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Australia pips Sri Lanka in Super Over, takes 2-0 series lead

Sri Lanka opener Pathum Nissanka’s brilliant 73 from 53 balls went in vain as Australia won the second T20 International in the Super Over.

Australia posted 164 for 6 and was cruising to victory until powerful hitting by Nissanka and captain Dasun Shanaka (34 from 19 balls) kept the touring side in the game and it finished level on 164 for 8.

In the tie-breaking Super Over, Australia’s Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell easily chased down the five-run target set by Sri Lanka to put its side 2-0 up in the five-match series.

Josh Hazlewood was the pick of Australia’s bowlers, taking 3 for 22 in addition to his miserly Super Over, capping a brilliant weekend for the 31-year-old after he was bought for USD 1 million in the Indian Premier League auction on Saturday.

A superb run-out by Steve Smith at deep midwicket ended Shanaka’s effort, leaving Sri Lanka at 115 for 5 after 16 overs and the game delicately poised.

Nissanka holed out in the deep with 12 off four balls required, and one ball later there was concern for Smith who hit his head on the ground in an acrobatic, but unsuccessful, effort to save a six. It was later confirmed that the 32-year-old had suffered concussion and would miss the rest of the series.

“Steve Smith has concussion and will be subject to low level protocols for the next few days and full recovery in 6-7 days,” Cricket Australia said in a statement.

‘Sloppy’

Australia captain Aaron Finch said: “It was great to get the win, but pretty sloppy overall.”

After losing the toss, Finch survived two close lbw reviews before departing for 25, stumped off the bowling of Wanindu Hasaranga. The leg-spinner ended with figures of 2 for 33. Josh Inglis top-scored with 48, including five boundaries.

Sri Lanka, which did not concede a six until Matthew Wade’s 20th over cameo of 13 from four balls against Nuwan Thushara, bowled with discipline and the seamers utilised clever changes of pace.

“The boys showed character, these youngsters when they go to the middle, they take the fight on,” Shanaka said.

The series moves to Canberra for game three on Tuesday.

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