Australia lose five wickets inside three overs as Sri Lanka level one-day series

Chamika Karunaratne claims man-of-the-match award as Australia run-chase falls short in Pallekele.

Sri Lankan pace bowler Chamika Karunaratne said his match-winning performance in the second one-day international against Australia has helped banish the memories of an injury-curtailed start to his Test career.

Karunaratne suffered a hamstring injury following his debut for Sri Lanka in Canberra in 2019 in what remains his one and only Test.

He has since forced his way back into Sri Lanka's one-day and T20 sides and it was his dismissal of Glenn Maxwell which sparked a dramatic collapse from Australia in Pallekele.

Chasing a revised target of 216 from 43 overs in a rain-affected clash, the tourists - who won Tuesday's opening ODI by two wickets - lost their final five wickets inside three overs to suffer a 26-run defeat.

Australian opener David Warner made 37, the highest knock of the day, and the match remained finely poised until Karunaratne had Maxwell caught by captain Dasun Shanaka for 30 from the second delivery of the 35th over.

Alex Carey, Cummins, Mitchell Swepson and Kuhnemann swiftly followed Maxwell back to the pavilion as the visitors put on only 19 runs for the final four wickets, leaving them all out for 189 with just under six overs remaining.

"I was waiting for this moment for a long time," said Karunaratne, who finished with figures of three for 47. "I knew I could do more for the team and my 100% has come today.

"[Lasith] Malinga and our head coach are fast bowlers, and they were giving inputs. I think as a batsman while bowling. I look to bluff sometimes and it is nice when it comes off. My celebration is for the universe.

"My Test debut was in Australia and I got injured. I came back after two-and-a-half years and that is why my celebration is for the universe."

Earlier, Pat Cummins took four for 35 from 8.4 overs, while debutant spinner Matthew Kuhnemann and Glenn Maxwell chipped in with two apiece, to help restrict Sri Lanka to 220 for nine before inclement weather stopped the innings 14 balls short.

"Chasing in these conditions where the wicket is slow and spinning is something we need to keep improving on," admitted losing captain Aaron Finch. "It is a part of the game we could be better at, but today's game showed we were off it."

The five-match series continues in Colombo on Sunday.

READ MORE: 16 conclusions from England's stunning second Test victory at Trent Bridge

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