Mahela reviews Sri Lanka’s defeat against Australia

Australia thumped Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the 22nd game of the T20 World Cup 2021 in Dubai on Thursday. Sent into bat first, Sri Lanka managed to put up only 154-6 on the board. Australia chased down the target without any trouble, getting home in 17 overs.

Reviewing Sri Lanka’s defeat, Jayawardene admitted that Australia were the better of the two teams on the day. He, however, also conceded that dew made life difficult for the Lankan spinners. The former player told ESPN Cricinfo in this regard:

“There is a certain disadvantage with the dew coming in for teams like Sri Lanka, who depend a lot on their spinners for those variations and to get those wickets in the middle overs.”
“The Sri Lankan spinners tried earlier on, but the ball was skidding on. You did not see the kind of grip (for Sri Lankan spinners) that Adam Zampa was getting when he was bowling those lines and creating doubts in the batsmen’s minds.”

He added: “We have seen throughout the tournament so far that the spinners have found it very difficult at the backend. It’s an advantage (for the team bowling first) when you look at the bigger picture and the T20 World Cup. There will be a lot of pressure on captains to win the toss while playing in Dubai.”

Wanindu Hasaranga (2 for 22) was the only Sri Lankan bowler to make an impact. He dismissed Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell. According to former India pacer Ajit Agarkar, Sri Lanka perhaps missed a trick by not bowling the leg-spinner in the powerplay. Agarkar opined:

“There was merit in bringing Hasaranga on during the powerplay. He bowls quite straight, and has got a great googly. His trajectory is quite low, and he doesn’t really give time to the batsmen.”
“With Warner there, it is always a risk. But he (Hasaranga) has done that before as well. Maybe they missed a trick, but Australia batted quite well in that powerplay.”

Off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana was economical, giving away only 27 runs in his four overs, but he failed to grab a wicket.

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