Australia vs Sri Lanka 2019: David Warner helps hosts complete 3-0 whitewash
Australia completed a 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka in the T20I series as they defeated the visitors by seven wickets in the 3rd T20I at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Sri Lanka were again left to lick their wounds as Australia secured the victory with 14 balls to spare.
Sri Lanka were asked to bat first by Australian captain Aaron Finch and found themselves in early trouble when Mitchell Starc got the prized wicket of Niroshan Dickwella off the last ball of the first over.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera batted superbly for his 57 runs but was caught by Ashton Turner while trying to up the run-rate off the bowling of Pat Cummins. No other batsman crossed the 20-run mark as the Aussie pacers exerted their dominance over the opposition. Starc, Cummins and Kane Richardson took two wickets each to restrict Sri Lanka to 142 runs in 20 overs.
In reply, Australia started strongly with a 69-run opening stand between captain Finch and David Warner inside nine overs. Finch was caught by Shehan Jayasuriya off Lahiru Kumara's bowling for 37 runs, after having struck one boundary and three huge sixes.
Steve Smith couldn’t continue his purple patch with the bat as he was caught in the deep by Lakshan Sandakan off Nuwan Pradeep for only 13 runs.
Lasith Malinga returned to trap Ben McDermott leg-before-wicket, a decision which could’ve been overturned had it been reviewed. However, Ashton Turner came out all guns blazing to score 22 runs off 15 balls and guide Australia home. Warner remained unbeaten on 57 runs and batted sensibly to take Australia past the finish line.
Sri Lanka, meanwhile, ended a disastrous tour in which they lost all four games. They first lost to the Prime Ministers XI by one wicket and followed it up with a 134-runs defeat in the first T20I.
They were then dismantled in the second T20I, losing by nine wickets before concluding the tour with a seven-wicket defeat.
Lasith Malinga took a combined total of two wickets in what turned out to be a disappointing series for the Sri Lankan captain.
For Australia, a majority of their squad got an opportunity to feature over the course of the series with the exception of Sean Abbott. Swashbuckling batsman Glenn Maxwell didn't feature in the third match as he was released from the squad after announcing his decision to take an indefinite break from cricket to resolve the mental health issues troubling him.
David Warner was named the Player of the Match as well as the Player of the Series for his outstanding contributions with the bat. Warner finished with 217 runs in three matches with two fifties and one superb century.
Australia will now turn their attention to the three-match T20I series against Pakistan beginning November 3.