Thanks to David Warner’s unbeaten half-century, Australia defeated Sri Lanka by 7 wickets in the 3rd and final T20I match played at MCG on Friday.
Australian captain Aaron Finch won the toss and decided to bowl first. The decision paid off as Mitchell Starc got the breakthrough getting wicket of Niroshan Dickwella in the very first over. Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera played some lovely strokes which put Australian bowlers under pressure. As things looked good for Sri Lanka, Kane Richardson dismissed Kusal Mendis for 13. Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera added 30 runs. At the end of 6 overs, Sri Lanka were 41 for 2.
After the power play overs, Kusal Perera looked aggressive with his intent and took on Australian bowlers. On other hand, Avishka Fernando struggled to time the ball. Pat Cummins got the hosts their 3rd wicket getting Fernando wicket for 20. Fernando and Kusal Perera added 43 runs for 3rd wicket. Perera continued to make the batting look easy to reach his fifty off 38 balls. Pat Cummins got the big breakthrough for Australia getting the well-set Perera for 57. Bhanuka Rajapaksa came to the crease and scored a quickfire 17 off 11 balls to help Sri Lanka post 142 for 6 in 20 overs. Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson and Pat Cummins took 2 wickets each.
Chasing 143 runs to win, David Warner and Aaron Finch was dropped which the Sri Lankan bowlers had to pay. Warner was dropped by Malinga. At the end of 6 overs, Australia were 40 for 0.
After the power play overs, Finch and Warner continued to put the Sri Lankan bowlers under pressure with sixes and taking singles. Lahiru Kumara got visitors first breakthrough getting wicket of Finch for 37. Australian openers added 69 runs. Smith played some lovely shots before being caught brilliantly by Lakshan Sandkan. Warner continued to steady the innings for Australia. Lasith Malinga dismissed Ben McDermott which was not reviewed. Ashton Turner looked positive right from word go and scored a quick fire 22 off 15 balls.
Warner completed his fifty off 44 balls and hit the winning runs which helped Australia win the match by 7 wickets with 14 balls to spare. Warner and Turner added unbeaten 46 runs for 4th wicket.
Australia 145 for 3 in 17.4 overs (Warner 57*, Lasith Malinga 1/20) beat Sri Lanka 142 for 6 in 20 overs ( Kusal Perera 57, Pat Cummins 2/23) by 7 wickets.
David Warner was named the man of the match and Man of the series as he did not get out in the series with 2 half-centuries and 1 century.