Hazlewood and openers help Aussies beat SL in first T20

COLOMBO: Reigning world champions Australia claimed a dominating 10-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the inaugural T20 International in Colombo on Tuesday after fast bowler Josh Hazlewood claimed four wickets and their openers comfortably chased a modest target.

Chasing 129 for the win, Australia captain Aaron Finch (61 not knocked out) and David Warner (70 not knocked out) completed an unbeaten opening partnership as the visitors concluded the game with six overs to spare after the match been delayed twice by rain.

Cricket Australia announced before the game that fast bowler Sean Abbott, who was part of their T20 squad, would be returning home after breaking a finger in the net. Earlier, Hazlewood cruised through Sri Lanka to limit them to a modest 128 after Finch won the shuffle and opted to bowl.

Hazlewood took three wickets in the 14th and sparked Sri Lanka’s middle-order batting collapse to give the visitors an easy-to-win 129 to claim the first of three T20s.

The in-form pacer finished with an impressive 4-16 in his four overs and took wickets from Danushka Gunathilaka (26), Kusal Mendis (1), Bhanuka Rajapaksa (0) and captain Dasun Shanaka (0).

Hazlewood was well supported by new ball partner Mitchell Starc who retired flyhalf Pathum Nissanka for 36 from 31 before clearing the hosts’ bottom order to finish with 3-26 in his tight four overs.

Sri Lanka’s top three batters gave the hosts a slow but steady start and took the team to 100 for two in the first 12 overs.

None of the top three – Nissanka, Gunathilaka and Asalanka – were able to stay to complete the scoring in the finals on a slow and rainy Colombo outfield.

Starc dismissed Wanindu Hasaranga, who tried to lead a lower order riposte with a 17 to 15 ball, as well as Dushmantha Chameera (1).

The other Aussie bowlers backed up the pace duo and played tight lines to keep the Sri Lankans under control.

Pace bowler Kane Richardson won one for 22 in his 3.3 overs while spinners Ashton Agar and Glenn Maxwell went six unwicketed overs between them.

The hosts lost Asalanka and Chamika Karunaratne short and were knocked out three balls short of their allotted 20 overs.

The second T20 will take place on Wednesday followed by the third Saturday. The teams will then play five ODIs and two Tests during the tour, which ends on July 12.

Dashboard

SRI LANKA:

Pathum Nissanka b Starc 36

Danushka Gunathilaka c Marsh b Hazlewood 26

Charith Asalanka exhausted 38

Kusal Mendis c Agar b Hazlewood 1

Bhanuka Rajapaksa v Wade v Hazlewood 0

Dasun Shanaka lb b Hazlewood 0

Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva c Finch b Starc 17

Chamika Karunaratne exhausted 1

Dushmantha Chameera c Warner b Starc 1

Maheesh Theekshana c Warner b Richardson 1

Nuwan Thushara not released 0

SUPPLEMENTS (W-7) 7

TOTAL (all out, 19.3 overs) 128

WICKETS FALL: 1-39 (Danushka Gunathilaka), 2-100 (Pathum Nissanka), 3-102 (Kusal Mendis), 4-103 (Bhanuka Rajapaksa), 5-103 (Dasun Shanaka), 6-116 (Charith Asalanka ), 7-118 (Chamika Karunaratne), 8-127 (Dushmantha Chameera), 9-128 (Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva), 10-128 (Maheesh Theekshana)

BOWLING: Starc 4-0-26-3 (3 wks); Hazel

4-0-16-4; Marsh 2-0-21-0; Maxwell 2-0-18-0; Richardson 3.3-0-22-1; Agar 4-0-25-0

AUSTRALIA:

Aaron Finch not out 61

David Warner not out 70

SUPPLEMENTS (W-3) 3

TOTAL (without wicket, 14 overs) 134

HAS NO BAT: Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steven Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Josh Hazlewood

BOWLING: Theekshana 4-0-25-0 (1 wk); Thushara

2-0-21-0 (2w); Camera 4-0-48-0; Hasaranga de Silva 2-0-27-0; Karunaratne 2-0-13-0

RESULT: Australia win by 10 wickets.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Josh Hazlewood

SERIES: Australia leads the three-game series 1-0.

Posted in Dawn, June 8, 2022