Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig
BPL 2023 (2)
England Lions in Sri Lanka (1)
Ranji Trophy (4)
ZIM v WI (1)
SA Tri-Series (1)
Aaron Finch hadn't scored when he tried to tug a delivery from Lasith Malinga through midwicket. It was not the best-timed stroke, and the ball flew at catchable height and speed in the close vicinity of Dilshan Munaweera. To the relief of Finch, the chance went quickly to ground, reprieving him and allowing Australia's stand-in captain to go on to a muscular 53. At the same time, it illustrated the one area in which Sri Lanka have not excelled this series - struggling to hold their catches.
When Travis Head was flying with a handful of overs remaining, Australia seemed capable of soaring beyond 200. But in trying to hammer a third six, Head reckoned without the outfield abilities of Chamara Kapugedera, posted on the straight boundary and comfortably claiming a catch to end the innings of the South Australia captain. It was to be a quite vital fielding position for the remainder of the innings, as Kapugedera popped up again to pouch both Ashton Turner and James Faulkner. These dismissals cut back Australia, leaving Sri Lanka's chase within range.
The not-Zing bails
Sri Lanka's chase had well and truly stalled by the time Malinga chanced a quick single to the left arm of Finch at wide mid-off. Sizing up his target with some precision, Finch fired and hit the stumps with Malinga well out of his ground. Oddly, though, the Zing bails declined to light up, leaving Finch and the umpires to be relieved that this run out was not particularly close. The final wicket, another run out, was to be completed by Tim Paine by a far finer margin: this time the lights did flash.
The Dunk slam
Having dominated in the Big Bash League for the Adelaide Strikers, Ben Dunk found himself on the bench for the opening game. Sri Lanka's opening win brought him into Australia's XI for the second game in Geelong, but even then he was batting at first wicket down rather than walking in to thump the new ball. At Kardinia Park, Dunk made a strong start but perished trying to lift the rate still further, and much the same pattern repeated in Adelaide. As he left the field he had a right to think he might have been used somewhat differently this series.