result
22nd Match, Group 1, Dubai (DSC), Oct 28 2021, ICC Men's T20 World Cup
(17/20 ov)155/3
Australia won by 7 wickets (with 18 balls remaining)
Player Of The Match
2/12
adam-zampa

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    Aus power up

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    Advance Australia

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    Opening gambit

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    Stoin thumped

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    Straya strike back

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    Bye-bye, boom-boom!

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    Finch flips it

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Updated 28-Oct-2021 • Published 28-Oct-2021

As it happened - Australia vs Sri Lanka, Men's T20 World Cup, Super 12s

By Alan Gardner

Stoin finishes the job

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Australia 155 for 3 (Warner 65) beat Sri Lanka 154 for 6 (Asalanka 35, Zampa 2-12) by seven wickets
A tough outing for Kumara (three overs, 0 for 48) finishes with Marcus Stoinis pounding six and four to seal victory for Australia with three full overs to spare. Stoinis made 16 off 7, while Smith pootled calmly to 28 off 26 - Australia join England at the top of Group 1 on four points, with the two teams meeting in Dubai on Saturday.

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Davey loves SL

It was coming, wasn't it? A half-century for Warner has held Australia steady in their chase, and confirmed a return to form for the Reverend. This is his fourth consecutive 50-plus score in T20Is against Sri Lanka, and with the RRR below a run a ball, it looks like seeing Australia home.

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Mini Maxi

With the fall of Finch, Australia sent in Glenn Maxwell at No. 3. One reverse-slapped boundary off Wanindu Hasaranga hinted at his intent - as well as the chim-chiminy form that he was in during the recent IPL. But in the same over he attempted to clear the boundary at deep midwicket only to be safely pouched on the rope. Steven Smith has now joined Warner in the middle. Another one for SL and things could get interesting.

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Hasaranga strikes

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Aus power up

63 Australia's openers ransacked their highest powerplay score in all T20 World Cups to get the chase off to a flyer
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Advance Australia

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Ominous signs for Sri Lanka. They needed early wickets, but instead Australia's openers cast off their rickety form coming in to shave a good chunk off the target. Finch was gifted a couple of short, wide ones by Karunaratne with which to find his range, and was soon plonking Dushmantha Chameera for a straight six, as Australia raised 50 inside five overs. Lahiru Kumara's pace held no fear for either batter, as his opening over went for 20; Perera then dropped a gloved pull from Warner, to compound a poor start in the field.

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Enter spin

Maheesh Theekshana is into the attack in the second over - and immediately Warner takes him on, reverse-sweeping up and over the ring. Could this contest set the tone?

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Opening gambit

Can Australia's openers find some form here? David Warner has averaged 5.3 in T20s in the UAE so far this year - though will be hoping a few different methods in practice can help turn things around. Aaron Finch, meanwhile, has played six career T20Is in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, making scores of 5, 1, 0, 3, 1 & 0. Time for the tide to turn?

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Fighting target?

Sri Lanka 154 for 6 (Asalanka 35, Zampa 2-12) vs Australia
Sri Lanka got themselves up above 150, and to what might roughly be considered a par score, thanks to a spritely innings from Bhanuka Rajapaksa. At 94 for 5 in the 13th over, Australia looked to be on top - but Rajapaksa put on 40 alongside his captain Dasun Shanaka, then another 20 with Chamika Karunaratne at the death.

They were on the charge towards something even more challenging after blazing through the powerplay one down, as Charith Asalanka and Kusal Perera added 63 in 7.1 overs. But Adam Zampa, who claimed 2 for 12, and Mitchell Starc ripped the heart out of the innings during a four-over spell in which Sri Lanka lost 4 for 16.

Meanwhile, here's the Sri Lanka vs legspin killer stat, courtesy of jaded cynic correspondent Andrew Fidel Fernando. Since the 2016 World T20, they have the worst average and S/R against legspin out of all the teams in the Super 12s.

