Australia beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in yesterday’s (October 25) ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 Super 12 match in Perth. Bowling first after winning the toss, the defending champions held Sri Lanka to 157/6 in the Group 1 clash. Marcus Stoinis then smashed an unbeaten 59 off 18 balls as the Aussies reached the target in 16.3 overs.
Sri Lanka got off to a poor start with the bat, losing in-form Kusal Mendis to Pat Cummins for five. The aggressive batter miscued a pull shot and was caught. The Lankans never quite recovered from the big setback. Pathum Nissanka and Dhananjaya de Silva did add 69 for the second wicket, but it did not come at the desired pace.
The partnership ended when De Silva (26 off 23) was caught at long-off, trying to take on Ashton Agar, who replaced Adam Zampa (tested positive for COVID-19). Nissanka was then run-out for 40 off 45 after a mix-up with Charith Asalanka.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa (seven), Dasun Shanaka (three) and Wanindu Hasaranga (one) all fell in quick succession as the Lankans slipped to 120/6. Asalanka (38* off 25) and Chamika Karunaratne (14* off 7), however, took on Cummins in the last over, which went for 20. Their late assault lifted Sri Lanka past 150.
Chasing 158, Australia lost David Warner (11), who was caught off a tossed-up delivery from Maheesh Theekshana. Mitchell Marsh then perished for a run-a-ball 17. Aussie skipper Aaron Finch looked completely out of sorts and was helped by Glenn Maxwell, who came in and raced to 22 off six balls.
After Maxwell fell to Karunaratne for 23 off 12, Stoinis came in and shut Sri Lanka out of the contest with some brutal hitting. He registered the fastest fifty by an Australian batter in T20Is - 17 balls.
Stoinis was extremely harsh on Sri Lanka’s spinners. He pounded leggie Hasaranga (0/53 in three overs) for two sixes and a four in the 15th over. In the next over, he took on Theekshana and clubbed three sixes, the third of which brought up his half-century.
Finch, who remained unbeaten on an unconvincing 31 off 42 balls, hit the winning runs with a couple off Lahiru Kumara’s bowling.
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Most Australian bowlers kept things tight. Josh Hazlewood, Cummins, Starc, Agar and Maxwell all claimed one wicket each. Maxwell also contributed a crucial cameo in the chase. Stoinis was outstanding with his big-hitting, smacking four fours and six sixes.
For Sri Lanka, Nissanka scored 40, while Asalanka contributed an impressive 38 not out.
Stoinis was named Player of the Match for his brutal assault on Sri Lanka's bowlers.