Skip to content
Shanaka whirlwind rattles Aussies

If there was one performance that exemplified the adage ‘the glorious uncertainties of cricket’, Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka gave it deep meaning, which single-handedly steered his country to an unlikely victory over Australia in Palekelle.

The top Australians had swept the Lankans in Colombo to take an unassailable lead in the series and were on course for a clean sweep of the three game contest.

They reckoned without Shanaka, who bludgeoned the hitherto dreaded attack through all parts of the hills of Sri Lanka for a 54-25 ball that will live long in the minds of those who saw his epic break away from shocked Australians .

Marcus Stonis perhaps best summed up the result by saying “we’ve probably taken the lead”, not expecting Sri Lanka to pursue what seemed like an insurmountable target at the time.

At 6-108 from 16 overs, all seemed lost for the doomed Sri Lankans when Shanaka headed for the wicket intent on remedying the situation. His savage assault ended up getting the Australians drunk.

(Photo by Jono Searle – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

If the Aussies perceived their tour was going to be a breeze against a Sri Lankan side struggling at the moment for consistency, this match gave reason to believe otherwise.

With a series of five one-day matches to follow and two Tests in Galle, the home side will have plenty of time to determine the strengths of the tourists and formulate a plan to counter them.

Australia is currently one of the benchmarks in world cricket in all formats, so Sri Lankans will see this tour as a valuable experience and a way to ensure their true worth.

The tour has also given the cash-strapped country a way to raise valuable funds which can be used to obtain badly needed essentials.

It was heartwarming to see Steven Smith and Mitchell Stark doing their part, encouraging donations to revive a bankrupt economy in the island nation.

Injuries have plagued the Aussies with Mitchell Starc (severed finger) and Mitchell Marsh (calf foul) making way for Josh Inglis and Jhye Richardson.

But the Australians need not worry as their depth runs deep, especially with the Australian A team also touring Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka will be a different proposition in the Test series, but their concern is with the one-day format, where their wins have been few.

Sports Grp2

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.