World champions Australia made light of Sri Lanka’s meager total of 128 in coasting to a handsome 10- wicket triumph in 14 overs in the first of the 3-day T20 series tonight at the R. Premadasa International Stadium. David Warner made 70 off 44 balls and skipper Aaron Finch 61 off 40 balls.
Finch and Warner lost no time in giving the side a flying start as Australia raced to 93 for no loss in 10.3 overs, a run rate of 8.85with the aggressive Warner reaching 53 off 33 balls inclusive of boundaries while Finch moved to a run a ball 39 plundering 3 sixes and 2 boundaries and Warner on 47.
Put into bat, Sri Lanka was dismissed for 128 in 19.3 overs after being put into bat by Australia, After a promising start of 102 for 2 off 12 overs, the hosts lost their way as strike bowler Josh Hazlewood struck in a third over 3–wicket burst in the space of five balls as the hosts plunged to 103 for 5 after 14 overs. Hazlewoods figures read an impeccable 4 for 8 off just 3. Panic was to set in as Charith Asalanka, who had thus far worked himself into a rhythm ran himself out 15 runs later as he scampered for a run only to be beaten by Marsh’s throw to wicket-keeper Wade who did the rest. Sri Lanka 116 for 6 after 16. From that point it was a formality with Hazlewood going onto collect 4 for 16 in 4 overs who was well supported by Mitchell Staarc with a take of 3 for 26.
In the Lankan innings, after the first over yielded 7, the left-handed Danushka Gunathilaka smote Mitchell Marsh for a boundary and six in successive deliveries as Sri Lanka reached 23 for no loss by the third over with Marsh conceding 14 runs in his first over. He struck two more boundaries, but with the total on 39 Josh Hazlewood got rid of the left-hander caught by Marsh for 26 off the second ball of the fifth over. But the adent of Charith Asalanka saw the left-hander sustain the carefree scoring striking Kane Richardson for four and six which hit the scoreboard as Sri Lanka reached 50 for 1 after 5.5 overs in a run rate of 8.33 with Asalanka and opening batsman Pathum Nissanka on the identical scores of 11 off 10 and 11 balls respectively. Gunathilakas 15-ball knock contained a six and 3 to the ropes. After 9 overs Sri Lanka was 68 without further loss a run rate of .55 with Nissanka on 21 and Asalanka on 18. At the halfway mark Sri Lanka had reached 79 for 1 at a run rate of 7.96 with Asalanka on 27 off 21 with 3 fours and a six, and Nissanka on 22 off an equal number of deliveries hitting just the boundary in a watchful steadying innings. Nissanka got into fettle on driving Richardson for six off his fourth delivery of his second over. The hundred came up in the fifth oer of the twelfth over, but Australia struck soon after when Staarc bowled Nissana for 36 to make it 100 for 2 after 12 overs.
But Sri Lanka’s acceleration rock bottomed as Australia struck three quick blows courtesy Hazlewood as the hosts lost three wickets for the addition of just 3 truns with Mendis caught by Agar for 1 off 5 and Bhanuka Rajapaksa for a first ball duck caught behind by Wade and skipper Dasun Shanaka leg before wicket for a duck off his first, fourth and sixth deliveries of his third over.
Sri Lanka 128 (19.3 Overs) RR: 6.56
(Charith Asalanka 38, Pathum Nissanka 36, Danushka Gunathilaka 26, Wanindu Hasaranga 17, Josh Hazlewood 416, Mitchell Starc 3/26)
Australia 134/0 (14 overs)