MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 28: Mahela Jayawardene of Sri Lanka plays a shot during game two of the Twenty20 International series between Australia and Sri Lanka at Melbourne Cricket Ground on January 28, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)

Melbourne – Mahela Jayawardena cracked an unbeaten 61 runs to help Sri Lanka post 161/4 in the final Twenty20 international against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Monday.

The former captain built a careful innings facing 45 balls after Australia snared three early wickets.

But he opened up in the final overs, striking two sixes and five fours.

He was ably assisted by big-hitting Thisara Perera who plundered 35 off just 15 balls.

Jeevan Mendis made 25 off 24 coming in with the tourists in difficulty after losing three wickets for 39 by the seventh over.

Australia kept a tight grip in the opening exchanges and James Faulkner bowled Tillakaratne Dilshan for six in his first over.

Dinesh Chandimal never got going and fell for five caught by Bailey off Ben Laughlin.

Kushal Perera managed to find three boundaries before lofting Glenn Maxwell's spin to a diving George Bailey for 15.

The ball was turning and Mendis was caught on the boundary by Faulkner trying to force the run rate off the bowling of Xavier Doherty.

Sri Lanka were struggling to find the ropes but Thisara Perera had no such problem finding the meat of the bat from the first ball he faced.

With Jayawardena liberated the pair plundered 20 runs off the last over from Laughlin.

Australia require 8.05 runs to level the T20 series 1-1. – Sapa-AFP