AUS vs SL, 1st T20I: A 134-run stand between David Warner (70*) & Aaron Finch (61*) helped Australia beat Sri Lanka by ten wickets in the first T20I of the three-match T20I series at R Premadasa Stadium on Tuesday. With this win, Australia took a 1-0 lead over Sri Lanka.
The match unfolded with Australia winning the toss & opting to bowl first. Batting first, Sri Lanka got off to a positive start with Patthum Nissanka & Danushka Gunathilaka hitting 35 runs in the four overs. However soon visitors bounced back when Gunathilaka was caught by Mitchell Marsh on Hazlewood’s delivery & was sent packing after scoring 26 runs off 15 balls. Then came Charith Asalanka to the crease & provided momentum to Sri Lanka’s innings. Nissanka along with Asalanka took Sri Lanka across the 100-run mark in 12 overs & kept the scoreboard moving.
But soon their powering stand was broken with Starc dismissing Nissanka in the 12th over, followed by Mendis’s dismissal in the 14th over off Hazlewood’s delivery. In the same over Sri Lanka lost the wickets of Bhanuka Rajapaksa & Dasun Shanaka without opening their run tally & leaving Sri Lanka struggling at 103-5.
Wickets kept falling at regular intervals for Sri Lanka with Asalanka walking back to the pavilion after scoring 38 runs off 34 balls. Karunaratne was also run-out in the 17th over, leaving Sri Lanka struggling at 118-7, followed by Dushmantha & Hasaranga’s wicket in the 19th over. The fall of Maheesh Theekshana’s wicket in the 20th over was the final nail in the coffin for Sri Lanka as their innings were wrapped at meager 128 runs.
Chasing 129, the visitors already got off to a gleaming start as their openers were enough to guide them over the line with all wickets in hand. Openers Finch & Warner mixed caution with aggression to score crucial runs for their team. After 10 overs, Australia had reached 87-0 with Warner (49*) & Finch (38*) on the crease. In the 11th over, Australia already reached the 100-run mark after 11 overs. The match was interrupted by rain with Australia 101-0 & Warner (58*) & Finch (42*)
After the resumption of Play, Warner & Finch continued the onslaught with the bat & in the 14th over, Finch scored the winning runs for Australia by hitting a massive six. Australia won the match with 10 wickets in hand & took a useful 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series.
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