Charge down the wicket with cricket tips for the third T20I clash between Australia and Sri Lanka, who gave the hosts a major fright two nights ago in a Super Over thriller.
19:10 (AEDT), Tue 15th Feb @ Manuka Oval, Canberra
History: Played 19: Australia 11 V Sri Lanka 8
Last meeting: February 13, 2022: Australia d Sri Lanka (Super Oval) at Sydney Cricket Ground
Final Thoughts: Australia have now won seven straight T20I matches against Sri Lanka – and 10 consecutive fixtures across all formats – after getting out to a 2-0 series lead with a pair of SCG victories. But the tourists gave them some serious food for thought in a game two barnburner on Sunday that went to a Super Over.
The hosts carved out a patchy 20-run win in Friday’s series opener. Ben McDermott (53 off 41) held their innings of 9/149 together, while Marcus Stoinis (30 off 17) made an important contribution and debutant Josh Inglis (23 off 18) was the only other Aussie to reach double figures.
Sri Lanka’s chase always seemed behind the eight-ball. Opener Pathum Nissanka (36 off 37) played an anchor role and Dinesh Chandimal (25* off 16) produced a spirited late cameo. But the Aussie bowlers dominated: Josh Hazlewood (4/12) and player of the match Adam Zampa (3/18) were outstanding.
Aussies survive Sri Lanka fight-back
The Lions closed the gap in the second match, however. Australia set a target of 165, despite Inglis (48 off 32) being the only batter to make more than 25. Sri Lanka were in deep trouble at 3/25 in the fifth over, but Nissanka (73 off 53) stayed until the last over, skipper Dasun Shanaka (34 off 19) played a fine knock, and tailenders Maheesh Tehekshana and Dushmantha Chameera managed 11 runs from the last three balls (including a final-ball four from Chameera) to tie the scores.
But Hazlewood – who took 3/22 in Sri Lanka’s innings – restricted them to just five runs in the first Super Over. Stoinis blasted consecutive fours to get the job done for Australia with three balls to spare.
Despite that cliff-hanger, Australia are $1.17 to wrap up the series in Canberra on Tuesday night (they were $1.15 favourites ahead of the first two games).
Hazlewood and Zampa have been the keys so far for Australia, who are looking for one or two of their big-name batters to step up. The home side have lost Steve Smith to a head knock, with Moises Henriques the logical replacement. Jhye Richardson is tipped to come in to spell either Hazlewood or Pat Cummins. Meanwhile, Kusal Mendis is out of isolation and available for selection in a huge boost for Sri Lanka.
T20 World Cup-winning skipper Aaron Finch is under a bit of pressure to find some runs. He averages less than 10 in his last five T20I innings but at least got a start with 25 off 20 in game two. Expect the veteran to lay a more solid platform at Manuka Oval.