T20 World Cup: David Warner fires Australia to Super 12 win over Sri Lanka ahead of England clash | Cricket News

Opener ends barren run of form by dominating chase as Australia overhaul Sri Lanka’s 154-6 in Dubai; Warner strikes 10 fours to clinch a victory which means Aaron Finch’s side are unbeaten ahead of Saturday’s clash with England, who also have two wins from two

Last Updated: 28/10/21 6:50pm

Australia's David Warner celebrates scoring a 31-ball fifty against Sri Lanka in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup

Australia’s David Warner celebrates scoring a 31-ball fifty against Sri Lanka in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup

David Warner returned to form with a fluent 65 off 42 balls as Australia made it two wins in two in the T20 World Cup Super 12s with a seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka.

Warner had scored 17 runs in his previous five visits to the crease but took advantage of being dropped on 18 to ignite the chase as Australia overhauled their opponents’ 154-6 off 17 overs.

The result lifts Australia level with England on four points in Group 1 ahead of Saturday’s mouth-watering clash, although Eoin Morgan’s men have a far superior net run-rate.

Sri Lanka went hard at their opponents after being put in but slipped from 78-1 to 94-5 as leg-spinner Adam Zampa (2-12 off four overs) put the brakes on.

Australia's Adam Zampa (left) took 2-12 off four overs in the Super 12 clash against Sri Lanka

Australia’s Adam Zampa (left) took 2-12 off four overs in the Super 12 clash against Sri Lanka

The early impetus came from in-form Charith Asalanka (35 off 27) and Kusal Perera (35 off 25), who put on 63 for the second wicket in 7.1 overs after Pethm Nissanka (seven) mis-timed Pat Cummins to mid off.

Asalanka had already struck nine off his first four balls before the left-hander swung Glenn Maxwell’s first delivery over midwicket for six.

It was the first of several sumptuous shots that helped bring up the 50-run stand off 36 balls and Australia looked firmly under pressure until Asalanka fell sweeping from outside off, striking Zampa well enough but flat and hard straight to Steve Smith to make it 78-2.

Perera matched Asalanka’s score with a mighty six off Mitchell Starc (2-27) over long on, only to be cleared out very next delivery by a searing yorker that cannoned into middle stump.

Zampa then turned the match further in Australia’s favour by inducing a top-edged sweep from Avishka Fernando before Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva was caught behind off Starc, wasting a review in the process.

Sri Lanka desperately needed some late fireworks and Bhanuka Rajapakse (33no off 26) obliged, striking Marcus Stoinis for 14 runs off three balls in the 17th over.

Dasun Shanaka (12) couldn’t match that potency, top-edging Cummins high to Wade, but Rajapakse continued to bristle with intent and saw Sri Lanka past 150.

The focus was on Warner at the top of Australia’s chase after the opener’s lean run of form but it was Aaron Finch (37 off 23) who initially caught the eye, helping himself to two fours in Chamika Karunaratne’s opening over and then driving Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Kumara for delicious boundaries.

Warner’s strokeplay was more streaky until he smashed Kumara down the ground off a good length to boost Australia to 43-0 off four overs.

Australia's captain Aaron Finch, right, and David Warner shared an opening stand of 70 in just under seven overs

Australia’s captain Aaron Finch, right, and David Warner shared an opening stand of 70 in just under seven overs

Two balls later, the 50-run stand was up but then Warner received a life on 18 when wicketkeeper Perera dropped a simple, gloved chance down the leg-side off Chameera.

Australia’s openers posted 63-0 off the first six overs, the highest powerplay score in the tournament so far, before Finch chopped Hasaranga de Silva (2-22) on and Maxwell (five) lofted the spinner for a boundary catch off the toe of the bat.

Warner continued to look to dominate, striking Chameera for successive fours after reaching his fifty off 31 deliveries, until he lofted Shanaka to wide long-off looking to close out the match quickly.

Instead, that was left to the ever-clinical Smith (28no off 26) and the might of Stoinis (16no off seven), who finished matters with a boundary flurry.

Sri Lanka are back in action at 10.30am on Saturday when they take on South Africa. Australia are also in Super 12 action on the same day, going head-to-head against England – live on Sky Sports Cricket from 2.30pm.

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