Stoinis smashes record fifty in Australia’s seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka

Marcus Stoinis hitting a shot during a match against Sri Lanka at Perth on Tuesday.
Marcus Stoinis hitting a shot during a match against Sri Lanka at Perth on Tuesday.

Perth, Oct 25: Marcus Stoinis destroyed the Sri Lankan attack en route to scoring the fastest fifty by an Australian as the hosts got their T20 World Cup campaign back on track with a seven-wicket victory here on Tuesday.

Charith Asalanka’s 38 not out off 25 balls helped Sri Lanka put up a fighting 157 for six after Australia put them in.

Sri Lanka fought hard before they were blown away by the brute force of Stoinis who remained on 59 off 18 balls as Australia romped home in 16.3 overs. The all-rounder raced to a record half-century in 17 balls. His memorable knock included half a dozen sixes and four boundaries.

Despite losing fast bowler Binura Fernando to injury in the first over, Sri Lanka kept themselves in the game for a major part of Australia’s chase.

The dangerous David Warner perished cheaply and skipper Aaron Finch was unable to break the shackles, increasing the pressure on the hosts. Finch struggled to 24 off his first 35 balls and ended up with 31 off 42 balls.

Mitchell Marsh scored a run-a-ball 17 before Glenn Maxwell came up with a couple of sixes and fours in his 12-ball 23 to release some pressure. During his short stay, Maxwell suffered a nasty blow on the right side of helmet grill while trying to pull a rising delivery from Lahiru Kumara.

The all-rounder fell attempting another big hit but substitute Ashen Bandara took a brilliant catch very close to the deep midwicket boundary to leave Sri Lanka at 89 for three in the 13th over.

While Finch struggled at the other end, Stoinis came in and produced a barrage of sixes and fours to effectively shut the door on Sri Lanka.

Stoinis, and the rest of the batters, targeted star Sri Lanka spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, who had a day to forget, leaking 53 runs in three overs.

Earlier, defending champions Australia produced a disciplined bowling effort for the majority of the innings before Asalanka propped up the total on a quick pitch.

The last four overs yielded 46 runs for Sri Lanka including a 20-run final over from Pat Cummins.

The left-handed Asalanka launched into Cummins in the 20th over, hitting a sublime straight six besides a pull for a boundary. Chamika Karunaratne gave Asalanka good support with an unbeaten 14 off seven balls.

Early on, the Sri Lankan innings could never get the momentum after Australia put them into bat.

After Kusal Mendis fell cheaply, Pathum Nissanka (40 off 45 balls) and Dhananjaya de Silva (26 off 23) shared a steady 69-run stand off 58 balls before regular fall of wickets derailed the Sri Lankan innings.

De Silva fell to a brilliant running catch in the deep from David Warner, who was a livewire on the field, leaving Sri Lanka at 75 for two in the 12th over.

Nissanka attempted a suicidal single to throw away his wicket and it was followed by a flurry of wickets to leave the Asia Cup winners struggling at 120 for six.

All the Australian frontline pacers Josh Hazlewood, Cummins and Mitchell Starc picked up a wicket each. Cummins’ final over effort spoilt his overall figures, though. (PTI)