Asela Gunaratne of Sri Lanka is congratulated by teammates after hitting the winning runs to win the second International Twenty20 match between Australia and Sri Lanka at Simonds Stadium.
Asela Gunaratne of Sri Lanka is congratulated by teammates after hitting the winning runs to win the second International Twenty20 match between Australia and Sri Lanka at Simonds Stadium. Quinn Rooney

Aussies lose on last ball again

CRICKET: Australia has suffered a horrible case of deja vu in Geelong.

After losing the opening match of the T20 series against Sri Lanka in Melbourne off the final ball, the visitors repeated the dose on Sunday night in Geelong.

Chasing 174 for victory, Sri Lanka was seemingly out of the match after losing a stack of early wickets.

But some incredible hitting late in the match from Asela Gunaratne stole the win from under Australia's nose.

Asela Gunaratne played one of the great T20 innings to win the game and the series for Sri Lanka.

The right-hander's late heroics stunned the Aussies and the tourists won a game that seemed unwinnable when they were 5/40.

Needing two runs off the last ball of the match, Gunaratne crunched Andrew Tye over mid off for four to send his teammates into raptures.

Sri Lanka needed 48 runs to win off the final three overs, and 36 from the final two.

Gunaratne then smoked three consecutive sixes and a four off Moises Henriques in the 19th over to put his team on the verge of an incredible comeback.

Nuwan Kulasekara fell on the first ball of the 20th over but Gunaratne kept his cool, hitting a four and a six before his final-ball boundary to condemn the Aussies to a series loss.

He creamed 37 runs off his final nine deliveries to finish his incredible knock unbeaten on 84 off just 46 deliveries.

A 52-run sixth-wicket stand between Chamara Kapugedera (32) and Gunaratne rescued Sri Lanka from almost certain defeat, but when Kapugedera departed with more than 80 runs still required, Gunaratne took it upon himself to see his side home.

Henriques was having a much better time of it earlier in the match before he conceded 22 runs off the penultimate over.

The all-rounder top scored for the Aussies, finishing the innings on 56 not out from 37 balls.

Michael Klinger (43) and Ben Dunk (32) also made solid contributions at the top of the order, but a late collapse proved costly for the hosts.

They lost 5/29 to be bowled out on the last ball of the innings. No batsman who batted below no. 4 made it to double figures.

News Corp Australia

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