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2nd T20I (N), Sydney, February 13, 2022, Sri Lanka tour of Australia
(20 ov, T:165) 164/8

Match tied (Australia won the one-over eliminator)

Player Of The Match
Cricinfo's MVP
88.59 ptsImpact List

Sri Lanka seek better display with bat to hurt high-flying Australia

The hosts might be disappointed at how the middle order fell away on Friday, but won't be sweating just yet

Australia's world class attack was a bit too much for Sri Lanka's inexperienced top order on Friday  •  Getty Images

Australia's world class attack was a bit too much for Sri Lanka's inexperienced top order on Friday  •  Getty Images

Big picture

You might get the better of Australia's batters, but then you have to contend with their world-class attack as well. Although Sri Lanka did well to restrict Australia to less than 150 in the opening match, they never had the measure of the chase. Australia's bowlers were too skillful and accurate; Sri Lanka's top order was inexperienced and ineffective.
The Sri Lankan batters struck the occasional boundary, suggesting they were not totally out of their depths. But they were not particularly judicious as to which balls they went after, and frequently got into trouble trying to hit back-to-back boundaries, with the required rate climbing.
Australia might be disappointed at how the middle order fell away on Friday, after Ben McDermott had provided a solid start. But such is the quality they possess, they probably aren't going to sweat it just yet. Plus, with the likes of Adam Zampa in the side, and with Sri Lanka's long-standing issues against wrist spin taken into account, Australia may feel they have plenty of room for error on the batting front. They may, however, be a little more wary of Wanindu Hasaranga, who took three wickets on Friday.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)
Sri Lanka LWLLL Australia WWWWW

In the spotlight

Glenn Maxwell just blasted 154 not out off 54 balls in the Big Bash League, but international cricket has not seen his manic best for a while. He has not crossed 30 in his last 10 T20I innings (though there are three not out scores in that sequence). He is generally good against Sri Lanka, however, his highest international score (145 not out off 65) having come against them. If he tees off, Sri Lanka's problems will be compounded.
If becoming the top T20I bowler in the world was not enough, Wanindu Hasaranga has on Saturday gained the ultimate 21st century validation of T20 prowess, fetching a mindblowing $1.5m (approximately) at the IPL auction. Beyond his obvious skill with bat and ball, what has made him such a valuable player is the confidence with which he comes back at batters who have just hit him, or looked to take him on. He is, however, entering a new phase in his career, in which he will have a giant target painted on his back. How will he handle this new reputation, and everything that comes with it?

Team news

Andrew McDonald indicated there could be a change depending on how players pulled up after the opening game. It would most likely come in the pace attack. Kane Richardson and Jhye Richardson are both part of the squad.
Australia (possible) 1 Aaron Finch (capt.), 2 Ben McDermott, 3 Josh Inglis, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Steven Smith, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewodd
Sri Lanka are also likely to go in unchanged, with Kusal Mendis still isolating after testing positive for Covid-19.
Sri Lanka (possible) 1 Danushka Gunathilaka, 2 Pathum Nissanka, 3 Avishka Fernando, 4 Charith Asalanka, 5 Dinesh Chandimal (wk), 6 Dasun Shanaka (capt.), 7 Wanindu Hasaranga, 8 Chamika Karunaratne, 9 Dushmantha Chameera, 10 Binura Fernando, 11 Maheesh Theekshana

Pitch and conditions

The pitch is expected to be decent for batting again. There is a slight chance of showers interrupting, but there should be enough clear weather to get a game.

Stats and trivia

  • Maxwell averages 73.25 and strikes at 215 against Sri Lanka - easily his best record against any nation.
  • Hasaranga took three wickets in three of his last four matches, only missing out against West Indies, against whom he took 2 for 19.
  • Sri Lanka won their first five T20Is in Australia, but have now lost all five T20Is since that streak ended.
  • Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf

    Win Probability
    SL 50%
    100%50%100%AUS InningsSL Innings

    Over 20 • SL 164/8

    Pathum Nissanka c Cummins b Stoinis 73 (53b 7x4 2x6 91m) SR: 137.73
    Match tied (Australia won the one-over eliminator)
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