Sri Lanka bowl; Malinga returns, Sanjaya makes debut

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Gunaratne top-scored for Sri Lanka with 52 from 37 balls.

He would clip four boundaries in making 38 off 32 balls before an attempted swipe over mid-wicket off the left-arm wrist spin of Lakshan Sandakan - the hero of Sri Lanka's Test victory in Kandy over Australia previous year - resulted only in a top edge and catch at gully.

The score was tied on the last delivery, with Kapugedera pumping his fist after driving Ashton Tye through cover for the match-winning runs.

The win put Sri Lanka one up in the series with two matches to play in Geelong on Sunday and Adelaide on Wednesday.

"They came out swinging, credit to them they batted beautifully", Finch said.

Milinda Siriwardana faced 11 balls to make 15 and was dismissed as Lanka's fifth wicket at 152 when the visitors needed 15 runs off 15 balls.

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"When you have the power to hit down the ground and also scoop over the keeper, it is tough to bowl to".

Ponting has joined the Australian T20 side as an assistant coach for the three-game series, forming an all-star cast alongside fellow assistant Jason Gillespie and stand-in head coach Justin Langer, the trio filling in for Darren Lehmann and the rest of the Bupa Support Team coaching staff who are with the Test squad in India.

"I work covering the Big Bash so I get a good look at the players and have a good understanding of how they play".

"I probably will be down the track, but for now I'm settling back into family life and a bit of normailty which has been really nice".

Australian captain Aaron Finch praised Sri Lanka's bold batting.

Klinger, at 36 the oldest Australian T20 worldwide debutant, combined with Finch for a solid opening partnership of 76.

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Lasith Malinga, who has played virtually no cricket for almost a year due to injuries, was an influential figure taking two wickets in two balls and taking two catches.

Sri Lanka managed their chase well despite losing skipper Upul Tharanga at the end of the first over for a duck when he nicked off to Pat Cummins.

Malinga finished with two wickets for 29 off his four overs.

Lanky paceman Billy Stanlake, one of several Australians looking for a pay day in the Indian Premier League auction on Monday, began his first over with successive wides, and his second only got worse when he conceded 24 runs, including three boundaries off the first three balls by Munaweera and the indignity of being swept for six off the last by Dickwella.

But Gunaratne took charge and his half-century turned the tide to set up the thrilling victory for the Sri Lankans.

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