2014 Champions Sri Lanka will take on Australia in a blockbuster Twenty20 World Cup 2021 encounter in Dubai this evening. The Super 12 Group 1 encounter will get underway at 7.30pm.
Sri Lanka is on a four-match winning streak after comfortably beating Namibia, Ireland and the Netherlands before outmuscling the Bangladeshi unit on Sunday. The Lankans have been extremely effective with the ball throughout the tournament. Maheesh Theekshana and Lahiru Kumara have picked up eight wickets apiece while Wanindu Hasaranga has bagged six scalps. The trio is among the top five wicket takers at this year’s World Cup. The batting though has been a concern with no player making 100 runs in four outings. Charith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Pathum Nissanka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa have all made a fifty each but have not been consistent. The top order has been vulnerable against superior sides and the Aussie line-up is bound to challenge them.
Australia’s strength is also in their bowling with Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazelwood operating with the new ball and Adam Zampa acting as the specialist spinner. Skipper Aaron Finch also has several all-rounders to pick from during crunch matches. In David Warner, Steven Smith and Glenn Maxwell he has an experienced top order but they have not fired in recent games. The bowlers helped restrict the South Africans to 118 in their first match and the batters reached the target only in the final over.
The Dubai deck has been favourable for chasing but with dew not being a major factor, the toss will unlikely be decisive for either captain. Both teams may go unchanged for today’s game although Sri Lanka may be tempted to recall Maheesh Theekshana who sat out the Bangladesh game with an injury in place of paceman Binura Fernando.
Sri Lanka and Australia have both won eight T20Is each but the boys from Down Under will be more confident of taking on the inexperienced Lankan line-up today and secure two more points.
Prediction: A win for Australia