Colombo, Aug 9: Ajantha Mendis turned back the clock to produce a mesmerising spell of spin bowling that led to Sri Lanka's victory against Australia in the second T20 game of the series on Aug 8. He ended with figures of 6/16 which by far is the best in international T20 history.
This victory ensured that the Sri Lankans won the T20 series 2-0, thus gaining a slight psychological advantage before the ODI series against the same opponents.
Chasing a target of 158, Australia's chase began in the right earnest with Shane Watson and David Warner ripping into the Sri Lanka's new ball bowlers. Watson in particular, was the more impressive of the two as he cut, drove and pulled Sri Lankan bowlers with disdain and appeared to make a mockery of the target.
But before, the burly all-rounder could settle the fate of the match, Ajantha Mendis had him caught by Perera. Watson scored 57 of 24-balls and it was largely due to his efforts that Australia scored 71 runs in the mandatory power-play overs.
What soon followed was a procession of sorts, when Mendis removed Warner and Shaun Marsh of consecutive deliveries in his second over. David Hussey, too fell without contributing match to his team's total. He could score only 2 runs before being clean bowled by Rangana Herath.
Cameron White and Steven Smith then held up the innings a bit before Mendis returned to clean up the Australian batting. White hit three sixes in his 32-ball 39 and was clean bowled by Perera in the final over of the match.
In between Smith, Haddin and Mitchell Johnson fell to Mendis for scores of 12, 0 and 7 respectively, leaving White with the company of tail-enders. What was until then a manageable target was made to look like a mountain of runs with Mendis running rampage. With more than 14 runs required in the final over and only two wickets in hand, white was left with no option other than throwing in his bat.
Australia, thus ended 8 short of the Sri Lankan total and lost the series 2-0.
Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat but unlike the first T20 match of the series, they just could not forge partnerships and left losing wickets at regular intervals. Mahela Jayawardene held up one end and scored a belligerent 86 of 63 balls before being removed by Brett Lee in the final over of the Sri Lankan innings.
Sangakkara, was the second highest scorer with 24 runs while eight other batsmen from his side could not manage to reach double figures. For Australia, speedster Brett Lee along with Hastings was the wrecker-in-chief as both of them picked up three wickets each to restrict Sri Lanka to 157 runs.
The ODI series between the two sides starts from Aug 10.