Rapidly becoming an integral part of Australia’s limited-overs fortunes, Adam Zampa displayed his prowess with another telling spell in the second T20I against Sri Lanka at Colombo (RPS). Although the extensive tour was coming to a conclusion, the match presented the Aussies an opportunity to clinch both white-ball series after being whitewashed in the Tests by a 3-0 margin.
With veteran Tillakaratne Dilshan also bringing the curtains on his stellar career, the hosts were anticipating a strong showing to send him off on a high and skipper Dinesh Chandimal delighted the spectators by opting to bat first upon winning the toss. However, John Hastings came in the way of the 39-year old’s farewell by sending him back in the second over itself. Usually a safe exponent of the cut shot, Dilshan mistimed one and found David Warner at slip.
Dhananjaya de Silva joined the explosive Kusal Perera in a bid to steady the ship. When Glenn Maxwell was surprisingly introduced into the attack during the penultimate over of the Power Play, the duo capitalized on it by looting 16 runs off him.
After Warner managed to pull off a brilliant grab to dismiss Perera, Zampa came into the equation and settled in nicely by conceding only five runs from his first over. On a pitch which offered a bit of spin, he imparted significant revolutions and tried to lure the batsmen by tossing it up. Keen to deny any semblance of width, the leg-spinner looked to target the stumps. Although the length initially veered towards the fuller side, the 24-year old shortened one and trapped Kusal Mendis with a hint of turn.
Despite replays showing that the ball pitched just outside leg, he had produced a major breakthrough. With Chamara Kapugedara struggling to adjust to the pace of the pitch, Zampa continued to rely on his flight and kept probing away. Meanwhile, at the other end, medium pacer Moises Henriques complemented him by stifling the flow of runs. The all-rounder varied his length smartly and generated awkward bounce to confuse the batsmen.
Immediately after surviving a close stumping call, Kapugedara was outsmarted by a quicker and flatter one from Zampa. Resorting to a short-arm pull, he could not keep it down as Warner swooped into pouch another excellent catch.
Having lost half of their side within the 13th over itself, Sri Lanka badly needed Thisara Perera’s long-handle treatment to post a competitive total on board. But, the strongly built left-hander did not last long enough to make any impact.
Not too keen on feeding to Perera’s strength and testing his temperament, Zampa hit the good length area to turn one into middle. A desperate attempt to break the shackles resulted in a mistimed heave gave the wrist-spinner his third wicket and figures of 4-0-16-3.
As many as seven batsmen were dismissed for single-digit scores which meant that the hosts crawled to a paltry 128. Fresh off a blazing ton in the previous match, Maxwell smashed a 29-ball 66 to complete the victory and end their tour on a positive note although Dilshan gave the crowd something to cheer about by picking up a wicket off his final delivery.Published 09 Sep 2016, 23:05 IST