Monday, June 27, 2022 | Dhu al-Qaadah 27, 1443 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Warner, Finch, bowlers sparkle for Australia

Australia outpunched Sri Lanka by seven wickets after a superb all-round performance in their Group I match of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in Dubai on Thursday.


Riding on the batting exploits of David Warner (65, 42b, 4x10) and Aaron Finch (37, 23b, 5x4, 2x6) Australia cruised to the target of 155 in 17 overs.


Mitchell Starc (2/27) and Adam Zampa (2/12) were instrumental in restricting the Sri Lankans to 154/6 in 20 overs when the Lankans looked threatening at one stage.


AUSSIES OFF TO FLYER


The Australians began their chase of 155 in style as Aaron Finch and David Warner blasted off the blocks reaching 56/0 in five overs. Finch was particularly severe on Dushmantha Chameera in the fifth over as he carted Chameera for huge six and a four off the first two balls.


The Australian captain was unlucky to get out bowled to Wanindu Hasaranga when he chopped one onto the stumps.


Warner went on the offensive soon after smashing bowlers around with a strike of over 160 as Australia got to 95/2 in 10 overs.


The southpaw got to his fifty off 31 balls and Australia were well on course to a comfortable victory. Warner was looking to finish things off quickly and eventually fell for 65 off 42 balls that comprised 10 boundaries.


However, Marcus Stoinis went on a rampage and wrapped things up for Australia in the company of Steve Smith.


ASALANKA, PERERA STAR FOR SL


Earlier, Sri Lanka started poorly as they lost the wicket of Pathum Nissanka in the third over when Pat Cummins had him caught by David Warner.


At 15/1, Sri Lanka were in a spot of bother but then came their hero from the Bangladesh match, Charith Asalanka.


Asalanka had other ideas and started taking on the Australian bowlers from the word go.


The No 3 batsman smashed 35 off 27 balls with four boundaries and a six and in the company of a proactive Kusal Perera (35, 25b, 4x4, 1x6) built a vital 63-run partnership.


With Sri Lanka going at 8 runs per over and nine wickets in hand and the 10-over mark approaching, it seemed they were headed for a 165-170 run total.


Asalanka was taken out by Adam Zampa just when he assumed a menacing posture and Mitchell Starc put paid to the Lankan plans when he bowled a yorker for the ages to get the back of Kusal Perera.


The Lankans were just about to get going when they received the setbacks and didn’t quite recover from that thereafter.


Bhanuka Rajapakse’s timely innings of 33 off 26 balls comprising four boundaries and a six was the reason the Lankans were able to cross 150.


And the Sri Lankans eventually finished their innings at 154/6 in 20 overs.


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