Australia secured the dead rubber at Adelaide as Sri Lanka won the three-match T20 series 2-1. Helped by half-centuries from openers, Aaron Finch and Michael Klinger, Australia piled up 187 on the board.
Travis Head and Ben Dunk joined the fun and added quick fire 30s to propel the scoring rate towards the end of the innings. Dilshan Munaweera, opening in place of the suspended Nirosha Dickwella slammed a quick fire 37 before Travis Head's friendly off-spin dismissed him.
Sri Lanka could never climb back into the match from there as Adam Zampa and James Faulkner kept pinning them down with wickets at regular intervals. They were bowled out for 146 in the 18th over as Australia won the game by 41 runs.
Brief Scores: Australia 187/6 in 20 overs(Klinger 62, Finch 53, Shanaka 2/27) beat Sri Lanka 146/10 in 18 overs (Munaweera 37, Zampa 3/25, Faulkner 3/20)
Have a glance at the talking points from the final T20 at Adelaide.
#5 Finch makes most of reprieve
Aaron Finch is not someone you drop early on in the innings. But that is exactly what Munaweera did off the first over of the day from Lasith Malinga. Finch flicked the Lankan bowler straight to Munaweera at square leg who dropped a sitter.
Relishing the reprieve, Finch smoked Kulasekara for a six over long-on off the first ball of the next over. Two fours followed in his next over but it was Seekkuge Prasanna's friendly leg spin that he absolutely creamed. He smashed the leggie for a four and a six to race past his 30s.
Boundaries kept flowing from Finch's bat as Australia made 78 in 8 overs. However, the T20 skipper miscued Prasanna to Siriwardana at long-off in the ninth over as Australia lost their first wicket at 79.
#4 Klinger makes presence felt
Michael Klinger had got starts in both the T20s. But he needed one eye-catching knock to make the selectors rethink before dropping him once the main players returned.
That knock came here at Adelaide as Klinger cashed in on his partner’s aggressive intentions. Klinger enjoyed playing second fiddle and smashing the odd boundary in between. A meaty six off Gunaratne proved that he meant business today.
As Ben Dunk chose to play the big shots early, Klinger settled to rotating the strike smartly, much to the annoyance of the Lankans. He was eventually run out for 62 off 43 balls.
#3 Ben Dunk vs Lasith Malinga
Ben Dunk was the highest run getter of Big Bash 2016. The wicket-keeper batsman showed that he could strike the ball equally well against World class bowlers by tonking Malinga for 18 runs in an over.
The 17th over bowled by Malinga turned out to be a crucial one as Ben Dunk was prepared to attack the slingy fast bowler. After Klinger gave him strike by taking a single off the first ball, Dunk hit Malinga for back to back sixes.
The first one was launched over deep backward square leg and the second, a low full toss, was dismissed over long-on. When Malinga missed the yorker yet again a ball later, Head hit him for four through mid-off. He was, however, dismissed by Malinga in the next over as his attempted loft off a low full toss ended in the lands of long-off.
#2 Adam Zampa puts up a fine display
Zampa is a huge weapon for Australia in limited overs cricket with his variations. The leg-spinner was brought on immediately after the Powerplay and promptly delivered a tight over that went for just 6.
In his next over, Zampa had the danger man, Asela Gunaratne trapped in front for 4 off a googly. Zampa followed that over up with a double-wicket over where he had Chamara Kapugedara and Dasun Shanaka.
Kapugedara was cleaned up by another googly from the wrist spinner and a ball later he had Shanaka plumb in front for a duck off a quick slider. Zampa finished with impressive figures of 3/25.
#1 Faulkner exhibits his variations
James Faulkner is a tricky customer to deal with in T20 cricket. The left-hand seamer has quite a few variations to outfox batsmen and knows how to mix them up to good effect.
He had the first wicket of the Sri Lankan innings when he had Upul Tharanga caught at deep mid-wicket. Faulkner returned to have the dangerous Seekkuge Prasanna caught in the deep.
His third and final over was superb as he gave away just four runs and had Siriwardana caught off his own bowling. His cutters and slower variations meant Sri Lanka could not get him away. His figures read 3-0-20-3 at the end of the game.