Australia could not level the series against Sri Lanka in the second T20 in Melbourne, despite George Bailey's efforts, losing the match by three runs after rain reduced the target to 122.

Sri Lanka veteran Mahela Jayawardene and all-rounder Thisara Perera scored 51 runs in the last four overs to push their side to 161 for four, after a slow-ish start for the visitors, who were put in to bat by Bailey.

Australia then started poorly and were not really on track to get the original score, when rain arrived in the 10th over. Bailey and Shaun Marsh were in the middle, and the time lost saw five overs taken off. They required a four off the final ball, but Glenn Maxwell swung and missed.

The hosts did a good job of restricting the visitors early on in their knock, with James Faulkner removing Tillakaratne Dilshan for six. They then took two more wickets and Sri Lankan were in trouble on 39 for three.

Jayawardene Jeevan Mendis then steadied the ship to push the score over 100, before Xavier Doherty got rid of the Mendis for 25. The former skipper carried on though, and pushed the run rate up alongside Perera.

The duo used all manner of shots in their partnerships, from scoops to paddles to helicopter-like efforts, and the Aussie bowlers had no answers, with Ben Laughlin again going at more than 10 to the over.

Perera showed his talent with an exciting 35 off just 15 balls, featuring two massive sixes, while Jayawardene ended on 61 not out off 45 deliveries.

Australia's chase got off to a poor start when key man David WArner was dismissed by Nuwan Kulasekara with the score on 10. Aaron Finch departed soon after, trapped LBW by Ajantha Mendis for seven.

This left Bailey and Marsh to steady the innings and they were both on 22 when the rain arrived. It was a long delay considering the lack of proper rain, and there was a lot of standing about with the covers off.

When play resumed, the Aussies needed 62 off 30 balls, and the batting duo made a good fist of it. They could well have reached it had Bailey not been dismissed for 45, caught behind off Thisara Perera.

Marsh, who made 47 not out, tried to keep the flow going, and struck a number of boundaries, while Maxwell hit tow fours in the final over to make it tight. He needed four off the final ball to win, but he swung at it, missed, and it was game over.

Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, George Bailey, Adam Voges, Matthew Wade, Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner, Mitchell Starc, Xavier Doherty, Ben Laughlin

Sri Lanka: Kushal Perera, Tillakratne Dilshan, Dinesh Chandimal, Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Ajantha Mendis, Lasith Malinga, A Dananjaya