February 17, 2017
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Lasith Malinga holding a hand-warmer.
SRI Lanka has taken a 1-0 series lead in a last-ball thriller at the MCG. Scores were tied on the final ball, before Chamara Kapugedera hit the winning runs under the ultimate pressure. Here’s how the game unfolded.Sri Lanka 5/172 after 20 overs (Gunaratne 52, Munaweera 44)Australia 6/168 from 20 overs (Finch 43, Klinger 38). Sri Lanka wins by five wickets.
Sri Lanka wins a thriller
Sri Lanka has won a last-ball heart-stopper that saw Chamara Kapugedera club a boundary on the final ball to give the tourist’s a 1-0 series lead.Sri Lanka had been cruising mid-way through their innings, but some good bowling from Adam Zampa and Ashton Turner threatened to snatch the game away.Needing just 18 runs from the final three overs before, Turner claimed two wickets in his second over to leave two new batsmen at the crease.Sri Lanka was left needing six runs from the final over and were struggling to put away quick Andrew Tye.Needing three runs from the final two balls, Chamara Kapugedera slapped a slower ball out to deep mid-wicket for two runs, tying the game with one run to go.Aaron Finch brought the field in for the last ball, but Kapugedera was able to time a sweet cover drive through the field for a boundary.Asela Gunaratne was named man of the match for his impressive half-century which appeared to put Sri Lanka in complete control.However, Turner’s late wickets set-up a grandstand finish. He finished with 2/12 from two overs. Adam Zampa was the best of the Aussie bowlers with 2/26 from four overs.Quick Billy Stanlake’s nightmare Twenty20 debut ultimately proved too much for the rest of the Australians to overcome.Stanlake never got his rhythm right and was butchered by the Sri Lankan batsman early to finish with 0/42 from three overs.Sri Lanka takes the series lead heading into the second match of the series in Geelong.That feeling when you win off the last ball.... @OfficialSLC 🇱🇰🎉#AUSvSL pic.twitter.com/sm9ks61SAj— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) February 17, 2017
Gunaratne gone after big 50Asela Gunaratne blasted his way to 50 runs from just 34 balls in a match-winning innings.Gunaratne came in when Sri Lanka had lost back to back wickets and calmed the tourist’s innings before attacking late in the innings, hitting seven fours in his fifty.He was stumped the very next over for 52, leaving Sri chasing 18 runs from the final 17 balls.
Zampa delivers desperately needed polesAdam Zampa got Australia back into the first Twenty20 against Sri Lanka when he deceived Niroshan Dickwella with a tidy slider.Dickwella blasted his way to 30 runs from 25 to help Sri Lanka to the imposing score of 2/79 before his dismissal.In his next over, Zampa dismissed danger man Dilshan Munaweera, who mis-hit a mid-wicket slog straight to a fielder at mid-on.Munaweera fell for 42 runs from 27 balls.
Stanlake blasted to every corner
Billy Stanlake was made to look out of his depth at international level on his Twenty20 debut when his first two overs were smacked for 34 runs.Stanlake’s second over went for 24 runs, including three boundaries and one six.It was a nightmare start after he appeared to be having issues with his run up in his first over of the game.
Source:News Corp Australia
Cummins strikes in first overPat Cummins gave Australia the perfect start when he dismissed opener Upul Tharanga with a good line and length ball that collected an edge and flew to keeper Tim Paine.It left Sri Lanka 1/5 after the first over.
Malinga accused on live TV
Channel 9 commentators speculated Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga was forced to show the contents of his pockets after being questioned by an umpire on the field.Malinga was bowling in the middle of the Australian innings when he was approached by an umpire and was filmed by Channel 9 commentators reaching into his right pocket to pull out a hand-warming bag.“He’s had to prove that it’s only a hand-warmer in his pockets,” Channel 9 commentator Mark Nicholas said.“The third umpire has probably had a look at our pictures and decided we should probably check that.Former Australian captain Michael Clarke joked it was either a hand-warmer or some coins.“It’s either that or some coins. Some 50 cent pieces rattling around in there.”
