Australia pile up 176-5 against Sri Lanka in final T20

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Australian opening pair David Warner and Aaron Finch played formidable knocks before the middle order powered their team to 176 for five against hosts Sri lanka in the third and final T20 match Saturday after electing to bat.

The Twenty20 champions have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead and are looking to seal the white-ball series on a high note against a faltering Sri Lanka who are chasing a 177 in 20 overs in Pallakele.

Warner and Finch continued their strong batting performances against the Sri Lankan bowing attack during the power play to lay down a solid foundation for the tourists with a 43-run opening pair stand.

The pair outplayed the hosts in the first match in Colombo after an unbeaten chase of 134 runs to win their opening match.

Finch scored 29 off 20 balls before spinner Maheesh Theekshana knocked his off stump as the Australian skipper attempted a slog-sweep.

All-rounder Glen Maxwell opened his innings on the next ball with a massive six as Warner continued with his offensive against the bowling line-up.

Maxwell smashed Wanindu Hasaranga for another six in the seventh over but fell for 16 off nine balls after attempting to hit the spinner in the ninth over the long on where Danushka Gunathilaka caught him following a short juggle.

Theekshana caught Warner leg before wicket at 39 off 33 balls in the next over after the hosts reviewed a not out decision by the umpire.

The visitors battling line up stuttered after Josh Inglis, who replaced an injured Mitchell Marsh for the match, was run out in the next ball for a duck.

But Steven Smith and Marcus Stoinis hammered the bowlers to give their team a challenging total against the hosts in the final match.

Stoinis struck three fours and a six in his 23 ball innings of 38 before he was stumped by Kusal Mendis on Praveen Jayawickrama.

Smith remained not out for 37 off 27 balls with two fours and two sixes, with wicketkeeper Matthew Wade contributing 13 runs.

Sri Lankan speedster Dushmantha Chameera was the most expensive bowler, giving away 46 runs in his four overs.

Theekshana picked two for 25 while Hasaranga and Jayawickrama claimed one each.

ja/mtp

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