Sri Lanka put in a much improved performance against Australia in the second ODI as they dismissed the hosts for 170. Photo by: Regi Varghese

Adelaide, Australia – Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Kushal Perera took four catches on debut, supporting a much-improved bowling performance as the tourists dismissed Australia for 170 in 46.5 overs in Sunday's second one-day international.

After the start of play was briefly delayed by the effects of rain, Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene won an influential toss and asked Australia to bat on a freshened pitch, in warm and overcast conditions.

His bowlers capitalized with Lasith Malinga taking 3-32 and Angelo Mathews 2-24 from 10 overs.

The Australian batsmen had plundered 305 in winning Friday's opening match in Melbourne by 107 runs. But when openers Phil Hughes, who made 112 on debut in Melbourne, and Aaron Finch were both out with only 12 runs on the board, Sri Lanka had laid open Australia's reshaped middle order and lengthy tail.

Australia stumbled to 86-6 before wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, batting at No. 7, made 50 in a late show of resistance. Haddin put on 57 for Australia's seventh wicket with Ben Cutting, one of two young fast bowlers on debut, to lift Australia to 140-7. With his help, Australia added 87 for its last four wickets.

Cutting and 21-year-old Kane Richardson, who replaced the injured Mitchell Starc, were left with the prospect of defending a moderate total when Sri Lanka came to bat, seeking to level the five-match series.

Perera, who also made his debut as injury replacement, took catches to dismiss Steve Smith (8), Glenn Maxwell (8), Cutting (27) and Clint McKay (4). The young wicketkeeper-batsman took the place of Dinesh Chandimal who was ruled out of the match with a hamstring strain.

Australia's innings progressed in fits and starts, with only captain George Bailey's 26 and David Hussey's 29 giving it early impetus.

The run out of Hussey, which left Australia 82-5, was a particularly costly blow.

Finch was out first for 4, caught at short cover by Jeevan Mendis off Mathews. Hughes made only three before he played around his front pad and was trapped lbw by Nuwan Kulasekera.

Bailey and Hussey mounted a small recovery before Bailey flicked a ball from Malinga to Lahiru Thirimanne at midwicket and when Hussey was run out in the 24th over, Australia was in deep trouble.

Steve Smith and Maxwell followed relatively cheaply before Haddin mounted his rearguard action. He farmed the strike with his tail-end partners to reach his half century from 66 balls with four fours and one six.

Malinga harried the Australian batsmen in short spells and was the best of the Sri Lanka bowlers. – Sapa-AP