Australia dragged back late
Australia was held back by a double strike in Lasith Malinga’s final over to finish 6/168 after 20 overs.Malinga was on a hat-trick after removing Travis Head and Ashton Turner in the 19th over.After a strong start by opening pair Aaron Finch (43 from 34) and Michael Klinger (38 from 32) Australia was pulled back in the second half of the innings before James Faulkner bashed 14 runs from the final over to help Australia to 168.Faulkner finished with 14 runs from 7 balls.
Australia suffer double blowTravis Head hit out in the second last over after hitting a flat heat-seeker straight to a man at deep cover.Head fell for 31 runs from 25 balls.His square slog came right out of the middle of the bat.“That’s so unlucky,” Channel 9’s Mark Nicholas said.The very next ball, debutant Ashton Turner became another victim of Lasith Malinga when he was also caught out in the deep for 18 runs from 12 balls.
Moises Henriques goneMoises Henriques threw his wicket away when he danced down the pitch and sent the Kookaburra straight down the throat of a fielder at long-off.Henriques’ innings of 17 runs from 10 balls left Australia 3/116 in the 16th over.
Finch falls in Aussie double blowAaron Finch and Michael Klinger fell in the space of 12 balls to leave Australia 2/86 in the 12th over.Klinger fell first when he hit a leading edge to point, falling for 38 from 32 balls.Finch fell shortly after for 41 runs from 32 balls when he skied a top edge which was caught at fine leg in the in-field.
Friction in Finch’s game of cat and mouse
Aaron Finch and Seekkuge Prasanna exchanged disapproving looks out in the middle after a bizarre stand-off at the MCG.Finch pulled away at the last second before the Sri Lankan leg-spinner bowled a ball. The next delivery, Prasanna pulled out of his action after jumping at the crease.Channel 9 commentator Michael Slater said it was a “game of cat and mouse”.Finch clearly won the game after hitting the first six of the match the very next ball straight over Prasanna’s head.After hitting the maximum, Channel 9 commentator Mark Nicholas said: “Aaron Finch looks like he’s about to explode out there. He’s so pumped”.
Klinger’s big over
Michael Klinger blasted back-to-back boundaries to energise Australia’s first innings in the fifth over.After a safe start, Klinger and Aaron Finch scored 16 runs from Vikum Sanjaya’s second over to take the home side from 0/27 to 0/43 after the first five overs. Klinger raced to 29 runs from 17 balls.
Sri Lanka sends Australia in to bat
Australia will field three Twenty20 international debutants against Sri Lanka at the MCG. Michael Klinger will make his international debut in all forms of cricket while quick Billy Stanlake is playing in his first T20 in Aussie colours alongside allrounder Ashton Turner.Sri Lanka won the toss and sent Australia in to bat.Aust team: Finch (capt), Klinger, Head, Henriques, Turner, Paine, Faulkner, Cummins, Zampa, Stanlake, Tye. First ball in 20 minutes.— FOX SPORTS Cricket (@FOXCricketLive) February 17, 2017
Channel 9 commentator returns
MARK Nicholas has made a polished return to the Central Commentary Position for Channel 9’s coverage of Australia’s International Twenty20 against Sri Lanka.The Nine Network lead commentator made his first live appearance for the network during the earlier women’s international Twenty20 between Australia and New Zealand in Melbourne.Nicholas was a notable absentee from Nine’s cricket coverage this summer after being admitted to hospital with abdominal pains during the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.Nicholas was among several Channel 9 commentators who will pull a double shift and cover both games of cricket at the MCG today.Channel 9 won plenty of admirers for using their primary cricket commentators during the Southern Star’s 40-run win over the Kiwis.However, as always, fans’ opinions were split, over the performance of the Channel 9 commentary team.Nice to hear Mark Nicholas talking up @AmySatterthwait - didn't make enough of that one-handed four though.— JB (@JamieBellNZ) February 17, 2017 @wwos Great to see Mark Nicholas back in action.— john gills (@gillsy00) February 17, 2017 Why does Mark Nicholas have such trouble commentating on women's cricket?— Lachy France (@lachyheel) February 17, 2017 @keith_miller_nz yep...watching the game...wish that mark Nicholas would shut up..so bias. .really pisses me off. 😨— Robyn Alex (@kiwirob15) February 17, 2017Please Mark Nicholas stop calling them girls all the time. #AUSvNZ— Daniel Hanney (@DanHanney) February 17, 2017 So good to see and hear @mcjnicholas back in the commentary box.— Daniel Pettigrew (@roosterboy60) February 17, 2017
Sri Lanka’s huge threatThe first over of Sri Lanka’s Twenty 20 tour was a stark reminder for Australia that paceman Lasith Malinga poses a huge threat.Malinga has finally returned after being out of action for nearly a year because of injury and illness.He opened the bowling in the warm-up game on Wednesday against a Prime Minister’s XI in Canberra.Malinga’s fourth delivery was an unplayable yorker that uprooted D’Arcy Short’s middle stump.“We’ve seen him do that a lot before, so it was probably not surprising,” Australian batsman Michael Klinger said.“It’s great to see one of the greats of the game back and we’ll obviously have to counter his bowling.”Commentator Stuart Clark has derided the series as the Who Cares Cup, given several top Australian players are unavailable because of the Indian Test tour. But it is massive for Klinger, who is set to finally make his Australian debut at the age of 36.Sri Lanka are closer to their full T20 line-up, although Angelo Mathews is also out because of a hamstring injury and Upul Tharanga will captain the team instead.Australia XI: Aaron Finch (c), Michael Klinger, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Ashton Turner, Tim Paine (wk), James Faulkner, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye, Billy Stanlake Sri Lanka XI: Dickwella, Malinga, Munaweera, Tharanga, Gunaratne, Prasanna, Sanjaya, Siriwardana, Kapugedara, Kulasekara, Sandakan
Klinger’s big momentThe “Who Cares Cup” means everything to Michael Klinger.He will finally make his Australian debut in the three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka, starting on Friday at the MCG.The absence of key players such as Steve Smith and David Warner ahead of the Indian tour led to former paceman Stuart Clark deriding the T20s as the Who Cares Cup.Clark wants no more T20 internationals, other than a World Cup every four years. But at 36, the stars have finally aligned for Klinger after years of frustration and near-misses with national selection.He will be the oldest Australian to make his T20 international debut and the 10th-oldest Australian cricketer across the three formats.“I suppose you can take his point of view, in terms of some of the bigger-name guys (who) aren’t around to play,” Klinger said of Clark’s comments. “But everyone who gets an opportunity to play is going to give it their best shot.“I can tell you, for me personally, it’s certainly not that — I couldn’t care more.“It’s a great opportunity for me to represent my country.” Earlier this week, Adam Voges announced his retirement from international cricket, after becoming the oldest player to make a Test century on debut two years ago at 35.While Klinger points to Voges as a great example of what players in their 30s can do, he is also realistic.“There’s no doubt if they pick the right player, an experienced guy who’s performing well, (he) can perform on the big stage,” he said. “I’m not saying that’s me, necessarily ... you never say never, but I’m realistic about it now.“In Test cricket, Cricket Australia are obviously looking in a new direction. “It’s going to be tough work ... in my older age, I’m a lot more realistic about these sorts of things and I’m just trying to enjoy it.”Klinger is lapping up the experience, saying it was a big thrill for former Australian captain and now team assistant coach Ricky Ponting to give him some throw downs at training this week.He hopes to make his debut in Friday night’s match, at his original home ground before moving to SA and then WA.“The way it’s worked out, if it’s back in my original home town in Melbourne, a lot of family and friends will be around, so it would be great,” he said. The Australians were yet to determine their final squad on Thursday morning.— with AAP