Dasun Shanaka stunner leads Sri Lanka to victory in the third T20 match against Australia

Sri Lanka stunned Australia in their third and final Twenty20 International when skipper Dasun Shanaka scored an unbeaten half-century to give his side a spectacular end-of-life victory on Saturday.

The hosts were chasing a target of 177 runs to end the series on a high after losing badly in the first two matches.

Shanaka scored an unbeaten 54 off 25 balls with the help of five fours and four sixes to win by four wickets.

Shanaka and tailender Chamika Karunaratne shared a 69-run stand for the seventh wicket when they were struggling at 108 for six in the 15th over.

Sri Lanka needed 59 runs from the last three overs, with the pair facing key bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Jhye Richardson.

Needing 19 runs in the final over bowled by Hazlewood, the captain hit two fours and a six and leveled the score with one ball to spare.

Hazlewood then bowled a wide for the home team to win.

Openers Danushka Gunathilaka and Pathum Nisanka got off to a great start in reply to Australia’s 176-5.

Gunathilaka scored 15 runs in 12 balls before Charit Aslanka joined Nisanka.

The pair added 42 runs for the second wicket. Aslanka scored 26 off 19 balls before being caught by Aaron Finch off Marcus Stoinis.

Bhanuka Rajapakse (17), Kusal Mendis (six) and Wanindu Hasaranga (eight) could not accelerate the score before Shanaka and Karunaratne took up the challenge.

Earlier, Australia won the toss and elected to bat with the opening pair David Warner and Finch before Steven Smith and Stoinis took their team to 176 for five.

Warner and Finch first put on 43 runs.

Finch made 29 off 20 balls before spinner Mahesh Thekshana removed his off-stump as the Australian captain attempted a slog-sweep.

All-rounder Glenn Maxwell started his innings with a big six off the next ball.

Maxwell hit Hasaranga for another six in the seventh over, but fell for 16 off nine balls when an attempt was made to hit the spinner in the ninth over of the long-on boundary, where Gunatilaka was caught.

After reviewing the hosts’ not out decision, Tekshana dismissed Warner for 39 off 33 balls in the next over.

The spectators grappling with the line-up after Josh Inglis, who replaced injured Mitchell Marsh for the match, was run out for a duck off the next ball.

Stoinis then hit three fours and a six in his 23-ball knock of 38 before he was stumped by Mendis off Praveen Jayawickrama.

Smith remained unbeaten on 37 off 27 balls with two fours and two sixes, with wicketkeeper Matthew Wade contributing 13.

Sri Lankan fast bowler Dushmantha Chamira was the most expensive bowler for 46 runs in his four overs.

Teekshana took two wickets for 25 runs while Hasaranga and Jayavikrama took one wicket each.

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