Australia beats Sri Lanka by 20 runs in Twenty20 match, SCG

Australia defeated Sri Lanka by 20 runs in its first Twenty20 match since capturing the T20 World Cup last November in the United Arab Emirates.

Despite a disappointing performance with the bat, in which they finished with 149-9 after losing the toss and being sent into bat, the Australian bowling unit stood tall.

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Sri Lanka finished with 122 runs for eight wickets in their run chase, which was adjusted under the Duckworth-Lewis system due to a short rain delay that reduced the visitors’ overs to 19.

Josh Hazlewood led Australia with four wickets for 12 runs in his four overs while Adam Zampa took 3-18.

Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood put the pressure on Sri Lanka’s batters early with two wickets in the power play, before Zampa put the breaks on just when the Australians started to lose their momentum.

Zampa took care of Charith Asalanka and Pathum Nissanka in the 11th over just as the two batters were starting to build a partnership.

“I thought we had to bowl well to defend that total on this wicket, it wasn’t the easiest wicket to bat on,” said skipper Aaron Finch after the match.

“We probably left ourselves a bit short with the bat and got ourselves in a position where we might’ve been one wicket down too much from probably the 12th over onwards.

Josh Hazlewood takes care of Danushka Gunathilaka

“An unbelievable performance from our bowlers.”

In the Australian innings, the home side looked destined to post a hefty total before a major collapse in the final three overs restricted the innings.

Courtesy of fast bowler Binura Fernando, who took care of Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade late, the Aussies were restricted and notched only nine runs in the final three overs.

“I think 165-170 was probably par,” said Australian cricket legend Shane Warne in commentary at the time. “Australia will have to question themselves about the way they got out.

“This premeditation, reverse sweeps and everything… I reckon they got a bit too funky.

“They’re probably a little rusty.”

Warne after the match went explained: “They didn’t bat that well but they came out with the ball and showed their class and flexed their muscles.

“they blew Sri Lanka away with the ball today, they were only in second gear.”

Meanwhile, Ben McDermott carried his impressive Big Bash form into the first T20 international.

McDermott recorded his first half-century at international level with 53 from 41 balls before falling lbw to Chamika Karunaratne.

McDermott, who replaced the rested David Warner as Finch’s opening partner, was restricted in the opening stages but began to find his groove.

Sri Lanka has not beaten Australia in T20 cricket since 2017.

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