Josh Hazlewood adjudged as player of the match fo his 3/22, Australia lead by 2-0.
Brief Scores: Australia 164/6 (Inglis 48, Aaron Finch 25; Chameera 2/30) beat Sri Lanka 164/8 (Nissanka 73, Shanaka 34, Hazlewood 3/22) in super over
Australia overcame a defiant Sri Lanka in the super over to take the second match and extend their lead in the five-match series to 2-0. The visitors won the toss and chose to bowl first for the second time in a row.
Australia make 52/1 in powerplay
Australia’s Aaron Finch fielded the same side with just one change, Kane Richardson slotted back into the squad in place of Mitchell Starc. The innings got underway and it took no time for Ben McDermott to get going. He was up and running, striking two boundaries in the very first over; Australia were off to a brisk start, 10 for none after the first over.
Finch, on the other hand, looked scratchy early on and survived a leg before review, replay showing it was umpire’s call on impact. It was not until the fourth over that Finch found the ropes for the first time. McDermott looked good on the other end until he hit one straight down the throat of long-on and departed for 18. Josh Inglis came out to bat and started with a bang once again, driving and cutting Wanindu Hasaranga to collect two back-to-back boundaries. At the end of the powerplay Australia found themselves at 52/1.
Josh Inglis made 48(32) but got scant support from other end, Australia end at 164/6
Just when it looked that Finch would break shackles and a big score was in the reckoning, Wanindu Hasaranga got the better of him and had him stumped. Finch’s departure saw a promotion for Glenn Maxwell. The in-form Inglis and Maxwell combined for a 39-run stand for the third wicket before all hell broke loose in the middle of the wicket.
Maxwell chipped one straight to backward point in the eleventh over and Inglis came running down to the batter’s end in search of a quick single. Sri Lanka had a clear chance at a run out but the fielder failed to throw it at the right end and the wicketkeeper, in turn, failed to collect it cleanly. By the time Sri Lanka could comprehend what was happening, Maxwell charged to the bowling end and Australia escaped unscathed.
Australia couldn’t make much of the chance though as Maxwell was caught behind after a promising 15, the score being 99/3. Josh Inglis looked like the man for Australia heading into the backend and it took an effort and a half to stop his onslaught. After his departure, Australia pinned all their hopes of a strong finish on Marcus Stoinis again. Australia tried and tried but the Sri Lankan bowlers used their variation and leg cutters to perfection and stopped the Aussies at a middling 164.
Sri Lanka make dreadful start
Sri Lanka were troubled by early wickets once again; Josh Hazlewood leading Australia’s charge and striking twice in his first two overs. Pat Cummins was not far behind and piled on the misery on Sri Lanka after he cleaned up Charith Asalanka in the fifth over. While wickets were tumbling at one end, Pathum Nissanka stood undeterred at the other end and struck the odd boundary, Sri Lanka reeling at 36/3 after the powerplay.
After two quiet overs, Dinesh Chandimal went after Stoinis, pulling him for over mid-wicket for a maximum. Nissanka looked to carry the momentum forward when he collected two more boundaries off the very next over, Kane Richardson being the culprit. Just when a partnership was brewing, the Aussies pulled it back in their favour when Adam Zampa cleaned up Chandimal, Sri Lanka 67/4 after 11 overs.
Nissanka-Shanaka brisk 48-run stand provides a glimmer of hope to Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka needed a big partnership and something extraordinary to resurrect the innings at this point and that is exactly what happened. Skipper Dasun Shanaka led the counterattack and collected 18 runs off the 15th over. Sri Lanka now needed 57 off the final five, with Nissanka and Shanaka set at the crease.
Adam Zampa came back for his final over and the innings’ 16th and got reverse swept by Nissanka. Just when it seemed like the scales were tilting in favour of Sri Lanka, Steve Smith reminded everyone why he is amongst the best outfielders in the world. Nissanka worked one into the leg side and set out for a couple, Smith came in from the boundary and fired in a direct throw at the bowler’s end. Shanaka was on a roll and threatened to level the series at one-apiece but not on Smith’s watch.
Richardson squeezed a quiet 17th over, picking up the new man Chamika Karunaratne but more importantly giving away just four runs. Sri Lanka needed a big over to stay in the game but with the skipper gone, the question was, who would take the responsibility?
Well, everyone thought Hasaranga’s night was over but the all-rounder showed us what he is capable of with bat in hand. He took Cummins for two boundaries off the first three balls and Nissanka piled on with a six in the same over. We were in for a thrilling finish with 29 off the final two and Nissanka leading the visitors’ charge.
Hazlewood’s third ball disappeared for a maximum but the big quick struck back with Hasaranga’s wicket. We were down to the final over with 19 required for a famous Sri Lankan victory. Stoinis started things off with a wide and got hit back over his head for a four. Nissanka’s heroics finally came to an end as he holed out at square leg with Sri Lanka still needing 12 off three.
The debutant Maheesh Theekshana hit a six off his first ball, the pressure back on Australia now. Stoinis followed this up with a wide yorker and the batter sneaked in a single off a leg bye but the question remained if this was a wide. The visitors needed four for a tie and take it to super over, and a six for the win and as fate would have it, Chameera pumped one over long-off for a one-bounce four. Result? We would head to a super-over.
Australia have it easy in super over
Hazlewood had the ball in hand and nailed his yorkers to perfection. Any hopes of an upset were thwarted as Australia needed just six runs to win. Stoinis and Maxwell strolled out to bat for Australia. Stoinis creamed Hasaranga through covers, third ball of the over, and guided Australia to a 2-0 lead.
The two teams will now head to Canberra for the third T20I of the series which will be played on February 15.