T20 WC: Marcus Stoinis Smashes Fastest T20I Half-Century

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T20 WC: Marcus Stoinis Smashes Fastest T20I Half-Century
T20 WC: Marcus Stoinis Smashes Fastest T20I Half-Century

Perth [Australia]: After a heavy 89-run loss to New Zealand in their ICC T20 World Cup campaign opener, the defending champions Australia got a net run rate boost through all-rounder Marcus Stoinis’ match-winning fifty against Sri Lanka at Perth. It is the fastest fifty scored by an Australian in the shortest format.

Stoinis reached his half-century in just 17 balls and finished with an 18-ball 59* much to the delight of the Australian fans at home. In this knock decorated by four boundaries and six sixes, he made a mockery of Sri Lankan bowlers including Lahiru Kumara, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana. With his half-century, he broke the record for the fastest T20I fifty by an Australian, previously held by veteran opener David Warner, who smashed a fifty in just 18 balls against West Indies in Sydney at 2010. Glenn Maxwell also has two 18-ball half-centuries.

Stoinis also scored the joint-second fastest T20 World Cup fifty, joining Stephanus Myburgh of Netherlands, who also scored a 17-ball fifty against Ireland in the 2014 edition of the tournament. The fastest half-century in T20 WC history is by legendary Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, who scored a 12-ball half-century against England back in 2007, a match where he smacked Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over.

Put to bat by Australia, Sri Lanka posted 157/6 in their 20 overs. Opener Pathum Nissanka (40) top-scored for his side and formed a 69-run stand with his partner Dhananjaya de Silva (26). Though Australia made a comeback after this solid second wicket stand to take some quick wickets, Charith Asalanka (38*) made sure Lankans finished decently.
Starc, Cummins, Hazlewood, Agar and Maxwell got a wicket each.

Chasing 158, Australia was off to a slow start, scoring 33/1 in their powerplay. Australia finished the powerplay without scoring even a single four or six, for the first time in their T20I history.

However, quickfire knocks from Stoinis (59* off 18) and Glenn Maxwell (23 off 12 balls) changed the game for the Aussies. Skipper Aaron Finch (31* off 42 balls) formed a 69-run stand for the fourth wicket to help his side clinch a crucial seven-wicket win over Asian champions.

With this win, Australia is in the fourth position in the points table with 2 points, one place below Asian champions Sri Lanka, who are in third with two points.

Stoinis also earned the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his match-winning half-century.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka: 157/6 (Pathum Nissanka 40, Charith Asalanka 38, Glenn Maxwell 1/5) lost to Australia: 158/3 in 16.3 overs (Marcus Stoinis 59, Aaron Finch 31*, Chamika Karunaratne 1/20).

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