Zampa (2/12), Starc (2/27) and Warner's half century (65) take Australia to second spot.
Australia 155 for 3 in 17 overs (David Warner 65, Aaron Finch 37; Wanindu Hasaranga 2/22) beat Sri Lanka 154 for 6 in 20 overs (Kusal Perera 35, Asalanka 35; Adam Zampa 2/12, Mitchell Starc 2/27) by 7 wickets
Australia reverted to its winning ways as they started their prey hunting with a clinical victory over Sri Lanka in the 22nd match of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Thursday, October 28. With this win, Australia got level with England and are placed second in their group with a substantial net run rate boost for getting across the line with three overs to spare.
Eyeing victory, the Aaron Finch-led outfit knew exactly what to do to ensure a thumping win and elected to field first upon winning the toss.
Sri Lanka off to a power-start despite losing Pathum Nissanka
Put to bat first, Sri Lanka lost their first wicket in the 3rd over with Pat Cummins bowling at his prime with a 140kph+ delivery trapping Pathun Nissanka. Nissanka attempted to go for a big shot towards mid-off but lapped the ball to David Warner for just 7 runs.
New batter Charith Asalanka came to the middle and started his innings with a four off a no-ball. He followed up with back-to-back sixes and four and ransacked Australian bowlers for 16 runs in the 4th over. He along with Kusal Perera took Sri Lanka’s score to 50+ within the powerplay overs.
The duo combined to produce 63 runs for the third wicket before Adam Zampa got the much-needed breakthrough for his side by dismissing Asalanka to a slog sweep. Asalanka scored 35 runs off 27 balls but his job of giving a power start after Nissanka’s dismissal was done.
Australian bowlers keep Lankan innings in control
After Asalanka’s dismissal, Sri Lanka’s innings almost got derailed as they lost the next three wickets within a span of 16 runs. Sri Lanka was 94/5 after 12.2 overs, in a tricky situation either to save their innings or put a competitive total.
All the Australian frontline bowlers except Josh Hazlewood chipped in with a couple of wickets each. Adam Zampa finished with the most economical spell by conceding 12 runs in his spell and took two crucial wickets of Asalanka and Avishaka Fernando (35). Pacers Mitchell Starc (2/27) and Pat Cummins (2/34) also kept Sri Lankan innings in control with their effective spells.
Sri Lanka managed 154/6 in 20 overs with Bhanuka Rajapaksa who scored an unbeaten 33* off 26 balls and Chamika Karunaratne (9* off 6 balls) at the wicket in the end.
Warner-Finch give solid start to Australia
Australia started aggressively as openers Aaron Finch and David Warner smacked back-to-back boundaries in the powerplay. The duo smacked three boundaries and a six, including two singles, and accumulated 20 runs in the 4th over.
In the next over, Finch hit Dushmantha Chameera for a boundary and a six, seemingly hammering down almost all the weapons Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka had to throw at the Aussies. In the same over, Kusal Perera dropped the dangerous-looking Warner behind the stumps. The Lankans had to pay the price for it later in the innings.
Australia aggregated 63 runs for no loss in the powerplay and almost took complete control of the game during the chase.
However, Wanindu Hasaranga, the go-to man for Shanaka during pressure situations didn’t disappoint as he dismissed the Australian skipper Finch for 37 runs. He bowled Finch right onto his stumps with a bit of spin and brought much-needed life in the match for Sri Lanka. The all-rounder also dismissed the in-form Glenn Maxwell for just 5 runs and weighed the game in Sri Lanka’s favor with Australia at 80/2 in 8.3 overs.
Australia needed 75 more runs off 69 balls and 7 wickets in hand. And by that time, Warner, who was earlier dropped by Kusal Perera took complete charge of the game and further anchored Australia’s chase. He scored 65 runs and added 50 more runs with Steve Smith who scored 28 runs. Warner was finally dismissed by the Lankan skipper Shanaka who bowled just one over and got the precious wicket for his side.
The winning runs were scored by Marcus Stoinis who hit a six and a four in the last over and led Australia to a comprehensive win and also their second win of the tournament by 7 wickets.
Player of the match
Adam Zampa was adjudged player of the match for his match-changing spell as Sri Lanka looked to score big in the match. He dismissed the all-set Alasanka and Avishka Fernando in his spell and helped Australia bounce back in the game.
Here are some of the best twitter reactions from AUSvsSL game: