|Sri Lanka 154-6 (20 overs): Asalanka 35 (25), Perera 35 (27); Zampa 2-12|
|Australie 155-3 (17 overs): Warner 65 (42), Finch 37 (23); Hasaranga 2-22|
|Australia won by 7 wickets|
Australia maintained their 100% record in the Men’s T20 World Cup with a dominant seven wicket win over Sri Lanka.
Chasing 155 to win, opener David Warner led the way with 65 of 42 balls.
When he was fired in 15th, Australia only needed 25 to win.
Halfway through, Sri Lanka’s 154-6 looked competitive on slow ground, but their bowlers struggled to stay consistent and Warner and Aaron Finch (37) capitalized.
After being batted, Charith Asalanka (35) and Kusal Perera (35) propelled Sri Lanka to 78-2 with 10 overs remaining.
But they wasted the opportunity to get the most out of that platform as Adam Zampa (2-12) stepped up the pressure on the hitters, and they staggered to 94-5.
With a quick 33 out of 26 shot from Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka gave their bowlers something to defend.
But they failed to create any pressure as the wayward bowling allowed Warner and Finch to free their arms.
They reached 63 on the power-play six and Steve Smith (28 not retired) and Marcus Stoinis (16 not retired) finished the job for Australia with ease.
Warner finds his rhythm
Opener Warner was under pressure.
He made 14 in Australia’s opener against South Africa and scores one and one duck in their warm-up matches. Prior to that, he was dropped by Sunrisers Hyderabad, his IPL franchise, in the later stages of this tournament.
But the cricket world knows Warner is a fighter and he’s not a player teams will want to write off.
Granted, he received a life on the 18th when wicket keeper Kusal Perera dropped a ridiculously easy catch, and Sri Lanka’s bowling was certainly substandard, but it was Warner at his brutal and belligerent best.
His first limitation came from a brave reverse sweep that set the tone for the rest of his innings: he picked the gaps between outfielders perfectly and refused to let a bowler settle in – in contrast hitting with the way the Sri Lankan hitters had allowed Zampa to equalize them in knots.
For Australia, now is the perfect time for Warner to get back into shape. Their next opponents? England, Saturday.
Chasing – the key to success in the United Arab Emirates
There have been 10 matches in the Super 12 phase of the World Cup so far and nine of them have been won by the chasing team.
Only Afghanistan, who posted 190 before eliminating Scotland for 60, have been able to defend a score so far.
Much of the discussion leading up to the tournament centered on the dew that sets in in the UAE evenings, which makes the ball difficult to grab as a bowler and subsequently gives the hitting team an advantage. Secondly.
In a format in which we expect the big scores and the bat to dominate the ball, this World Cup so far seems to offer something a little different – scores of 140-150 appear to be more competitive as the effects play a more important role.
But that only works if your bowlers are supportive of you, of course. Sri Lanka didn’t quite get this – just ask Dushmantha Chameera (see above).