In Match 16 of the T20 World Cup 2022, The Kangaroos were impressive as they shrugged off their disappointing defeat against New Zealand in the first game to secure their first win of the campaign.
Australia skipper Aaron Finch won the toss and decided to field first. The Asian champions put up a fighting total of 157/6 in 20 overs. However, the defending champions got over the line with 21 balls to spare.
This result means that Sri Lanka and Australia both have 2 points each in Group 1. Both the teams have won one and lost one. However, Sri Lanka is above Australia in the group due to a higher net run rate.
Australia's Cummins Raises Eyebrows
Australia lost to New Zealand in another T20 World Cup match. This time the Australian team improved their bowling performance. Although they would be frustrated to concede 20 runs in the final over, they would be satisfied with a target of 158 as compared to 200 in the previous game.
However, there are still loopholes within the team that is clearly showing. Pat Cummins has been an exceptional test player for Australia, but he hasn’t got himself going in the shortest format of the game.
In the first Super 12 game against New Zealand, he conceded 46 runs in 4 overs with 0 wickets to his name. In the match against Sri Lanka, he conceded 36 runs with the opening wicket of Kusal Mendis.
The defending champions have dropped their right-handed batsman Steve Smith because of his lack of form in the T20 format. Will they do the same to their test captain?
David Warner’s Poor WT20 Continues
David Warner was the man of the tournament in last year’s WT20 for Australia. However, it has been a tournament to forget for the left-handed batsman so far.
The 35-year-old only scored five runs against New Zealand in the Super 12 opener before scoring only 11 runs against Sri Lanka.
The good news for him in this game is that the middle order guided the team to the win. But, most importantly, there are still three games for him to rediscover his form.
Slow starts to tournaments are expected at this stage of your career. However, you cannot expect one of your big players to constantly underperform in these crucial games.
Charith Asalanka’s Extraordinary Cameo
Until the last two overs, it was all the curtains for the men in blue as Australia kept things neat and tidy.
After getting some help from Mitchell Starc in the 19th over, Sri Lanka gave themselves a fighting chance after scoring 20 runs in the final over.
Charith Asalanka was pivotal to that over as he hit Cummins for two fours and a six to bring Sri Lanka’s total beyond 150. The left-handed batsman scored 38 runs off 25 balls, with three fours and two sixes.
More Injury Concerns For Sri Lanka
If South Africa’s luck with rain wasn’t bad enough yesterday, Sri Lanka is having bad luck of their own with injuries.
In their final qualifying game against the UAE, Dushmantha Chameera could not complete his last over. The right-arm fast bowler suffered a grade two tear in the calf of his left foot.
If losing one fast bowler wasn’t enough, they have lost another in Binura Fernando. The left-arm fast bowler could only ball five balls of his spell before being replaced by Dhananjaya de Silva.
Due to the injuries Sri Lanka had, it was imminent that they had to go with spinners in the final overs. And as you saw with Muhammad Nawaz’s final over against India, you get punished.
The 2014 champions have also lost their batsman Danushka Gunathilaka for the campaign. He is replaced by Ashen Bandara, who was part of the traveling reserves.
Do Hosts Need Four Quicks?
This game had many similarities to the one between India and Pakistan two days ago. Pakistan played three fast bowlers, and Muhammad Nawaz was the one who got a hammering, which eventually decided the match.
This game also shows that you cannot defend fighting totals with three fast bowlers. Sri Lanka went with three fast bowlers against Australia, which ended in disaster when Fernando got injured in the first over.
Captain Shanaka only bowled one over and decided to complete the rest of the overs with spinners, which proved to be the wrong move.
As Australia knew they would have a chance against the spinners at some point during the match, they took full advantage. They saw off the fast bowlers and attacked the spinners.
Most boundaries scored by Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis came against the spinners.
Catches Win Matches
It is the old saying, i.e. catches win matches. For Sri Lanka, they didn’t produce the kind of fielding that won them the Asia Cup last month. The 2014 champions dropped two catches off Mitchell Marsh before one-off Finch.
If Sri Lanka wants to progress in this tournament, they must improve their fielding immensely. But, most importantly, they must ensure that they improve their fitness because that plays a role in the fielding quality.
The Marcus Stoinis Power Dhow
Australia changed its gears after Maxwell came to the crease. The right-handed batsman was explosive as he scored 23 runs off 12 balls, with two fours and two sixes.
However, it was Stoinis who stole the show. The 33-year-old scored 59 runs off 18 balls, hitting four fours and six sixes.
It is the fastest fifty in Australian T20 history at a strike rate of 328. It is also the second-fastest WT20 half-century after Yuvraj Singh’s fifty against England in 2007.
Stoinis was pragmatic in the first couple of balls. Then, as he saw Finch struggling throughout his innings, he became the aggressor and smashed consecutive boundaries off Dasun Shanaka.
The right-handed batsman hit two sixes, and a four off Wanindu Hasaranga in the 15th over that tilted the match in the Kangaroos’ favor.
The Sri Lankan leg spinner finished with three overs for 53 runs, which is one of the most expensive figures of his T20 career.
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If you want to know more about T20 World Cup 2022, you should read this article:
- ICC T20 World Cup 2022: Schedule, Team, Venue, Time, Ranking, Winning Prediction
- T20 World Cup 2022 Squads: Group 1 - Australia, Afghanistan, England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Ireland
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