Australia and Sri Lanka will continue their T20 series on Sunday night as the tour remains in Sydney for the 2nd game. As always, Mr. Cricket is back with a full preview and betting tips for the clash below.
Remember to check out our Cricket Tips page for continuing coverage of the T20 series as well as betting tips for the Aussies upcoming tour of Asia.
SCG, Sunday 12th Feb, 7.10pm (AEDT)
Predicted XI: Ben McDermott, Aaron Finch, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
The Aussies claimed a comfortable win in Game 1, although there was certainly still areas for improvement for the home side. Batting first, they stumbled to a total of 9/149, led by Big Bash League star Ben McDermott, who continued his dazzling run of form. The Hobart Hurricanes product belted 53 off 41 balls, but didn’t get a whole lot of help throughout the innings.
The bowling innings is where the Aussies really excelled however, as they kept Sri Lanka to just 122 off 19 overs in a rain reduced innings. Josh Hazlewood continued to impress in the shorted form of the game, picking up staggering figures of 4/12 off his four overs while Adam Zampa pitched in for three wickets as well.
Hard to see the Aussies making any changes after that win, but I could possibly see Steve Smith getting rested to give either Travis Head or Moises Henriques a go in the middle order. Smith hasn’t been fantastic in T20s of late and the Aussies might want to try some different line-ups in the lead up to the World Cup.
Predicted XI: Pathum Nissanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Carith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dasun Shanaka, Dinesh Chandimal, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha, Chameera, Binura Fernando, Maheesh Theekhana
As we predicted in our Game 1 preview, it was the bowling unit that looked like the main weapon for the Sri Lankans. They looked right on top of the Aussies at times throughout their bowling innings, particularly the No.1 T20 bowler in the world, Waning Hasaranga. His three wickets were supported well by the pace of Binura Fernando, who picked up 2 wickets for just 12 runs off his four overs.
Batting is where the real issues lie for the Sri Lankans. I think it will click for at least one game in this series, but I think that’s more likely to happen later in the series when some of the top line Aussie quicks start to get rested. For so long it seems like the trio of Hazlewood, Cummins and Starc have had a stranglehold on any player strolling to the crease in the Sri Lankan top order.
The Sri Lankans were about as competitive as we expected them to be in Game 1. I really think that they will be able to win a game or two in this series, but I’m not willing to back them until i’ve seen just a bit more from their top order.
At just $1.15, there is absolutely no meat left on the bone for Aussie backers here, so well have to look elsewhere for value.
Like the value of newcomer Josh Inglis to score 20+ runs on Sunday night. He looks to have locked up that No.3 spot in the line-up at least until his Perth teammate Mitch Marsh returns from injury, so should get another good opportunity here.
For the Sri Lankans, back Hasaranga to be the top wicket taker once again. He was a little expensive in Game 1, but we don’t mid that because that means he is bowling aggressively and hunting wickets. Some of the Aussie top and middle order looked to have real problems picking his wrong-un as well.
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