Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Openers, bowlers shine in Australia's convincing win over Sri Lanka

Openers, bowlers shine in Australia's convincing win over Sri Lanka
October 28, 2021 Web Desk

DUBAI (92 News) – After the bowlers restricted Sri Lanka to 154/6, openers Aaron Finch and David Warner laid the foundation for Australia's seven-wicket win.

With their second win of the tournament, Australia go second in the Group 1 table with four points, only behind England who are ahead on net run rate.

Faced with the task of chasing 155 for the win, Aaron Finch and David Warner made a bright start to the innings, scoring 63 in the Powerplay, the highest in the tournament so far.

Hasaranga brought Sri Lanka back into the game in the middle overs, accounting for the wickets of Finch and Glenn Maxwell, but a sensational half-century from Warner and a late cameo from Marcus Stonis helped Australia secure two points with seven wickets and three overs remaining.

Earlier, Bhanuka Rajapaksa's unbeaten 26-ball 33 powered Sri Lanka to a competitive total of 154/6, who, at one stage were 94/5.

Asalanka, Perera lead recovery

Having chosen to bowl first, Australia made early inroads through Pat Cummins, who came back strongly after being hit for a four by Pathum Nissanka in the third over, striking in the very next ball.

Nissanka tried to take the aerial route but failed to time the ball well, skying it straight into the hands of a back-peddling David Warner at mid-off.

Walking in at No.3, Asalanka set the tone for Sri Lanka by smashing Cummins for two consecutive fours. Aaron Finch's decision to bring Glenn Maxwell on as a match-up for the left-hander didn't work as he would have liked. Asalanka smacked a four and a six, thus taking the off-spinner out of the attack.

Perera too got in on the action, taking Marcus Stoinis on in his first over for consecutive fours.

Australia strike back

Adam Zampa finally broke the stand in his second over; Asalanka's flat slog sweep went straight into the hands of Steve Smith.

The wicket of Asalanka triggered a mini-collapse as Sri Lanka, who were 78/1 going into the drinks break, found themselves at 94/5 three overs later.

Brought back into the attack, Mitchell Starc responded brilliantly to being hit for a six by Perera, knocking over the southpaw with a searing yorker.

Avishka Fernando's lean patch with the bat continued as he tried to hit his way out of the rut, only to sky it to the safe hands of Smith.

In the very next over, Hasaranga burnt a DRS after being given out caught behind, immediately reviewing the decision. However, the replays showed a big spike as the ball went past the bat, as Starc scalped his second wicket of the day.

Rajapaksa to the rescue!

The next three overs were sedate for Sri Lanka, fetching only one boundary. However, the over of Marcus Stonis gave the Islanders some much-needed impetus in the death.

In a signal of intent, Bhanuka Rajapaksa smashed Stonis for two fours and a six off consecutive balls. Once Shanaka was dismissed after a 19-ball 12, him and Chamika Karunaratne managed to score 19 off the last two overs, taking Sri Lanka past the 150-run mark.

Early onslaught from Finch, Warner

Aaron Finch and David Warner set the wheels in motion in the very first over of the chase, hitting at least one in every over of the Powerplay.

The skipper found the boundary twice in the first over off Chamika Karunaratne. Warner, at the other end, ensured Maheesh Theekshana doesn't settle in, making his intentions clear with a reverse sweep for a four. 

Lahiru Kumara was expensive in his first, with both the openers smacking two boundaries each as he went for 20 runs in the fifth over.

Hasaranga strikes at a crucial juncture

It was the introduction of Wanindu Hasaranga that gave Sri Lanka a glimmer of hope as he struck twice in two overs to remove Finch and Glenn Maxwell.

He cramped Finch for room with the googly, who chopped a cut onto his own stumps. Maxwell, who was promoted up the order to keep the momentum going, holed out in the deep to a good running catch on the boundary by Avishka Fernando. 

At the halfway stage, Australia were 95/2, needing to go at only run-a-ball to secure their second win.

Australia make it two in two

Warner ensured that the two quick wickets does not derail Australia's chase, finding boundaries regularly en route his fifty. By the time Shanaka dismissed Warner in the 15th over, the asking rate was down to 5 runs per over.

Stoinis walked in and smoked two fours and a six to finish things off in style as Australia secured a convincing win over Sri Lanka.–ICC