RESULT
1st T20I (N), Colombo (RPS), June 07, 2022, Australia tour of Sri Lanka
(14/20 ov, T:129) 134/0

Australia won by 10 wickets (with 36 balls remaining)

Report

Hazlewood, Warner and Finch spearhead crushing opening win for Australia

Sri Lanka suffered a huge collapse to lose 9 for 28 after a strong start from the top three

Josh Hazlewood picked up figures of 4 for 16, which included a triple-wicket over, Sri Lanka vs Australia, 1st T20I, Colombo, June 7, 2022

Josh Hazlewood picked up figures of 4 for 16, which included a triple-wicket over  •  AFP/Getty Images

Australia 134 for 0 (Warner 70*, Finch 61*) beat Sri Lanka 128 (Hazlewood 4-16, Starc 3-26) by 10 wickets
By the end of the Powerplay, Sri Lanka were a healthy 59 for 0. Halfway through their innings, they'd got to 87 for 1.
They were like a sports car traveling rapidly through the night, until they missed a turn and crashed through the barriers. In the end, their plunge into the ravine was more dramatic than their rush through the early overs.
Having got to 100 for 1 in the 12th over, Sri Lanka plummeted to 128. Josh Hazlewood produced an excellent middle-overs spell and claimed four wickets in all. Mitchell Starc, who put the collapse in motion, picked up three although may miss the second of the back-to-back games having suffered a cut finger in his opening over. There were two run outs in addition.
Despite a big rain break late in the game, Aaron Finch and David Warner blazed Australia to the target inside 14 overs. Finch walloped four sixes and four fours in his 40-ball 61 not out. Warner cracked nine fours in his 70 off 44. And Australia began their tour with as emphatic a victory as they could have hoped for.
The catastrophic collapse starts…
There was some tight bowling from Hazlewood and Ashton Agar through this period, but little in the pitch to aid the bowlers, and it was hardly unplayable bowling. This was more collective hara-kiri.
Pathum Nissanka was the first to be dismissed, ending his 61-run stand with Charith Asalanka. Having got on one knee to essentially slog sweep Starc through midwicket for four earlier in the 12th over, he tried the same thing again, and was fooled by an excellent yorker, which slipped underneath his shot at 131kph and took out the stumps.
… and continues in a triple-wicket Hazlewood over
Agar then delivered an excellent follow-up over, conceding just two singles, and bowling four dot bowls, which set up the pivotal Hazlewood over. Kusal Mendis top-edged a heave across the line and was caught by Agar, getting under it from cover. Bhanuka Rajapaksa edged one behind trying to open the face. Last ball, Dasun Shanaka shuffled across the stumps trying to work Hazlewood to leg and was hit in front of middle instead, his review turning out to be futile. That over cost Australia just one run and brought three wickets. Sri Lanka had lost three batters for three runs at this stage.
Sri Lanka's lower order falls apart too
The likes of Wanindu Hasaranga and Chamika Karunaratne have played good innings from lower down, but have not produced a lot with the bat in recent months, which meant than Asalanka - the most fluent Sri Lanka batter of the evening - needed to hang around to head a resurgence. He was run out at the non-striker's end attempting a bye (Hasaranga had called him through), however, and from there, Sri Lanka never looked like they would put up so much as a respectable total.
Sri Lanka mustered only two fours from the 15th over onwards, as they lost another to a run out, and the lower order holed out.
Finch and Warner boss the chase
If there was a nervous moment for Australia, it came in the first over, when Maheesh Theekshana was awarded an lbw decision against Finch, third ball. That decision was overturned when Finch was shown to have edged that delivery into his pads. And it wasn't long before Australia's openers exploded.
The first six came off Dushmantha Chameera, who Finch launched over long off to end the third over. And when Hasaranga came on, both batters made it a point to take him apart in the powerplay. Warner came down the track and smoked him over mid-on to start, then Finch struck him for fours through midwicket and backward point, before sending the ball sailing over the cow corner rope.
There wasn't much relent after that. Warner got to a beautifully controlled half-century off 32 balls. Finch got there off 37 balls with a sliced boundary over backward point. Warner had had one hiccup - when he was dropped by Nissanka off the bowling of Karunaratne, on 55. But it wouldn't have made much of a difference.
Rains came down midway through the 12th over, with the score on 101 for 0. But when the shower cleared up, the pair sprinted home.

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