1st T20I: Josh Hazlewood’s 4-irons, 50-year-olds Finch and Warner help Australia beat Sri Lanka by 10 wickets

A 134-run stand between David Warner (70*) and Aaron Finch (61*) helped Australia beat Sri Lanka by ten wickets in the first T20 of the three-game series at R Premadasa Stadium here on Tuesday. Chasing 129, Australia got off to a good start. Openers Finch and Warner kept the strike rotation going with the occasional big hit and good running between the wickets.

A four from spinner Maheesh Theekshana’s delivery in the sixth took the Aussies to the 50-point mark. After six overs, Australia were a solid 59/0, with Warner (35*) and Aaron Finch (24*).

After the power play, the duo continued their assault on the bowlers. After 10 overs, Australia had reached 87/0 with Warner (49*) and Finch (38*). A four from pacemaker Chamika Karunaratne’s delivery in the 11th brought up Warner’s 32-ball half-century. On the fourth most ball, the Australians reached the 100 point mark.

The match was interrupted by rain, with Australia at 101/0, with Warner (58*) and Finch (42*). After action resumed, Australia continued the racing stream. A four to the backspot from Nuwan Thushara’s delivery in the 13th brought Finch’s top fifty to Lanka on 37 balls. Finch completed the formalities for the Australians in the final ball of the 14th with a six, winning the match for his side by ten wickets. At bat, Sri Lanka made a strong start to the inning as their openers Pathum Nissanka and Danushka Gunathilaka broke 35 runs in four overs.

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Australia got their first breakthrough in the fifth when Gunathilaka was caught by Mitchell Marsh on Hazlewood’s delivery and left after scoring 26 runs on 15 balls. Charith Asalanka came to the crease and gave impetus to Sri Lanka. Along with Nissanka, Asalanka took Sri Lanka past the 100 run mark in 12 overs and kept the scoreboard moving. Their happiness was short-lived as Mitchell Starc knocked out Nissanka in the 12th, leaving the team total at 100/2. It was followed by the dismissal of Kusal Mendis in the 14th after being caught by Matthew Wade on Hazlewood’s delivery. In the same over, Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Dasun Shanaka also left without opening their points tally and leaving Sri Lanka struggling at 103/5.

In the 16th, Asalanka was chased by Wade and left after scoring 38 runs on 34 balls. Chamika Karunaratne was also knocked out in the 17th by Steve Smith, with Sri Lanka at 118/7. He was followed by the wicket of Dushmantha Chameera and Waninidu Hasaranga in the 19th.

On the 20th over, Kane Richardson hit and sent Maheesh Theekshana back to the dugout and ended Sri Lanka’s inning at 128 runs.

Brief Notes: Australia 134/0 (David Warner 70*, Aaron Finch 61*) defeated Sri Lanka 128/10 (Charith Asalanka 38, Pathum Nissanka 36; Josh Hazlewood 4/16) by ten wickets.

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Post expires at 6:58am on Saturday June 18th, 2022

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