10:23 PM So a seven wicket win for Australia and a solid boost to the net run rate for them, thanks in large part to Stoinis smiling all the way after a record-setting T20I fifty in Australia.
Player of the match goes to Marcus Stoinis presented by Daren Sammy. Here’s Stoinis: “Ronny told me to watch the quicks because it was kinda going and if I felt comfortable then try the spinners. Once I got in the plan was to just keep going to be honest i was very nervous today as i was back home in perth with a lot of family and friends here but really glad we did a bit of a clinic today mentally i was nice and fresh with some free time with this side tribe “But so far it’s going well. I was feeling good. We played here against England recently and it was a beautiful wicket. This seemed to do a little bit more, especially against the new ball. It’s a beautiful ground, probably the best ground in Australia if not the world we have completed this match and are looking forward to playing against England at the MCG they are clearly a very good team so we will do our homework again rest rest tomorrow on our flight steps and then move on.”
Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka: “We started very well and finished well. We didn’t get going in the middle phase and we could have missed 15-20 runs in the game. [On team fitness] I think especially the fast bowlers are not well prepared. They come after an injury, so I think that’s why they usually get injured. It was really difficult with the new ball. It’s too hard to get started. Even Finch struggled with the new ball. It was the last part that they played really well. [Asked to give his team marks out of 10] Maybe 5 or 4.”
Australian captain Aaron Finch: “Very happy [with the win]. Obviously my innings were unusual. It was poor. I just couldn’t hit the ball. But I thought the way we approached it with the bat was fine. We knew the first four or five overs with the ball, especially with Kumara spinning the ball – it was a long way there – so if we could get through those none or one down it would be very important to set the ball up . back of the innings. It would have been nice if I could have kicked in earlier and made the chase a little easier, but all in all pretty clinical I think with the ball too. [After the Powerplay] They bowl a hard length. It was heavy. It’s such a big field that you feel like it’s hard to just stand and deliver. Especially with a little extra bounce and when the ball seams a bit, you feel it’s not that easy to hit the center of the bat. That doesn’t excuse the way I played, but it’s nice to get two points. [On Stoinis] It was a pretty special innings. Coming out with that intention is the most important. When you walk out to bat and you have that presence at the crease, that’s half the battle in T20 cricket. If you have the skill and the power he has, that’s a pretty good combination. [Playing England at the MCG] It’s always a great event. Any format of the game, anywhere in the world, it’s pretty special, so we’re looking forward to it.”
That was it for tonight’s live coverage. On behalf of Ekanth and the scoring team, I am Peter Della Penna. Come back tomorrow for the doubleheader when England face Ireland followed by Afghanistan vs New Zealand. Until then, pay attention!
Kumara to Finch, 2 runs, half volley on eighth stump, Finch reaches out to hit this high over wide mid-off and he flops into the grass behind the ringfielder so they can run two to secure the win with 21 balls about.