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Stoin thumped

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He packs a punch, all right... Bhanuka Rajapaksa has been in good nick, having made 53 off 31 and 42 from 27 in two of his three T20WC innings, and he picks the bowler to target here. Stoinis' mix of seam-up and off-pace went for 17, as Shanaka got off strike and left it to his partner. The pick was a straight six that sailed well back over the rope, even though Rajapaksa didn't seem to quite get hold of the shot.

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We go again

SL need something from "Here comes" Dasun and Rajapaksa-punch, after having the stuffing knocked out of them mid-innings. The average score batting first in Dubai this year has been 149 - meaning SL would need to add 44 from the last five overs. Even then, that might not be enough to stretch Australia, given the advantage chasing teams have tended to have.

They won't have to negotiate any more from Zampa, whose figures of 2 for 12 improving his excellent career record against SL. And it looks like Stoinis will be back to bowl the spare over... can SL regain some momentum?

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Starc points the way

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SL slide

4 Wickets SL lost in four overs between the 10th and the 13th - going from 78 for 1 to 94 for 5 in 17 balls against the legspin-pace combo of Zampa and Starc
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Straya strike back

Important breakthroughs either side of the midway point for Australia. Legspin has been an effective way to neutralise Sri Lanka in recent times, although ironically Asalanka was their only batter not to be dismissed by a leggie in 2021 - cue him slogging an Adam Zampa googly against the turn, and picking out deep backward square. Starc then returned to burst through Kusal Perera's defences with a heat-seaking leg-stump yorker, the ball after being dumped over long-on for six.

Still a question who will bowl the other utility over, with Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis having been expensive from their three. But Finch will be feeling a bit more comfortable with both set batters gone.

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Max Power

There was plenty of talk going into the tournament about how there may be a premium on powerplay runs, given that scoring appeared to become harder once the new ball lost its hardness during the IPL. Well, Sri Lanka have now produced three of the six highest powerplay scores - their 53 for 1 here only two runs off the best in this T20 World Cup. Asalanka was the man whose name you'd love to touch, taking on the pace and bounce of Cummins and Hazlewood, as well as cashing in on that Maxwell over.

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Bye-bye, boom-boom!

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Feisty start to the opening exchanges. Australia fired up with the pace trident of Starc-Hazlewood-Cummins - who played their first T20I together at the weekend - and the latter made the breakthrough, a ball after Pathum Nissanka had nonchalantly whipped him for four over square leg. Charith Asalanka, so impressive in the win over Bangladesh, strolled out and pulled his first ball - a 140kph bouncer - for four; that was also signalled a no-ball, with Asalanka chipping the free hit to long-off.

Maxwell and his top-knot entered the contest next over, only for Asalanka to immediately launch an 86 metre six slog-swept over deep miwicket. A controlled sweep brought four more, the No.3 racing to 20 off eight balls at the end of the fourth. Throw in five wides and it's not been a great start for Australia.

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Finch flips it

Australia are unchanged and take the option to chase - unsurprising, given that 12 out of 16 T20s at the Dubai International Stadium this year have been won by the side batting second. Sri Lanka have to try to set the running, while Aaron Finch will be hoping to burgle a few overs from his allrounders. Glenn Maxwell bowled a full allocation against South Africa, and we could see him start in the Powerplay - not least given his record against Kusal Perera of two dismissals in 13 balls in all T20.

Only one change to the SL XI but it may yet be a significant one: Maheesh Theekshana is fit to return, having sat out the win over Bangladesh with a side problem. He was in top form during the first stage, with a mix of skiddy offbreaks and carom balls confounding the likes of Namibia and Ireland.

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Dubai Ding Dong

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Should Sri Lanka play the extra spinner? Do Australia need Marcus Stoinis to bowl?

Hello, and welcome to the Live Report - roll up, roll up for a bit of the old razzle-dazzle. Australia and Sri Lanka, for differing reasons, weren’t hugely fancied for this tournament, but both come in with confidence buoyed and looking to go two from two. We have an evening start in Dubai, with the attendant concerns around the “dew factor”; but let’s hope for a little X-factor, too, as the Super 12s get cooking.

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