T20 World Cup: Zampa helps Aussies restrict Lanka to 154/6

Adam Zampa celebrates taking the wicket of Sri Lanka's Charith Asalanka with teammates. (Reuters)
Adam Zampa celebrates taking the wicket of Sri Lanka's Charith Asalanka with teammates. (Reuters)

Dubai - Leg-spinner Zampa (4-0-12-2) was the star for Australia after Finch won the toss and opted to field


Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Thu 28 Oct 2021, 7:40 PM

Last updated: Thu 28 Oct 2021, 7:57 PM

Leg-spinner Adam Zampa’s turn and control inspired an Australian comeback as Sri Lanka were restricted to 154 for six in the Super 12 game of the T20 World Cup at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Thursday.

After being asked to bat first by Australian captain Aaron Finch, Sri Lanka looked set for big score, thanks to an impressive display of attacking batting from Charith Asalanka (35 off 27 balls) and Kusal Perera (35 off 25 balls).

But Zampa turned Australia’s fortunes as the Lankans collapsed from 78 for one in 9.3 overs to 94 for five, losing four wickets for just 16 runs.

If not for a superb fightback from Bhanuka Rajapaksa (33 not out off 26 balls), Sri Lanka would have struggled to reach even the 150 mark.

When Asalanka and Perera, the two talented left-handers, joined hands and started dominating the attack after the early dismissal of Pathum Nissanka (7), it seemed Sri Lanka would leave a daunting target for the Aussies to chase.

But Zampa’s introduction in the eighth over turned the game on its head as the leg-spinner had Asalanka caught by Steve Smith in the deep before dismissing Avishka Fernando (4) with a well-flighted delivery.

Before the fall of Fernando’s wicket, Mitchell Starc (4-0-27-2), the pick of the Australian pace bowlers, got his second of the evening with a perfect yorker to rattle the stumps of Perera.

The Sri Lankans were in deep trouble, but Rajapaksa’ calm head and classy shots helped them score 43 runs off the last four overs.

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