Rediff.com  » Cricket » T20 WC PIX: Warner strikes form as Australia crush SL

T20 WC PIX: Warner strikes form as Australia crush SL

Last updated on: October 29, 2021 07:53 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Images from the T20 World Cup Super 12s match between Sri Lanka and Australia, in Dubai, on Thursday. 

Australia opener David Warner celebrates after getting to 50 during the T20 World Cup Super 12s match against Sri Lanka, at Dubai International Stadium on Thursday.

IMAGE: Australia opener David Warner celebrates after getting to 50 during the T20 World Cup Super 12s match against Sri Lanka, at Dubai International Stadium, on Thursday. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

David Warner answered his critics with a sizzling 42-ball-65 as Australia cruised to a seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the T20 World Cup Super 12s match, in Dubai, Thursday.

The dashing opener, who endured a lean patch before the ongoing tournament, was back in his element, scoring 10 fours as Australia easily overhauled Sri Lanka’s target of 155 in only 17 overs.

 

Australia's second victory in as many Super 12 games made them strong contenders, with England from the group, for a berth in the semi-finals.

Warner was involved in two solid partnerships: 70 in 6.5 overs with skipper Finch (37 off 23 balls) and 50 in 6.3 overs with former skipper Steve Smith (28 not out off 26 balls).

The Finch-Warner stand of 63 is the biggest powerplay score thus far in the ongoing tournament.

Sri Lanka spinner Wanindu Hasaranga is ecstatic after dismissing Glenn Maxwell.

IMAGE: Sri Lanka spinner Wanindu Hasaranga is ecstatic after dismissing Glenn Maxwell. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

In the end, the chase seemed like a walk in the park for the Aussies, who were better in all departments of the game after Sri Lanka lost their way between the 10th and 13th over of their own innings.

Wanindu Hasaranga gave Sri Lanka a much-needed breakthrough as he dismissed Finch in the seventh over.

Minutes later, Glenn Maxwell also departed leaving Australia reduced to 80 for 2 in the ninth over.

Steven Smith bats during his 26-ball 28.

IMAGE: Steven Smith bats during his 26-ball 28. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

However, the day belonged Warner, who was at his best.

It only helped that Sri Lankan bowlers missed their lengths on most occasions which him gave enough time to rock back and play those customary pull-shots -- off the pacers as well as spinners.

Marcus Stoinis and Steven Smith celebrate completing an easy victory over Sri Lanka.

IMAGE: Marcus Stoinis and Steven Smith celebrate completing an easy victory over Sri Lanka. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Indeed, it was vintage Warner after a terrible last month in the UAE leg of the IPL, during which he had a public fall-out with the Sunrisers Hyderabad management.

It went to the extent of one of the modern day greats being not allowed to come to the stadium by the franchise management, which had earlier stripped him of captaincy.

It was about time that he answered everyone with a knock that will certainly be a wake-up call for other teams.

Sri Lanka's Bhanuka Rajapaksa connects a bouncer to the boundary.

IMAGE: Sri Lanka's Bhanuka Rajapaksa rocks back to connect a bouncer to the boundary. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Earlier, Mitchell Starc bowled the ‘ball of the tournament’ as Australia engineered a mid-innings collapse, but couldn't prevent Sri Lanka from posting a decent 154 for 6.

Starc, who took two wickets for 27 runs from his quota of four overs, bowled a brilliant comeback delivery in the form of a vicious in-swinging yorker after being hit for a six which saw the end of Kusal Perera’s blazing knock of 35 from 25 balls as Sri Lanka lost four quick wickets for 16 runs to slump to 94 for 5 from a relatively strong 78 for 1 in little under three overs.

Bhanuka Rakaspakse (33 not out off 26 balls), then launched into Australia weak-link Marcus Stoinis (0/35 in 3 overs) to get Sri Lanka somewhat back on track, which looked improbable after Starc's second spell.

Charith Asalanka sends the ball past the boundary rope as Australia's wicketkeeper Matthew Wade looks on.

IMAGE: Charith Asalanka sends the ball high over the boundary as Australia's wicketkeeper Matthew Wade looks on. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

However, Perera and last match's hero Charith Asalanka (35 off 27 balls) added 63 runs in little over seven overs to set up the platform.

Asalanka was the first to get off the blocks when he slog-swept Glenn Maxwell over deep mid-wicket for a six and also swept behind square for a boundary.

Australia spinner Adam Zampa celebrates the wicket of Charith Asalanka with teammate Marcus Stoinis.

IMAGE: Australia spinner Adam Zampa celebrates the wicket of Charith Asalanka with teammate Marcus Stoinis. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

He then got another four off Josh Hazlewood's bowling before Perera also joined the fun. He smacked Starc for a six over long-on in his signature typical 'Sanath Jayasuriya style' but the left-arm speedster then bowled one that jagged back late and landed in the blockhole at a good pace. Perera couldn't even bring his bat down before it disturbed the stumps.

Before that, Asalanka was dismissed by leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who easily was the most influential bowler on a good batting track with astounding figures of 2 for 12 in four overs. He bowled 12 dot balls which is equivalent to two overs without a single run being scored.

Mitchell Starc celebrates the wicket of Kusal Perera.

IMAGE: Mitchell Starc celebrates after dismissing Kusal Perera. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

It was because of Zampa that Sri Lanka, despite their batters playing some great shots in between, did not get the requisite momentum during the those middle overs.

Add to it he and Starc shared the spoils to make it difficult for opposition batters.

It was Rajapakse's four boundaries and a six that lent muscle to their score in the end.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

New Zealand Tour of India, 2021