It took Australia a Super Over to win the second T20I, which shows how much they were stressed. It was also their second straight less-than-comfortable victory and should force a rethink in their camp.
In the second T20I, the hosts, after posting 164 for 6, were seemingly in control of the game as the Lankans were reeling at 115 for 6 in the 17th over. But then a surprising fightback led by Sri Lankan opener Pathum Nissanka but also contributed to by their tail-enders saw the tourists match the Aussies score.
The home side had to thank their star pacer Josh Hazlewood for bailing them out – not just in regulation time when he bowled a superb 19th over but also in Super Over when he conceded just five runs – a total that was easily surpassed by Marcus Stoinis.
Australia have received an injury blow ahead of the 3rd T20I, with Steve Smith ruled out of the remainder of the series due to concussion.
Sri Lankan players will be kicking themselves after coming so close to what would have been a memorable victory.
In the second T20I, the Lankans matches Australia’s total of 164 but ran out of steam in the Super Over. Perhaps, captain Dasun Shanaka’s decision to with the pairing of himself and Dinesh Chandimal was the wrong call when Nissanka had just played a blinder of an innings of 73.
The Lankans lost but still the manner of their defeat was impressive and heading into the third T20I they’d certainly feel that they have a decent chance of keeping the series alive.
That said, their middle-order must improve. The collective contribution of their number two to four batters was five, which is not something that should be allowed to happen again.