EXPERT CRICKET TIPS: AUS V SL T20

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T20 GAME 4: AUSTRALIA v SRI LANKA

Pitch and Weather Conditions

Whilst noted for its big boundaries, the MCG produced plenty of runs in this season’s BBL with the last four first innings scores hitting 170 or over including the Melbourne Stars’ record-breaking 2/273 against an undermanned Hobart Hurricanes.

Summary

Australia have already wrapped up the series, having taken an unassailable 3-0 lead via their six-wicket victory at Manuka Oval on Tuesday night.

After winning the toss and sending Sri Lanka into bat, the Aussies’ attack choked the Lankans’ batting line-up as they could only scramble to 6/121 with paceman Kane Richardson claiming 3/21 off four overs.

Although it wasn’t the most convincing chase, the hosts were comfortable enough in running down the target for the loss of only four wickets and with 19 balls remaining, with Glenn Maxwell striking an entertaining 39 off 26 balls.

It was a disappointing result for Sri Lanka after coming so close in the second match at the SCG, however this time the gulf in class between the two sides showed – especially in the absence of key all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga.

Again the visitors’ top-order failed to fire as they found themselves on the back foot early at 4/40 in the eighth over and their total would’ve been even more meagre had it not been for a late flurry from skipper Dasun Shanaka (39 not out off 38 balls).

In the field wily off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana (3/24 off four overs) ensured that the second innings wouldn’t be completely one-sided, though their cause wasn’t helped by an apparent side strain suffered by left-arm seamer Numan Thusara, who could only complete 1.1 overs.


Player in Spotlight: Josh Inglis

In his debut series for Australia, Inglis has gone about his work quietly but has looked the part at this level with three scores all in excess of 20, including his steady unbeaten 21 off 18 balls at Manuka.

After warming the bench for the entire World Cup, Inglis will be looking to elevate himself into the first XI, possibly at the expense of Steve Smith, who will miss the remainder of the series due to a concussion.

Player in Spotlight: Pathum Nissanka

Although he perished for an underwhelming 16 off 21 balls in Canberra, the right-handed opener has been a rare bright spot in the top-order for Sri Lanka. He top scored in both games at the SCG including a brilliant 73 off 53 balls on Sunday night.

If the away side are to get themselves on the board, they’ll need their most in-form batsman to continue his impressive streak.


Key Stats

  • Australia have won nine of their past 11 T20Is at home.
  • Sri Lanka have lost their last eight T20Is against Australia.
  • Pathum Nissanka has top-scored in three of his past six T20Is.

Verdict

The Sri Lankans have troubled Australia at times throughout this series – particularly in the field – though they continue to fall short. With more squad rotation likely from both sides, it makes the match odds tricky to assess. However, we do like what we see in the visitors’ red-hot opener.

Betting Strategy

 BACK: Pathum Nissanka – Top Sri Lanka Batter at $3.75+ for 1 unit