11 games at home. The defeat felt as severe as the result inflicted by England in Southampton at the start of Australia’s failed 2005 Ashes tour.
Mahela Jayawardene and Dilshan raced to 35 in the fourth over and Dilshan kept up the pace when Jayawardene went for 24 off 16. Sangakkara joined Dilshan and they were rarely troubled as they drove, flicked and forced boundaries. Dilshan, who was stumped off Steven Smith, finished with six fours and Sangakkara gained six of them as the pair enjoyed tormenting the inexperienced attack. Thisara Perera then arrived to finish the game off by thrashing Smith for a six, a four and another six over long-on to finish the match.
Jayawardene crashed two boundaries from Clint McKay’s opening over and then blasted two more from Peter Siddle, who got his revenge when the batsman edged behind. Siddle was back in Australian colours for the first time since January and the breakthrough was a relief for the hosts. Dirk Nannes was then fortunate to have Dinesh Chandimal (2) lbw to a ball pitching outside leg, but that was when Australia’s luck ran out.
Brad Haddin and Smith were in charge of Australia’s first-innings rescue and put on a much-needed 66 in 7.2 overs. Haddin, playing his first international since the World Twenty20 in May, showed his elbow was healed with 35 off 30 balls, including a crisp straight six off Dilhara Fernando.
However, the offspinner Suraj Randiv dismissed Haddin and Smith (34) in the same over to stop them from racing away. Sri Lanka’s attack was brilliant as it dominated on a surface offering some helpful bounce. Randiv was impressive with 3 for 25 off four overs while Malinga (1 for 26) and Fernando (1 for 29) were fast and uncomfortable. Perera also chipped in with a very handy 2 for 22 from four.
Clarke delivered an immediate surprise after winning the toss by walking out to open with David Warner, but the restructure didn’t provide the required boost as he strolled to 16 off 19. He has been criticised for his run-a-ball scoring in a game that demands much more but the move back-fired, especially in comparison to the output of his opponents.
Clarke managed the first four in the third over and also lifted Muttiah Muralitharan for six, but in between the boundaries a frustrated David Warner (2 off 8 ) miscued Fernando. Fernando then removed Clarke with a spectacular back-pedalling, one-handed catch at mid-on to turn the volume down on a crowd desperate for the locals to fire.
The exits of David Hussey (7) and Shane Watson (4) added to the Australian headaches, leaving them at 4 for 31 in the eighth over. When Cameron White edged behind to Malinga five of their main men were gone just after the halfway point of the innings. From that point the game was Sri Lanka’s.