Australia beats Sri Lanka by 9 wickets to clinch T20 series
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Steve Smith and David Warner steered Australia to a nine-wicket victory over Sri Lanka and a 2-0 Twenty20 series win on Wednesday.
Needing only 118 runs for victory, Smith (53 from 36) and Warner (60 from 41) combined in their first partnership for Australia on home soil since the 2017 Boxing Day test to give the hosts victory with 41 balls to spare.
Australia beat Sri Lanka by 134 runs in the first match of the series in Adelaide on Sunday. The teams play the third and final match on Friday in Melbourne.
Billy Stanlake, 2-23 from four overs, led Australia on his home ground, while Pat Cummins, Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa also picked up two wickets each.
Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat, scoring 117 runs in its innings.
Warner’s total followed his unbeaten first-game century.
“It’s exciting for us, exciting for the public as well just to watch him play T20 cricket,” Stanlake said of Smith’s highest T20 total at home. “They don’t get to see him do that too much. He’s an absolute class player, we saw how good he was tonight again.”
Stanlake made the most of his call-up with Mitchell Starc granted leave to attend his brother’s wedding.
Sri Lanka assistant coach Rumesh Ratnayake said the team needed to fix its attitude ahead of Friday’s match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
“Disappointed is too nice a word I think ... I’m gutted really,” the 23-test veteran said. “We’re going to rectify it, revisit it in meetings and see what went wrong but it’s intent which I feel was not there.”
Australia will host Pakistan in a three-match T20 series beginning Sunday in Sydney.