A betting preview of the T20 World Cup match between Australia and Sri Lanka including top run scorer and wicket taker tips courtesy of @Olimp_SA
Australia vs. Sri Lanka, T20 World Cup, Thursday 28 October 16:00
Australia are in third place in Group 1 going into this match and have played one game less than the other teams in the group. In their only match of the tournament so far they defeated South Africa by five wickets with two balls to spare in Abu Dhabi.
After winning the toss they sent the South Africans in to bat which proved to be the right decision as they struck early and picked up three wickets in the first four overs through Glenn Maxwell and Josh Hazlewood. Pat Cummins took the next wicket, while Adam Zampa and Mitchell Starc added two each and made sure South Africa were restricted to 118/9 in their 20 overs.
Eyeing a target of 119 the Aussies felt really confident when they took the field to bat, however their bubble was burst at the end of the second over when Aaron Finch was dismissed for a duck. David Warner managed to put together 14 runs before he was out caught, while Mitchell Marsh added 11 runs. The top scorer of the innings would be Steve Smith with 35 runs and by the time he was dismissed Australia only need 39 runs to win off 30 balls. Despite Glenn Maxwell being dismissed shortly after for 18 they were able to chase down their target without losing any more wickets thanks to a sixth wicket partnership of 40 runs by Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis.
Just like their opponents Sri Lanka have played one group stage match up until now, but the difference is that they were involved in a couple of qualifier matches first. It remains to be seen if the extra cricket will be to their advantage or detriment, but I think it’s safe to say that none of the matches took too much out of the Sri Lankans when looking at the results. First they beat Namibia by seven wickets with six overs to spare, they won by 70 runs against the Irish and successfully chased down a target of just 45 runs against the Netherlands to win by 8 wickets. In their first group stage match they took on Bangladesh in Sharjah where they won by 5 wickets with 7 balls to spare.
In Sharjah Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to field first which would be a decision that they would regret initially. It took six overs before they got their first breakthrough with seamer Lahiru Kumara, while the next wicket for Sri Lanka came a couple of overs later off the bowling of Chamika Karunaratne. Wickets were not flowing for the Lions on the day and it took nearly another 10 overs for them to break Bangladesh’s third-wicket partnership of 73 runs thanks to a caught and bowled by Binura Fernando which left their opponents at 129/3. Kumara would get involved in the action again with a run out, but that would be the last wicket of the innings and Sri Lanka were left with a target of 171.
Sri Lanka got off to a horrible start when they lost Kusal Perera on the fourth ball of the innings for just one run. However, Pathum Nissanka and Charith Asalanka would steady the ship with a partnership of 69 runs and the latter would go on to top score in the innings with 80 runs. The middle order batting didn’t feature at all, but a very impressive innings of 53 runs by Bhanuka Rajapaksa at number 6 would prove to be enough to take Sri Lanka all the way to their target.
Australia go into this match as favourites and rightly so. They were excellent at restricting South Africa in their first match and I can see them doing a good job of it again in this match. Furthermore, when looking at the history between these two sides in the T20 format you will see that Australia have won four out of their last five against Sri Lanka and the last time they lost to the Lions in a T20 was back in 2017. At around 1.40 for the win backing the Aussies doesn’t offer much value so I will instead look for some value with the top batsman and bowler markets.
With a T20 average of 36 and a strike rate of just under 150 Aaron Finch looks like a good choice for top Australian batsman for me. Yes he went out for a duck against South Africa, but I believe he will be very eager to make amends for this and put in a big performance at number two. For Sri Lanka no other batsman catches my attention other than Charith Asalanka. This youngster was very impressive against Bangladesh with his knock of 80 runs and although he has only played in five T20Is so far he’s already got a solid average of 37. I expect him to put in another big performance after Sri Lanka loses one of their openers early.
Adam Zampa came quite close to being the top bowler for his side against South Africa and I am going to have a crack at him to be the top Australia bowler since I think the pitch will favour the spinners more in this match.
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Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change