About the Match
Australia continued on its winning momentum as it registered a massive 85-run victory in the first T20 against hosts Sri Lanka; the two teams will now face off in the 2nd T20 of the series at Colombo on 9th September. After dominating the Lankans in the recently concluded one-day series, the Aussies yet again shone with bat and ball to challenge Sri Lanka with a record 264-run target batting first; however, the Lankan batting line-up suffered a top-order collapse and were unable to turn around things in their favour. The upcoming match is the last game of the series and Sri Lanka will be eager to draw level with a win here on Friday.
The bowlers put up a lacklustre effort as the speedsters gave away too many runs and barring Senanayake and Thisara Perera, who took a wicket each, the others couldn’t find any success with the ball. Spinner Pathirana took a wicket but he too proved to be costly and others like Lakmal and Dhananjaya de Silva failed to make an impression. They do have a good combination of pace and attack and can make a comeback if they keep their spirits high despite the recent poor performance.
The batting line-up crumbled under pressure of chasing the record 264-run target set by the opposition; although Chandimal continued his good efforts with the bat as he posted a well-made 58 and all-rounder Kapugedera contributed with a quick fire 43, the others fell like a pack of cards and they lost the match by 85 runs.
Mathews, who suffered a calf injury, couldn’t play the match and seems likely to sit out of the upcoming one too; however, they have experienced batsmen like Kusal Perera, Dilshan and Kusal Mendis who can support Chandimal in setting up big totals or chasing targets.
Glenn Maxwell found his hard-hitting rhythm back to post a spectacular unbeaten 145 off just 65 deliveries to steer the team towards a record-breaking T20 total of 263 runs; along with good support from Travis Head, who scored 45 off 18, Warner and Khawaja, Australia romped off to a strong innings and the bowlers seized the opportunity to register a massive win.
Speedsters Mitchell Starc and Scott Boland, who have been consistently providing the breakthroughs, took 3 wickets each in rapid intervals to demolish the Lankan batting line-up. Others like Faulkner, Henriques and spinner Adam Zampa took a wicket each and made it impossible for the hosts to recover. They have a strong bowling attack that has in-form pacemen and spinners, and can definitely prove to be a formidable force to reckon with.
While the batting is in great shape, the bowlers will be determined to make a clean whitewash here; the Aussies’ solid performance is an indicator that they will leave no stone unturned to win again.
While Australia has the upper hand after taking the first match, Sri Lanka will have to use their resources cleverly to bounce back here. The contest could swing either way but we feel that Australia with its power-packed batting line-up is better placed to emerge victorious on Friday.