T20 World Cup 2021: Warner fifty powers Australia to breezy win over Sri Lanka

Australia vs Sri Lanka, T20 World Cup 2021: Warner's 42-ball 65 lifted Australia in its 155-run chase that eventually finished with three overs to spare on Thursday.

David Warner returned to form with a blistering fifty against Sri Lanka.   -  GETTY IMAGES

David Warner oozed class and confidence in his 42-ball 65 as Australia beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in a Super 12 contest at the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in Dubai on Thursday.

Australia's opening pair had been its weakest link so far. But needing 155 to win, Warner and Aaron Finch shrugged off poor form in style. Mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana came into the attack in the second over and was immediately reverse swept for four by Warner. That set the tone for the carnage that followed.

Warner and Finch took 20 off pacer Lahiru Kumara's first over as Australia racked up 63 in the Powerplay. An elegant straight drive by Finch stood out. Warner got a reprieve on 18 when Kusal Perera missed a simple caught behind chance off Dushmantha Chameera. Just when Australia was threatening to run away with the chase, Finch chopped on for 37 off Wanindu Hasaranga. Glenn Maxwell, sent at No. 3, fell to Hasaranga soon after.

HIGHLIGHTS

Steve Smith joined Warner, who brought up his fifty off 31 balls. With the equation down to 43 from 42 balls, Warner kept finding the ropes before holing out to Dasun Shanaka. Smith and Stoinis eventually led Australia home.

Earlier, Australia won the toss and chose to field. Finch began with the pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins. The move paid dividends immediately when Pathum Nissanka was caught off Cummins in the third over. Maxwell went for 16 in his first over with Charith Asalanka hitting a six and a four.

T20 World Cup 2021 Points Table Super 12 updated today: Australia beats Sri Lanka, second in Group 1 with two wins  

With Perera and Asalanka notching up the 50 partnership off just 36 balls, Perera took on the mantle of power-hitting. He struck two back-to-back boundaries off Marcus Stoinis. Sri Lanka's strategy to attack the fifth bowler was going according to plan when Adam Zampa removed Asalanka, who found Steve Smith at backward square.

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Starc, after bowling the first over, returned to the attack in the 11th over. Perera, who hit Starc into the second deck, was bowled next ball by a searing 90mph leg-stump yorker. In the next over, Zampa had Avishka Fernando caught. With Starc on song, Finch gave him an extra over.

The left-arm quick vindicated the call, getting Hasaranga caught behind. The batter reviewed, but replays showed a spike as the ball passed the bat. Sri Lanka slipped from 78/1 to 94/5 in the space of 17 balls as Australia applied the choke through the middle overs.

With pressure building, Rajapaksa targeted Stoinis in the 17th over. He took 15 off him with two fours and a six as Sri Lanka rode on the southpaw's momentum-changing innings. But it wasn't enough in the end.

In this episode of Matchpoint Paradox, our correspondents Ayan Acharya and Amol Karhadkar review the latest from the T20 World Cup and other major updates from the world of cricket this past week.

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