SL out to shrug off Super Over heartbreak with series slipping away
It was a heartbreak that could take a while to recover from but the Sri Lankan camp has to press delete and erase memories of the second T20I against Australia, and focus on the crucial third game. Despite slipping to a defeat via the Super Over, the visitors have a lot of positives to take. One of them is that they showed enough character when they were put under pressure.
Dasun Shanaka, the captain, and Pathum Nissanka upped the ante after the tourists had fallen behind at 67 for 4. Even lower order batters like Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana and Dushmantha Chameera kept going for their shots to level the scores. The visitors, though, would hope for the batting trio of Daunshka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando and Charith Asalanka to make useful contributions. For now, the impressive Nissanka has been shouldering the batting unit.
On a side note, Sri Lanka were fined 20 per cent of their match fee for maintaining a slow over-rate in the second T20I.
Meanwhile, Australia would be pleased with the efforts of Josh Hazlewood. The experienced pace bowler didn’t just look threatening with the new ball but also showed discipline and nous in the slog overs. Even in the Super Over, he executed the plans – mixing up yorkers with the short ball – to near-perfection. Hazlewood and Pat Cummins have had to take extra responsibility in the series in the backdrop of Mitchell Starc struggling for form in the shortest format and the returning Kane Richardson not finding his groove in the second game.
On the batting side of things, Josh Inglis and Ben McDermott have been the mainstays. Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell though would hope to get a good score. Australia will also miss the services of Steven Smith for the remainder of the series after he sustained an injury to his head while trying to save a six.
When: Australia vs Sri Lanka, 3rd T20I, 07:10 PM Local Time
Where: Manuka Oval, Canberra
What to expect: Barring a few clouds on the horizon, the weather forecast looks promising. Barring the occasional slow track, the conditions at Manuka Oval are generally good for batting.
Moises Henriques is like to replace Smith in the XI. Meanwhile, the seamer Kane Richardson could get another opportunity.
Possible XI: Aaron Finch (c), Ben McDermott, Josh Inglis, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
Sri Lanka have been grappling with illness as Kusal Mendis tested positive for Covid-19 before the series. The impressive tall left-arm pace bowler Binura Fernando is also reportedly down with an illness. In such circumstances, the visitors could repeat the XI that took the field in the second game, with Nuwan Thushara (‘Podi Malinga’ or little Malinga) getting another opportunity.
Possible XI: Pathum Nissanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Charith Asalanka, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Dasun Shanaka (c), Chamika Karunaratne, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana and Nuwan Thushara.
What they said:
“Great to get the win. Pretty sloppy there. Might’ve got away with the win. Based on how well Josh Hazlewood bowled towards the back of the game,” Aaron Finch.