Colombo: Sr In-form batsman Dinesh Chandimal scored a defiant century to lift Sri Lanka to 226 all out against a persistent Australian bowling attack in the third one-day international here on Sunday.
Sri Lanka, looking to give retiring batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan a winning farewell, suffered from regular wicket-fall after electing to bat first as they were bowled out in 49.2 overs. Pace spearhead Mitchell Starc struck in his very first over to send opener Danushka Gunathilaka, who was clean bowled, trudging back to the pavilion for five. Josh Hazlewood, who shared the new ball with Starc, soon got Kusal Mendis caught at second slip for four to put the hosts in early trouble at 23 for two.
Opener Dilshan and wicketkeeper-batsman Chandimal, who scored 102, then put together a 73-run partnership for the third wicket to steady the Sri Lankan innings. The duo got runs at a brisk pace on what looked like a good batting wicket at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, which was hosting its first day-night match in six years. The 39-year-old Dilshan, who announced on Thursday that he was retiring after the Dambulla ODI, scored a 65-ball 42 before falling to leg-spinner Adam Zampa.
Dilshan, who recorded 10,290 runs in 330 ODIs with 22 hundreds and 47 half-centuries, acknowledged the cheers of a raucous home crowd as he walked back to the pavilion. Zampa, who returned with impressive figures of 3-38, got another wicket in his next over as he trapped Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews lbw for two. Chandimal, who has recorded five half-centuries and a ton in the last seven ODI innings, registered his fourth ODI century in his 117th match to keep the hosts in the hunt after they were reduced to 178 for eight.
Chandimal found the perfect partner in Dilruwan Perera, who made 17 off balls, as the duo put together a crucial 39-run ninth wicket partnership to give the Sri Lankan total some respect. Zampa led the Australian bowling charge with three wickets while Starc, James Faulkner and John Hastings took two each.
The five-match ODI series is tied at 1-1.