Melbourne: Thisara Perera produced an outstanding all-round performance to guide Sri Lanka to a three-run win over Australia in a rain-affected Twenty20 international in Melbourne, securing a 2-0 victory in the series that sparked animosity between the two sides.
After making a hard-hitting unbeaten 35 in Sri Lanka's innings of 161-4 bolstered by Mahela Jayawardene's 61 not out Perera bowled a pressure-laden final over to give his team victory under the Duckworth-Lewis system.
Australia needed 18 runs from Perera's final over to win the match, after being set a revised target of 122 from 15 overs following a lengthy rain delay.
The chase came down to four runs from the last ball but Perera produced a dot ball, after conceding consecutive boundaries from his two previous deliveries, to take the match and the series.
However, the match ended with angry scenes as players from both teams clashed verbally, even during the traditional congratulatory handshakes.
Sri Lanka was displeased that Australian umpires Simon Fry and John Ward ruled the match should continue after an almost 90 minute rain delay, which left the outfield at the Melbourne Cricket Ground damp and slippery.
The fourth one-day international between the teams at Sydney last week was abandoned in very similar circumstances when Sri Lanka was in a strong position to win both the match and the series. Then, a minor rain shower dampened the outfield causing the umpires to call off the match and costing Sri Lanka the chance to take a winning 3-1 lead in the five-match series.
After that match was abandoned, Australia won the fifth match to tie the series 2-2.
Sri Lanka would have won the match clearly under the Duckworth-Lewis system if the umpires had abandoned the match when rain intervened after the 10th over of the Australian innings.