Sending a strong statement to the opponents, Sri Lanka thrashed Australia Legends by 38 runs in match number three of the Road Safety World Series 2022 here at Green Park on Sunday (September 11). The Sri Lankan cricket sent shockwaves in world cricket as the legends won here while the men’s national side lifted its sixth Asia Cup title with a win over Pakistan in a thrilling final in Dubai.
Chasing a mammoth 219, Australia batters were bundled out for 180 in 18 overs as they lost wickets at regular intervals which proved fatal for them. Australia Legends were also off to a steady start in the big run chase as their opening pair of Shane Watson and Cameron White shared a stand of 75 in 7 overs.
Once Watson was caught by an alert Dilshan at cover off Chaturanga de Silva, Australia witnessed a mini-collapse. All-rounder Brad Hodge (1) and White fell soon after and joined their skipper in the dressing room. As pacers went for runs, the captain introduced the spinners Chaturanga de Silva and Jeevan Mendis in the middle overs and the duo bowled well in tandem. They picked up wickets at regular intervals and also put a brake on the flow of runs.
Australia once again saw an opportunity in the run chase as Ben Dunk and Callum Ferguson shared a stand of 47 runs off 23 balls but the duo was dismissed in quick succession. The lower-middle order tried keeping the asking rate in check but lost wickets at regular intervals as well. In the 16th over Nuwan Kulasekara picked up two-in-two and dismissed John Hastings and Chad Sayers in consecutive balls. Eventually, the entire Australian team folded in 18 overs. Kulasekara was also the pick of the wickets for Sri Lanka as he returned with a four-for. Captain Dilshan was named the player of the match for his match-winning ton.
Earlier in the day, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Dilshan Munaweera set the stage on fire with their record-breaking opening stand to help Sri Lanka post a massive 218/1 in the stipulated 20 overs. The SL opening pair of Dilshan Munaweera and skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan came out all guns blazing in front of a star-studded Australian bowling attack, making mincemeat of all the bowlers.
Leading from the front and living up to his reputation of being one of the most destructive batters going into the tournament, Tillakaratne Dilshan slammed the first century of the season.
Dilshan scored 107 off 56 deliveries before getting bowled by Brett Lee in the 19th over. The stylish batter hammered 14 fours and four maximums in his entertaining knock. Meanwhile his partner, Munaweera remained unbeaten on 95 off 63 balls. He smashed 10 boundaries and two sixes in his unbeaten knock. Making most of the good batting conditions, the right-handed batters from Sri Lanka dealt in fours and sixes and played some outrageous shots all-round the park.
Sri Lankan Legends – who elected to bat first – sent a strong message to the opposing teams that they are going to be a tough nut to crack in the upcoming games. The openers shared a mammoth 208-run-stand for the first wicket, which is a record opening partnership in the tournament. It was the biggest stand for any wicket in the tournament.