Wade in charge of Australia A win
Australia A 4 for 176 (Wade 80) beat Sri Lanka A 7 for 149 (Udawatte 28) by 27 runs
Matthew Wade, the Victoria wicketkeeper, blasted 80 off 50 balls to set up Australia A's 27-run victory over Sri Lanka A in the one-off Twenty20 in Townsville. Wade opened for the hosts and crunched nine fours and two sixes in his half-century, which raced them to a challenging 4 for 176.
The captain George Bailey provided a late surge as he finished unbeaten on 35 off 24 balls, while Aaron Finch (29) and Adam Voges (17) also chipped in. James Pattinson struck twice in the first five overs to build on Australia's strong position and have Sri Lanka 2 for 32.
Mahela Udawatte started well with 28 off 22 but the assignment quickly became difficult and there was no way back after Dinesh Chandima (23) and Chamara Kapugedera (26) were dismissed. Brendan Drew (2 for 19), Moises Henriques and Andrew McDonald ensured there would be no escape by the visitors, who finished at 7 for 149.
Despite today's success, Wade said he wasn't going to push for an opening spot in Twenty20s at Victoria in place of 35-year-old Brad Hodge. "Hodgie called me last night actually, I won't be asking him to hang them up just yet," Wade said after the match. "He's a great player and has done so well for us. I try and model my game a little on Hodgie, who strokes the ball around a bit and gets into the innings later on, since I'm not a natural hitter."
Sri Lanka have already lost a couple of first-class matches as well, but Wade expected them to put up a better show in the one-dayers coming up. "I think their game suits one-day cricket more," he said. "They play a lot of shots, good strikers of the ball, if they can get the ball to reverse late in the 50-over game, it's going to be a good challenge."