Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka reflected on the side’s miraculous and significant win in the third T20I against Australia in Pallekele on Saturday, June 11.
Having won the first two T20Is on the back of their all-round brilliance, Australia looked set to win the third and hand the Lankan Lions a 3-0 clean sweep in the first leg of their multi-format tour.
The hosts needed 59 off the final three overs in their run-chase of 177, with Shanaka (6 off 12 at that point) joined by Chamika Karunaratne. A spectacular turnaround followed, with the skipper smashing 48 off the next 13 to help his side seal the game with four wickets and a ball to spare.
SL were aided by the four wides bowled during the final two overs of the chase, one of which, delivered by Jhye Richardson in the penultimate over, turned out to be a close call and sparked a debate.
Nonetheless, it turned out to be a joyous evening for the Sri Lankan fans, at a time during which the country is going through a deeply troubled economic crisis.
Shanka, who tonked five fours and four sixes to pull off an incredible heist, looked back at the thrilling passage and emphasised the significance of the win for his country.
“It was a huge joy to me to be able to play an innings like that. There are very few innings like that. My plan was to hit three boundaries an over in the last three overs.
That would mean 54 runs [if all the boundaries were sixes]. With the singles we would get, there’d be a chance. There was a chance it would all go wrong, but I was able to do my best. It was a great win – not just for me, but the whole country,”he said after the game, as per ESPNCricinfo.