Gunaratne's 84 leads Sri Lanka to series win vs Australia

Fast bowler Jhye Richardson became Australia's fourth debutant of the T20 series

For the second time this weekend, Australia's understudy Twenty20 team has lost a match to Sri Lanka at the death.

A final-ball thriller at the MCG.

Sri Lanka kept their cool to win the opening Twenty20 global against Australia at the MCG, with a last-ball four from Chamra Kapugedera sealing a five-wicket win.

Munaweera fell shortly after for 44, but Gunaratne and Milinda Siriwardana ensured Sri Lanka didn't crumble under the mounting pressure as they accumulated a 60-run stand, during which Gunaratne surpassed his fifty.

And yet Australia's captain, Aaron Finch, said he felt that while Asela Gunaratne remained at the crease, Sri Lanka still had a chance of achieving their goal, an assessment that turned out to be accurate, to the delight of thousands of Sri Lankan fans at Geelong's Kardinia Oval. In doing so, Geelong will join Cairns as the only non-capital Australian city to host an global cricket match. The Lankans thus took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Put into bat, the hosts could not make the most of a strong start and posted a modest 168-6 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. But with Test stars Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood otherwise engaged in India, a weakened attack including debutant Jhye Richardson, 20, and Perth Scorchers teammates Tye and Ashton Turner, helped dismantle the tourists' top order.

A spirited 52-run partnership between Gunaratne and Chamara Kapugedera steadied the innings, however, before the 31-year-old Gunaratne took charge to guide his side to an unlikely victory.

Kapugedera did the trick as he cracked the ball through the covers for a boundary to seal the deal for Sri Lanka.

Legspinner Adam Zampa was a surprise omission from Sunday's team, but Finch said that was purely because of the wet conditions.

In his place came Ben Dunk to bolster the batting, while young quick Richardson was handed an global debut at the expense of fellow paceman Billy Stanlake. As such he needs to lead the way for the bowlers, and, while he bowled with speed and hostility at the MCG, he will want to offer a greater wicket-taking threat at Kardinia Park.

Chasing a 174-run target, Sri Lanka needed 36 off the final two overs and then came the Gunaratne storm.

Henriques paced the Australian innings with an unbeaten 56, his first T20 global half century, while Kulasekara ended the innings with three wickets in four balls.

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