Australia aiming for another commanding performance vs Sri Lanka in 2nd T20I

Sydney: Australia will aim to build on their 1-0 series lead and also give a more commanding performance with the bat when they take on Sri Lanka in the second of the five-match T20I at the Sydney Cricket ground here on Sunday.

Australia had won the low-scoring rain-interrupted opening T20I by 20 runs under DLS Method with Ben McDermott scoring a half-century and pace bowler Josh Hazlewood, returning to the side after missing four Ashes Tests due to a side strain, taking four wickets for 12 runs.

In fact, the entire bowling unit was on fire but there will be concerns in the batting department. The services of David Warner and Mitchell Marsh were missed as there was a lack of thrust at the top of the order. This will be an area which the Australians will aim to improve heading into the second match.

For Sri Lanka, the bowlers performed remarkably well but there was a lack of intent in the batting department. Accelerating while not losing wickets at regular intervals will be their main area of focus. They will hope that the bowling department can replicate the performance of the first match.

Skipper Dasun Shanaka will still back a relatively young unit to fight back hard on Sunday.

In the first T20I, bowling first, Sri Lanka bowled with intent and discipline to restrict Australia to 149/9. McDermott got the hosts off to a decent start with a 41-ball 53. Marcus Stoinis’ 17-ball 30 then helped Australia get to a score which their bowlers would feel confident about defending. For Sri Lanka, it was a collective bowling effort, with Binura Fernando being the pick of the bowlers with figures of 2/12 in his four overs.

In reply, no Sri Lankan batter apart from Pathum Nissanka (36) and Dinesh Chandimal (25) could mount much of a fight-back. The chase was curtailed by one over due to rain interruptions but that did not make much of a difference as Sri Lanka still fell short by 20 runs (DLS method). Josh Hazlewood (4/12) and Adam Zampa (3/18) broke the backbone of the Sri Lankan batting unit.

“It was nice to get the win. I thought we had to bowl well to defend that total on this wicket. We probably left ourselves a little bit short with the bat. We got ourselves into a position where we were one wicket down too many at stages after the 12th over. But an unbelievable effort from the bowlers,” said Australian white-ball skipper Aaron Finch.

“We had lots of positives with the bowling and in the field. I thought we did better in those departments. Obviously, we didn’t get any partnerships going from the start. It’s been a concern even from the last tour we were here. We need to come up with a better plan for the next game,” said Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka on the eve of the match.

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