Ben McDermott top-scored for Australia with his maiden international fifty
Australia 149 for 9 (McDermott 53, Hasaranga 3-38) beat Sri Lanka 122 for 8 (Hazlewood 4-12, Zampa 3-18) by 20 runs (DLS method
As has often been the case for Sri Lanka in the past year, the bowlers took the game by the collar, and the batters then let the match slip. Having restricted Australia to 149 for 9 on a decent batting deck, Sri Lanka lost two wickets in the first three overs, and never really recovered. They’d been chasing 143, after an over of the chase was lost to rain.
Gunathilaka and Avishka hole out
Sri Lanka’s top three just couldn’t get the boundaries away in the powerplay. There were plays-and-misses, defensive pushes, good shots that found fielders, and a steady building up of frustration. Mitchell Starc’s first over cost only one run. Hazlewood only conceded one off the bat in the first five balls of the next over. With Sri Lanka on just three runs after 11 deliveries, Danushka Gunathilaka attempted to blast Hazlewood over the leg side, but succeeded only in mis-hitting it to midwicket.
Two overs later, Avishka Fernando cracked Pat Cummins over the deep midwicket boundary for six, but sent a high catch behind the wicket attempting to repeat the shot. In the end, Sri Lanka mustered only 30 runs for the loss of those two wickets, by the end of the Powerplay. The required rate had climbed past 8.5 by this stage.
Zampa and Hazlewood rip through the middle order
Sri Lanka’s lower-middle and lower order needed to hit out desperately, but Hazlewood is hard to clobber. Dasun Shanaka and Dushmantha Chameera were both caught off top-edges, as the batters tried to clear leg-side boundaries. Chamika Karunaratne, was out caught and bowled when a leading edge popped up down the pitch, and Hazlewood took a good low catch. Between them, Zampa and Hazlewood claimed seven wickets.
Australia close poorly after McDermott fifty
Australia were never explosive at any stage of their innings, but thanks to McDermott’s solidity, they had got to 75 for 1 after 10 overs, and seemed headed for a total in the vicinity of 170, given the firepower to come. Sri Lanka repeatedly dented Australia’s advance through this period, however, with Karunaratne and Hasaranga striking twice apiece, in the space of five overs.
There was a brief Australia resurgence while Stoinis was at the crease, but Binura Fernando and Chameera both had double-wicket overs in the death. Sri Lanka conceded only nine runs and took four wickets in the last three overs of Australia’s innings.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf