Perth [Australia], October 25 (ANI): Following his side's seven-wicket loss to Australia in their ICC T20 World Cup match, Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka said that his side struggled in middle overs and fell short by 15-20 runs.
A quickfire half-century from all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and his 69-run partnership with skipper Aaron Finch helped defending champions Australia register a crucial seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in their Group 1, Super 12 match of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup at Perth on Tuesday.
"We started really well and finished well, but we did not get going in the middle overs. I think we could have missed 15-20 runs. Fast bowlers did not prepare well, they are coming after injuries. It was tough with the new ball due to the spongy bounce. Even Finch struggled against the new ball. They played really well in the latter part," said Shanaka in the post-match presentation.
Coming to the match, put to batting by Australia, Sri Lanka posted 157/6 in their 20 overs.
Opener Pathum Nissanka (40) top-scored for his side and formed a 69-run stand with his partner Dhananjaya de Silva (26). Though Australia made a comeback after this solid second wicket stand to take some quick wickets, Charith Asalanka (38) made sure Lankans finished decently.
Starc, Cummins, Hazlewood, Agar and Maxwell got a wicket each.
Chasing 158, Australia was off to a slow start, scoring 33/1 in their powerplay. Australia finished the powerplay without scoring even a single four or six, for the first time in their T20I history.
However, quickfire knocks from Stoinis (59 off 18) and Glenn Maxwell (23 off 12 balls) changed the game for the Aussies. Skipper Aaron Finch (31 off 42 balls) formed a 69-run stand for the fourth wicket to help his side clinch a crucial seven-wicket win over Asian champions.
With this win, Australia is in the fourth position in the points table with 2 points, one place below Asian champions Sri Lanka, who are in third with two points.
Stoinis also earned the 'Man of the Match' award for his match-winning half-century.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka: 157/6 (Pathum Nissanka 40, Charith Asalanka 38, Glenn Maxwell 1/5) lost to Australia: 158/3 in 16.3 overs (Marcus Stoinis 59, Aaron Finch 31, Chamika Karunaratne 1/20). (ANI)