Wednesday, 6 December, 2023

Australia clinch T20 series


Canberra, Feb 16 : Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch shared a 50-run third-wicket stand to guide Australia toward a six-wicket win in the third Twenty20 cricket international on Tuesday, clinching the five-match series against Sri Lanka with two games to spare.

The T20 World Cup champion Australians won the toss, decided to bowl and restricted Sri Lanka to 121-6. Fast bowler Kane Richardson returned 3-21, including two wickets in his first over.

In reply, the Australians reached 124-4 in 16.5 overs, with Marcus Stoinis (12 not out) hitting the winning runs for the second consecutive game.

Maxwell led the scoring with 39 from 26 deliveries, surviving dropped catches on 0, 9 and 22, and captain Finch scored 35.

In the absence of Wanindu Hasaranga, the No. 1-ranked bowler in T20 international cricket, Maheesh Theekshana led the Sri Lankan attack with three wickets for 24 runs.

He took a wicket with the first ball of Australia's innings, getting Ben McDermott to edge to slip after a deflection from the wicketkeeper's glove.

He had makeshift opener Ashton Agar out lbw for a run-a-ball 13 in the fifth over to make the total 26-2 and then had Maxwell caught in the outfield to break up Australia's half-century partnership for the third wicket.

Australia won the first game by 20 runs and the second in a Super Over in Sydney on Sunday after the scores were level at the end of the regulation overs. Sri Lanka scored 18 in the last over of that game to gain some confidence but, after scoring 17 in the first two overs at Canberra's Manuka Oval, struggled against the Australian bowling attack.