Australia and Sri Lanka continue their T20 series on Friday when the two sides head to the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the fourth match of five. With the series already decided this game and the final one is about preparing for the T20 World Cup later in the year.
Australia haven’t been convincing in this series but they have won all three matches and can now look to get something out of the last two games that they can take forward with them. Sri Lanka will be looking for a consolation to take to India next week.
The Australians won the third match but it was the second match in succession that their performance left a lot to be desired. On the face of it the scoreboard looked pretty emphatic with a six wicket win but after a wonderful bowling effort the chance was there to show the world why they are the world champions in this format but it didn’t really happen. Nevertheless they got the job done and you can’t ask for a lot more than that.
It appears Australia will now experiment over the final two matches in the series to see what they can get out of them with regards to what could be used at the T20 World Cup and what needs to be put to bed. We might also see some key men rested because Australia do have an assignment in Pakistan in the not too distant future. Despite all that, Australia will be looking to develop a ruthless edge so they will still want to win the match.
I think Sri Lanka will be disappointed that they haven’t won a match in this series but we shouldn’t ignore the fact that a few things have gone against them. They were always going to struggle in their opening match because they didn’t give themselves the chance of a warm up match but they should have won the second game. Their plans for the third one were thrown into disarray when Wanindu Hasaranga tested positive for Covid on game day which wasn’t helpful.
Sri Lanka won’t need me to tell them that their batting needs to be more consistent. The one time they batted well they forced a super over but even then their top order let them down a little. In all three matches their bowlers have got the job done but it doesn’t count for a huge amount if their batters aren’t able to support them. Long-term it might be no bad thing that they have to play a couple of matches without Hasaranga as they can’t rely on him all the time.
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Australia have left Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc at home so the likes of Jhye Richardson and Kane Richardson will lead the attack along with Daniel Sams. Glenn Maxwell will look to impress on his home ground.
Key bowlers are missing for Sri Lanka in this match with Wanindu Hasaranga and Binura Fernando still isolating after testing positive for Covid. Nuwan Thushara left the field midway through his spell on Tuesday and could be forced to miss out here.
The run line for this match is up at 310.5 which feels a little on the high side when you consider that two of the three matches so far on a smaller ground than the Melbourne Cricket Ground haven’t really threatened this line. If there is a concern it is that Australia are resting their key bowlers but Sri Lanka haven’t really shown they are about to cut loose with the bat at any point, and it isn’t like Australia are bringing inexperienced bowlers or anything like that.
We saw in the Big Bash that this is a hard ground to score on and with all the cricket that has been played here it isn’t likely to have gotten any easier. With the big boundaries here both teams will play extra spin options and it looks like Australia are going to tinker with their batting order so it isn’t as though the likes of Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell are going to face all the overs or anything like that. This line just looks too high based on the series we’ve seen so far.
Back Under 310.5 runs for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365