KARACHI: Australia, after a thumping victory over last year’s finalists Sri Lanka, have shown exactly why they are favourites for this year’s World Twenty20.
Batting first, they collapsed to 30 for four at one stage and were 67 for five soon. But Cameron White and Michael Hussey displayed the determination that has made Australia such a hard team to beat. A 101-run partnership followed that left Sri Lanka a competitive total to chase. The Australian captain could not stop praising his disciplined team. “Our lower-order batting was outstanding and our bowling was good once again,” said Michael Clarke.
His comments followed a performance that bowled out Sri Lanka for a paltry 87, including the tournament’s leading run-scorer Mahela Jayawardene for nine. With the victory, Australia are now certain to go through to the semi-finals given their high net run-rate. But Clarke was not being complacent. “We are doing well, so far so good. There’s obviously still a little way to go in the tournament, but I think we will take a lot of confidence out of this victory.”
Dirk Nannes, Shaun Tait and Mitchel Johnson, Australia’s three-pronged pace attack, share 26 wickets between them in four matches and the top six position in the list of wicket-takers. Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka’s captain, felt the wrath of the pace bowlers and was caught attempting to hook. “The way we batted was terrible, ” said Sangakkara.
“We did not get the start we needed and then showed little patience in building partnerships.” For last year’s runners-up, it boils down to today’s match against India that decides their fate in the tournament.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 11th, 2010.