Marcus Stoinis (C) celebrates reaching his half century during the ICC men's Twenty20 World Cup 2022 cricket match between Australia and Sri Lanka. AFP
Marcus Stoinis hit Australia's fastest T20 fifty off just 17 balls to propel the defending champion to a seven-wicket win against Sri Lanka at the Twenty20 World Cup on Tuesday.
Australia scored 158-3 in the Super 12 game in response to Sri Lanka’s 157-6 to win with 21 balls to spare.
Australia overcame a spot of bother at 89-3 in the 13th over as Stoinis came to the rescue with 59 not out - including six sixes and four fours - off just 18 balls.
He shared an undefeated 69-run stand for the fourth wicket with skipper Aaron Finch (31 not out).
Stoinis humbled the much-vaunted Sri Lankan spin attack with legspinner Wanindu Hasaranga conceding five sixes and costing 53 runs in three overs.
Stoinis did not spare offspinner Mahesh Theekshana either. Theekshana conceded three runs in two overs in picking off opener David Warner (11) but Stoinis hit three sixes in the space of four balls to bring up the record-breaking half century.
He hit two successive sixes off Theekshana, and after the strike was rotated Stoinis lifted a full toss straight over the bowler's head and into the seats as the crowd of 25,061 erupted.
"It wasn’t long enough to feel like batting … it was good slogging,” Stoinis said. "I was quite nervous to be honest. The intention was to have a big impact on the game and provide a bit of energy for the boys."
It was a brilliant display of power hitting by the Australians after an 89-run thrashing by New Zealand in the tournament opener. Australia will now play rival England in a crucial game on Friday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
"The back’s still against the wall I think," Stoinis said. "It’s going to be a very important game against England for us.”
Australia is fourth in Group 1 with just one win from two games and a net run rate of -1.555 behind New Zealand (4.450), England (0.620) and Sri Lanka (0.450).
Sri Lanka was asked to bat first on a lively pitch, got off to a slow start and managed just 63 runs in the first half of the innings before picking up momentum in the second to post what it hoped would be a competitive total.
The Australian trio of Josh Hazlewood (1-26), Pat Cummins (1-36) and Mitchell Starc (1-23) pegged down Sri Lanka's top order with relentless pace.
Cummins got rid of danger batter Kusal Mendis (5) in the second over when the opener skied a catch to Mitch Marsh.
A 69-run stand between opener Pathum Nissanka (40) and Dhananjaya de Silva (26) anchored the top order. Charith Asalanka (38 not out) and Chamika Karunaratne (14 not out) shared 37 runs for the seventh wicket.
The pair took 20 runs off Cummins in the last over.
Asalanka was the most enterprising of the Sri Lankan batters, hitting three fours and two sixes in his 25-ball knock. The entire innings produced two sixes and 12 boundaries as the Sri Lankan batters struggled to clear the big boundaries unlike the Australians.
Sri Lanka won its first game against Ireland by nine wickets.
The Indian team management in Sri Lanka will focus first on sealing the three-match T20 International series that begins on Sunday and then give youngsters an opportunity in the final T20I.
Liam Livingstone slammed the fastest T20I ton by an England player but couldn't take his side to victory as Pakistan notched a 31-run win in the opening tie of the three-match series at Trent Bridge.
Hasaranga returned career-best T20 figures of 4-9 with his leg-spin as India finished on a paltry 81-8, a total Sri Lanka overhauled in 14.3 overs. Dhananjaya de Silva, unbeaten on 23, and Hasaranga, 14 not out, steered the team home after Indian leg-spinner Rahul Chahar sent back Sri Lanka’s top three batsmen.
Top seed Iga Swiatek stormed into the quarter-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships after beating Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-4 on Wednesday. The Qatar Open winner dropped the first game of the opening set but roared back in spectacular fashion, winning an incredible
This event marks the first MMA competition of the federation’s new action-packed season calendar. Participants will showcase their skills in various weight classes with each fight consisting of 3 rounds lasting 2 minutes.
Pollard bludgeoned an unbeaten 49 off 21 balls with four towering sixes and four boundaries as the veteran West Indian helped Karachi cruise to 157-3 in 16.5 overs for its first win in the tournament
Sheikh Mohamed underscored the UAE's commitment to sports as a pivotal element of its vision for comprehensive and sustainable development. He highlighted how global sports events play a crucial role in building bridges and fostering mutual understanding worldwide.