Pallekele, Aug 7: Sri Lanka began their home series against Australia with a comfortable 35-run win in the first of two twenty20 internationals. Goaded on by a 104 off 57 from opener Tillkaratne Dilshan, the hosts amassed an imposing 198 runs off their 20 overs. In response, Austraila didn't look threatening enough from the start and ended their innings at 163/8 with David Warner standing out as the lone half-centurion and Mitchell Johnson and Steven O'Kieff attempting some rear-guard heroics, but in vain.
Being put into bat, Sri Lanka's innings began on a positive note with Mahela Jayawardene knocking a four each of Brett Lee and Steven O'Kieff in the first two overs. But in the following over, Lee bowled the batsman for 11. Then Tillakaratne Dishan took on the mantle of aggressor, slamming the same bowler for a four and a six to round off the over.
Chandimal came to the party, with two back-to-back fours off Mitchell Johnson before the bowler returned in the sixth over to get him out hit wicket for 11 as the Lankan score read 42/2 in 5.3 overs. Then after Kumar Sangakkara and Dilshan took the total past 50, the fours started coming thick and fast. Soon Watson sent back Sangakkara for 30 with the score 94/3 in 12.3 overs.
Soon after crossing 100, Dilshan upped the ante, striking four boundaries off John Hastings in the 16th over as the score surged to over 130. Then just after Lanka crossed 150, two sixes and two fours came off Dilshan's bat off a hapless Watson. In the last over, innings, Dilshan went hammer and tongs at Johnson, knocking off two fours and two sixes again, leaving the total at 198/3.
Australia's response was subdued at the start with David Warner striking the first four at the end of the second over. Then Shane Watson carted Kulasekara for a six before getting out to him next ball, but Warner rounded off the over with two more boundaries.
Then Perera removed Shaun Marsh and David Hussey cheaply, leaving Australia at 53/3 after 7 overs. Warner kept motoring along defiantly but wickets continued to tumble around him as Cameron White, Steven Smith and Haddin failed to leave much of a mark.
Once David Warner himself was sent back by Kulasekara, for 53, Australia were facing the daunting task of making nearly 100 runs in 5 overs. Though latter order batsmen Mitchell Johnson and Steven O'Kieff pitched in with quick 22s, it was too little too late and Australia were on the verge of certain defeat. Last man John Hasting finished off the match with a 6 off Prasad, but Australia had fallen 35 runs short of Lanka's total.