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Marcus Stoinis 59 n.o. off 18 in Australia’s 7-wicket win, but Sri Lanka still 3rd in Group 1 on net run rate

Marcus Stoinis unleashed an 18 ball unbeaten 59 in a 6 sixes and 4 fours rampaging 7-wicket triumph by Australia over Sri Lanka in their T20 World Cup second Super 12 D/N clash at the Perth Stadium, Perth that lifted the reigning world champions net run rate, but Sri Lanka remained 3rd in the Group 1 team standings on faster net run rate of + 0.450 to Australia’s – 1555 in 4th place from 2 matches, both having won 1 and lost 1 with New Zealand (+ 4.450) leading and England (+ 0. 620) in 2nd place from having won their first outings. The Australians, badly in need of a big win following the 7-wicket hammering by New Zealand, hit a whirlwind trail after Sri Lanka’s 157 for 6 off 20 having opted to chase in an unprecedented momentum shift putting Sri Lanka’s prize bowler Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva to the sword to the tune of 53,runs off his 3 overs. After an initial onslaught by Mitchell Marsh who made 18 off17 taking a six off Hasaranga’s first over that conceded 15 followed by 19 off his second with a marauding Glen Maxwell going over the top twice, Stoinis completed the final assault putting the Lankan leggie for 6, 4 and 6 as his third over too yielded 19 runs. In thundering to the fastest fifty by an Australian, Stoinis continued the mayhem going on to take two sixes off Maheesh Theekshana in breaking his rhythm after he had checked Australia’s charge by getting rid of the dangerous David Warner caught by Dasun Shanaka for 11.

But the Lankan skipper would well be ruing a dropping Mitchell Marsh early on with Australia on 38 for 1 off Dhananjaya de Silva which if taken deep towards mid wicket could have swung the game Sri Lanka’s way. It was to let the Aussies off the hook in the galvanising into a run orgy settling the affair on 158 for 3 off 16.3 overs with a sedate Australian skipper Aaron Finch unbeaten on 31 off 42 hitting just a six. The game did reach a climax when fast bowler Lahiru Kumara did fell Glen Maxwell with a snorter that hit him on the helmet having struck him on the chest in the previous delivery. Progressively Stoinis did not spare any bowler going on to tuck Kumara as well over the top in that gallop.

A lop side of the Lankan attack was opening bowler Binura Fernando, who was an injury replacement, himself crying off after just 5 deliveries of the opening over causing Dhananjaya de Silva to complete the over that cost him one over of the allotted 4..Sri Lanka spilled two catches with substitute Ashen Bandara failing to take a running catch from Finch off Chamika Karunaratne, but made amends soon after taking a sizzling catch to send back Maxwell off the same bowler. The Lankan innings revolved around opening batsman Pathum Nissanka’s 40 off 55 inclusive of 2 boundaries returning from injury lay off of the previous game with one drop Dhananjaya de Silva 26 off 23 with 3 boundaries combining in a 69-run second wicket partnership off 61 balls. It was the ideal launching platform for the rest to build on. But with the exception of No. 4 Charith Asanka who struck an unbeaten 38 off 25 inclusive of 3 boundaries and 2 sixes, one tracer bullet like off Glen Maxwell in the final over, the rest failed to deliver. Only Chamika Karunaratne 14 not out stood up in that final score of 157 for 6.

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