Colombo [Sri Lanka]: A 134-run stand between David Warner (70*) and Aaron Finch (61*) helped Australia defeat Sri Lanka by ten wickets in the first T20 of the three-match series at R Premadasa Stadium here on Tuesday.
Chasing 129, Australia was off to a solid start. Openers Finch and Warner maintained strike rotation with some occasional big hits and good running between the wickets. A four of spinner Maheesh Theekshana’s delivery in the sixth over took Aussies to the 50-run mark.
At the end of six overs, Australia stood at a solid 59/0, with Warner (35*) and Aaron Finch (24*).
After the power play, the duo continued their onslaught on bowlers. At the end of 10 overs, Australia had reached 87/0 with Warner (49*) and Finch (38*).
A four of pacer Chamika Karunaratne’s delivery in the 11th over brought up Warner’s half-century of 32 balls. In the fourth ball of the over, the Aussies reached the 100-run mark.
The match was interrupted by rain, with Australia at 101/0, with Warner (58*) and Finch (42*).
Following the resumption of action, Australia continued the run flow. A four towards the backward point of Nuwan Thushara’s delivery in the 13th over brought Finch’s first fifty in Lanka off 37 balls.
Finch completed the formalities for the Aussies at the final ball of the 14th over with a six, winning the game for his side by ten wickets.
Put to bat, Sri Lanka made a decent start to their innings as their opening batters Pathum Nissanka and Danushka Gunathilaka smashed 35 runs in four overs.
Australia got their first breakthrough in the fifth over when Gunathilaka was caught by Mitchell Marsh on Hazlewood’s delivery and departed after scoring 26 runs off 15 balls. Charith Asalanka came to the crease and provided the momentum to Sri Lanka. Along with Nissanka, Asalanka took Sri Lanka across the 100-run mark in 12 overs and kept the scoreboard moving.
Their happiness was short-lived as Mitchell Starc bowled Nissanka out in the 12th over, leaving the team’s total at 100/2.
It was followed by Kusal Mendis’ dismissal in the 14th over after he was caught by Matthew Wade on Hazlewood’s delivery. In the same over, Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Dasun Shanaka also departed without opening their run tally and leaving Sri Lanka struggling at 103/5.
In the 16th over, Asalanka was run out by Wade and departed after scoring 38 runs off 34 balls. Chamika Karunaratne was also run out in the 17th over by Steve Smith, with Sri Lanka’s score at 118/7. It was followed by Dushmantha Chameera and Waninidu Hasaranga’s wicket in the 19th over.
In the 20th over, Kane Richardson struck and sent Maheesh Theekshana back to the dugout and ended Sri Lanka’s inning at 128 runs.
Brief scores: 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.