Beleaguered Sri Lanka set to clash against Australia again in 2nd T20 game at Colombo
The T20 series between Sri Lanka and Australia was anticipated to be a close affair as compared to the one-day series where the hosts were completely outclassed by the visitors.
The first game did not see any change in the fortunes for the hosts though as they crumbled in front of the unflinching batting genius of Glenn Maxwell who produced a marvelous, career-best score of 145 runs to help his side get a mammoth total of 263 runs, breaking the record for the highest team score in a T20 international. The earlier record was set through Sri Lanka’s effort of 260 runs against Kenya in the 2007 T20 World Cup in South Africa.
Maxwell pulverized the opposition bowlers and produced a spell-binding knock to silence his detractors as he was dropped from the one-day squad earlier in the month due to inconsistent performances. Injuries to players like Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn and Aaron Finch did not deter Australia in put in a commanding display against Sri Lanka in the first T20 game at Pallekele.
The Sri Lankan side has struggled in the shorter formats off-late such as they have been over-reliant on players like Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews and Tillakaratne Dilshan to produce big scores. The first game exposed those weaknesses as Chandimal once again top-scored for Sri Lanka with 58 runs, supported by Chamara Kapugedera’s score of 43 runs to end up on the losing side as Australia won by a convincing margin of 85 runs. Australia outclassed them in all departments.
The second game is all slated to be played at Colombo on Friday. Sri Lanka did make a lot of changes in the first game but ended up losing the game by a fair distance. The hosts would be looking to put a better show to give a befitting farewell to their great batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan in his last game for Sri Lanka. The bowling department was poor and needs to improve their game in order for the side to have a chance of squaring the series.
Australia on the other hand, will be confident to end the series on a high by winning the second game at Colombo. The injury to Aaron Finch turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Glenn Maxwell, who was under all sorts of pressure to perform and was promoted to open the innings alongside David Warner. Maxwell delivered big time while David Warner, George Bailey and Travis Head chipped in valuable runs in the game. The bowling for the visitors is also looking impressive as Mitchell Starc and Scott Boland were impressive in the first game while leg-spinner Adam Zampa also bowled a tidy spell to keep a lid on the score against Sri Lanka.
Players to Watch Out For
Dilshan will be looking to get a big score in his last international after failing any score in the first game as he fell early in the innings to fast bowler Mitchell Starc. Sri Lanka would be hoping that he could play a great innings for the last time to increase their chances of winning the game. For Australia, David Warner can never be counted out as he can always get a big score to single-handedly help his side win a game.
The pitch conditions at R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo will suit batting and aid spinners later on in the game.The hosts will be keen to put up a good performance as they have managed to win only one game out of ten played here in this format.
Sri Lanka Squad: Dinesh Chandimal (c & wk), , Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Seekkuge Prasanna, Milinda Siriwardana, Sachith Pathirana, Chamara Kapugedara, Kasun Rajitha, Sachithra Senanayake, Thisara Perera,Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dasun Shanaka, Suranga Lakmal.
Australia Squad: David Warner (c), Matthew Wade (wk), Adam Zampa James Faulkner, John Hastings, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey, Scott Boland,Peter Nevill (wk), Mitchell Starc
Tillakaratne Dilshan to be top Sri Lankan Batsman is 4/1 at SkyBet
David Warner to be top Australian Batsman is 11/4 at SkyBet