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Recent Match Report – Australia vs Sri Lanka 2nd T20I 2021/22


Fast bowler concedes five runs in Super Over after picking up three wickets; Nissanka’s 73 goes in vain

Australia 164 for 6 (Inglis 48, Chameera 2-30, Theekshana 2-33) tied with Sri Lanka 164 for 8 (Nissanka 73, Shanaka 34, Hazlewood 3-22)
Australia win the Super Over

There’s no way Sri Lanka had a shot in this, right? With four overs left, they were five down needing 50. With three overs left, they were six down needing 46. Pathum Nissanka was playing the best innings of his T20 international career, but that career was only 14 matches old.

But with the help of Wanindu Hasaranga, Nissanka lurched Sri Lanka forward in the 18th over, bowled by Pat Cummins. Hasaranga hit two fours – one an intentional uppercut behind square, the other a thick outside edge. Nissanka then walloped Cummins over deep midwicket for six, and by the end of the over, Sri Lanka had brought the requirement to 29 off 12 balls.

But Josh Hazlewood kept the runs in check in the 19th over, giving away only 10, and he would thwart Sri Lanka again, later.

The final over, bowled by Marcus Stoinis, seemed to be going Australia’s way, when Nissanka was caught at deep backward square, and Sri Lanka still needed 12 off the last three balls, with only tailenders on strike.

Perhaps buoyed by the news of their big IPL contracts, though, Maheesh Theekshana and Dushmantha Chameera hit the boundaries that levelled the scores and force a Super Over. Theekshana bashed his first ball over deep midwicket, where Steven Smith almost pulled off a stunning save, but didn’t quite manage to prevent a six. Last ball of conventional play, Dushmantha Chameera smoked one down the ground for four to tie the scores. If the ball in between, a fullish ball way outside off stump, had been called a wide as it should have been, Sri Lanka might have won the game there.

The visitors did well to force the match into overtime, but that is where their fight ran out. Australia won it easy, in the end.

The Super Over
Although Nissanka had played perhaps the innings of the game, captain Dasun Shanaka, who had also struck the ball cleanly in his 34 off 23, chose to open in the company of Dinesh Chandimal. It didn’t go well. Shanaka tried to scoop Hazlewood over his shoulder first up but didn’t make contact. Then he played and missed a wide yorker outside off stump. Third ball, he missed again, and when they tried to run on the overthrow, Chandimal was run out at the non-striker’s end. Nissanka hit a two and a single in the two balls he got to face, but a Super Over score of 5 was never going to be enough.

With Hasaranga bowling, Stoinis hit two fours off balls two and three to finish the match.

Hazlewood’s match-winning turn
Aside from the excellent Super Over, Hazlewood was outstanding all through Sri Lanka’s innings. He removed Danushka Gunathilaka in the first over, the batter smoking one straight to cover. He then had Avishka Fernando caught at cover as well – his figures read 2 for 9 from his two Powerplay overs. He only gave away three runs in his third over – the 12th of the innings – and kept his last to 10. All up (including the Super Over), he sent down five overs and conceded only 27.

Nissanka’s slow-burn knock
Josh Inglis produced an excellent 48 off 32 to set Australia’s total up, but Nissanka produced the innings of the evening, progressing steadily while Sri Lanka lost wickets in the early overs (they were 25 for 3, then 67 for 4), before moving up the gears alongside Shanaka, with whom he shared a partnership worth 48 off 31. In the death overs, Nissanka cleared the boundary twice, to bring Sri Lanka close when they had seemed out of contention for much of the chase’s duration. He will be annoyed at the ball he got out to – a knee-high full toss from Stoinis, which he slapped straight to deep backward square in the final over. Nevertheless, his 73 off 53 encapsulated much of Sri Lanka’s fight.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf

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