”We are still positive, as it counts as preparation for the World Cup” – Sri Lanka skipper Lasith Malinga after T20I series loss against Australia

Written by Sumit Seth

Steve Smith and David Warner scripted a comprehensively victory against a hopeless Sri Lanka in the second T20I in Brisbane to win the series 2-0.  Steve Smith and David Warner haven’t batted together in a proper international in Australia since the Boxing Day Test of 2017. They both made hundreds in that match and while they didn’t have the chance to repeat that feat tonight, the brilliant pair left an indelible stamp on the match with an unbroken second-wicket stand of 117. Smith straight drove superbly, Warner cleverly manipulated the field, and both batsmen hared between the wickets to make the most of the wide expanses of the Gabba. Smith’s 53 from 36 balls was his highest T20I score on Australian soil, while Warner picked up where he left of from Adelaide, adding a remarkably assured xx to his blazing 100no in Adelaide three days ago. It was a strong all-round effort from Australia’s bowling group, with Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Ashton Agar and the recalled Billy Stanlake claiming two wickets apiece. Cummins was his typically reliable self, Stanlake at one point hit 148.2kph, and spin twins Agar and Zampa repeated their fine performances from Adelaide, varying their lengths and pace to maximum effect.

Sri Lanka were 4-75 in the 11th over and the dangerous Kusal Perera looked to be finding his feet, having just hit Agar for six down the ground to move to 25 from 17 balls. Two deliveries later, he got a little too cute as he looked to push Agar away onto the off-side and chopped on. The wicket all but ended Sri Lanka’s hopes of a competitive total.

Sri Lanka skipper Lasith Malinga, however, looked beyond the match as he opined that his team is getting good preparation for the next T20 world cup, to be played in Australia next year.

”They’re a tough side. It’s not a tough score for this kind of a batting line up. Batsmen have to show responsibility. Those seven batsmen need to bat 20 overs. It’s a good bowling line-up but still, shot selection wasn’t great. They didn’t get any partnerships in the middle. The only positive is that it counts as preparation for the World Cup. We’ve to go home and think about how to deal with these conditions. We want to win one match here. The young team will get confidence” said Malinga at post match presentation.

Two teams will now travel to Melbourne tomorrow before locking horns in the final match of the series at the MCG on Friday night.

About the author

Sumit Seth