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Aus vs SL, 4th T20I, Melbourne: Maxwell (48*), Inglis (40) take Australia’s lead to 4-0

Maxwell, Inglis and bowlers make it 4-0 for Australia in the five-game series against Sri Lanka

Aus vs SL, 4th T20I, Melbourne_ Glenn Maxwell (48_), Josh Inglis (40) take Australia’s lead to 4-0 (Image ©ICC_Getty)
Glenn Maxwell, Josh Inglis and bowlers make it 4-0 for Australia (Image ©ICC/Getty)

Brief Scores: Australia 143 for 4 (Maxwell 48*, Inglis 40, Kumara 2/22) beat Sri Lanka 139 for 8 (Nissanka 46, Richardson 2/20) by four wickets

Australia and Sri Lanka squared off against each other in the fourth T20I match of a five-match T20I series at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). After losing the series by 0-3, Sri Lanka were playing for pride.

Sri Lanka lost Danushka Gunathilaka in powerplay after losing toss

After winning the toss, Australia captain Aaron Finch opted to field first. Sri Lankan openers Pathum Nissanka and Danushka Gunathilaka kicked off the innings with elegant boundaries. Gunathilaka smoked one straight six over the bowler Kane Richardson in the third over.

However, he played an ambitious shot after having played two dot balls against left-arm spinner Ashton Agar, which ended up in a top edge and Finch didn’t make any mistake while catching it. Gunathilaka made 17 runs in the same number of balls. MCG pitch was slow which troubled Sri Lankan batters a lot.

Sri Lanka fail to build a partnership

One down batter Kusal Mendis played well-timed shots to get runs, early in the innings. However, he got run out while taking a risky second run as Glenn Maxwell smashed the stumps with a straight hit.

Next batter Charith Asalanka didn’t take much time to settle and smashed two consecutive boundaries off leggie Adam Zampa. The left-hander continued to attack the bowlers, however, while playing one down the leg side, the ball took the thick edge of the bat and went straight to Josh Inglis placed in the covers. Asalanka made 22 off 19 deliveries.

Australia pacers used slower balls on the two-paced MCG pitch to put Sri Lankan batters on the backfoot. As Sri Lankan batters threw away their wickets after settling down, they failed to build any big partnership in the middle.

Sri Lanka lost four quick wickets; Chamika Karunaratne last over hitting helps Sri Lanka reach 139/8

In the death overs, opener Nissanka also tried to play aggressively, however, he got stumped by Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade. The 23-year-old batter made 46 runs off 40 deliveries to take Sri Lanka over hundred. Sri Lanka lost another two wickets in the next over.

Kane Richardson bagged the wickets of Dinesh Chandimal and Dasun Shanaka in an over to put a brake on Sri Lanka’s run rate.

Also, lower-order batters Dushmantha Chameera and Maheesh Theekshana didn’t make any significant contribution to the team score and got dismissed in the penultimate over of the innings.

In the last over of the innings, Chamika Karunaratne and Jeffrey Vandersay hammered 17 runs to help their side reach 139 for the loss of eight wickets in 20 overs.

Australia lost three wickets early in the innings

While chasing the moderate target of 140, Australia openers Ashton Agar and Ben McDermott started the innings cautiously. Sri Lanka skipper Shanaka gave the new ball to right-arm off-break bowler Maheesh Theekshana. The 21-year-old spinner caught and bowled McDermott on nine in the fifth over of the innings. One down batter Aaron Finch pulled a ball delivered by Kumara which went straight to fielder Gunathilaka at deep square leg. Finch could make only two runs off five balls.

Second opener Ashton Agar took an aggressive approach to add some quick runs, however, it backfired as he got caught at mid-off by Kusal Mendis while pulling Kumara.

Josh Inglis and Glenn Maxwell build a partnership of 71 runs

Next batters, Josh Inglis and Glenn Maxwell rescued their side from 49 for three. Inglis hammered two consecutive boundaries off Vandersay and also smashed a boundary off Karunaratne in the next over. The 26-year-old batter continued his assault on opponent bowlers and smoked a stroke near the long-off boundary. Chameera took the catch, however, he crossed the rope before throwing the ball inside the boundary, resulting in a six. Maxwell played second fiddle to Inglis to put up a partnership for their side.

Glenn Maxwell’s 48* helps Australia to victory

Josh Inglis launched another six off Chameera, however, he edged one soon after and was caught behind the stumps by wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal. Inglis finished his match-winning knock of 40 off just 20 deliveries.

Maxwell smashed two fours in the dying stages of the match to win the game by six wickets with 11 balls to spare. Maxwell made 48 runs off 39 deliveries with the help of three boundaries and two sixes.

Thus, Australia stretched their lead in the series to 4-0. Maxwell got the player of the match award for his unbeaten match-winning knock of 48 runs.

Both teams will face each other in the final showdown on Sunday to play the last T20I match of the series at the same venue.


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