- Australia defeats Sri Lanka in Super 12 of ICC T20 World Cup
- David Warner silenced his critics with a mesmerising knock of 65 from 42 deliveries
- Australia won the match by 7 wickets
Australian batsman silenced his critics with his mesmerising innings of 65 from just 42 deliveries in the 20th match of the ICC T20 World Cup against Sri Lanka which helped his team steer to a 7-wicket win, on Thursday.
Warner, who has seen quite a lengthy lean patch, was back to his form as his 10 fours made it easy for Australia to chase down the target set by Sri Lanka of 155 with 18 balls remaining. It was the second win for Australia in as many Super 12 games and they seem like a strong contender apart from England in the group to move to the semifinals of the tournament.
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Warner saw him involved in two solid partnerships — 70 in 6.5 overs with skipper Finch (37 off 23) and another 50 in 6.3 overs with former skipper Steve Smith (unbeaten 28 off 26).
In the end, the chase seemed like a walk in the park for the team in Yellow, who were the better side in every aspect of the match against Sri Lanka who lost their way between 10th and the 13th over of the game while they were batting.
It won’t be wrong to say that the day belonged to Warner who was at his best and the fact only aided him that Sri Lankan bowlers missed the length on most occasions which gave enough time to rock back and play those customary pull-shots — both off pacers as well as spinners.
In October, Warner could not have imagined a worse form while playing in the UAE as a result of which he had a public fall-out with the Sunrisers Hyderabad management and it went to the extent of one of the modern-day great being not allowed to come to the stadium by the franchise management, which had earlier stripped him of captaincy.
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It was about time that he answered his harshest critics with his bat, on the field, that will certainly be a wake-up call for the other teams.
Having said that, Mitchell Stac should not be forgotten and deserves a lot of credit, who bowled the “ball of the tournament” as Australia managed a mid-innings collapse of Sri Lanka’s batting line-up which went a long way in restricting the islanders to 154 after a loss of 6 wickets.
Starc bowled 4 overs and took 2 wickets while giving away just 27 runs. His brilliant attacking with vicious inswinging yorker after being hit for a six saw the end of Kusal Perera (35 off 25 balls) as Sri Lanka lost four quick wickets for 16 runs to slump to 94 for 5 from a relatively strong start of 78 for 1 in little under three overs.
Bhanuka Rakaspakse (33 unbeaten off 26 balls), then launched into Australian attack’s weak-link Marcus Stoinis (0/35 in 3 overs) to get Sri Lanka somewhat of a silver lining which looked improbable after Starc’s second spell.