Aaron Finch and Skipper Smith scored valuable half centuries as Australia secured their first win of their tour against Sri Lanka. They took the strenuous route to achieve a modest target. Sri lanka though showed a valiant effort to turn the tables.
Earlier Sri Lanka were put into bat and lost their openers cheaply.Veteran Dilshan looked in good nick to get a big one but Starc had other ideas. The New South Wales speedster seamed the ball away and rattled Kusal Perea’s stumps through his gates. Dilshan succumb to his own trademark Dilscoop. Sri Lanka were in a precarious position.In came Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal. They both combined and took Sri Lanka to safety by scoring at a brisk pace. Kusal Mendis brought up his fifty and continued his fabulous form from the test series. Smith brought in James Faulkner and the change of bowling worked quickly as he sent both Mendis and Matthews to the pavilion in the same over.
Dinesh Chandimal though continued his patient knock building small partnerships with the lower middle order and the tailenders. Smith brought Starc back into the attack. The left arm seamer triggered a collapse and the Sri Lankan side went down fighting losing a cluster of wickets within a span of 3 overs. They managed to cross the 200 run mark and ended up with a score of 227 for 8 thanks to Dinesh Chandimal’s unbeaten knock of 80 which held the innings together.
Australia started their chase in a contrasting manner. Finch and Warner hit a flurry of boundaries to reach the 50 run mark before the 10th over. Thisara Perera drew the first blood as he had Warner caught by the wicketkeeper. Finch though continued his knock with aggression along with the company of the skipper.Soon after his fifty Finch departed by edging one to slip off debutant Aponso.Smith unlike Finch played a captain’s knock which contained patience and controlled aggression. He ran out of partners as his teammates fell to some quality spin bowling. He brought up his fifty in 36th over and still over a 50 runs was required.Mathews brought in Dilruwan Perera which showed immediate result in the form of Smith’s wicket.Australia were given a scare as they lost the next 4 wickets in a span of 4 overs. But Faulkner and Starc held their nerves to take their team home and rejoice their first victory of the tour.
James Faulkner was adjudged man of the match for his match winning spell of 4 for 37.Also Starc took 3 wickets and in the process he became the quickest to reach the 100 wicket mark.