Marcus Stoinis bludgeoned Australia’s fastest T20 half-century on Tuesday as his side crushed Sri Lanka by seven wickets to secure their first win at this year’s T20 World Cup.
After being beaten by New Zealand in the opening match of the Super 12, Australia elected to field on Tuesday and restricted Sri Lanka to 157/6.
They had to make do without the services of leg spinner Adam Zampa, who was ruled out at the 11th hour after testing positive for Covid-19.
Pat Cummins celebrates with teammates after dismissing Kusal Mendis on Tuesday. AP/PTI picture
The hosts though replied with 158/3 in 16.3 overs, led by Stoinis who powerfully struck six sixes in his unbeaten 59 from 18 balls. He was ably assisted by skipper Aaron Finch who finished on 31 not out.
Stoinis slammed his half-century off 17 balls ahead of David Warner, who earlier held the record for Australia off 18 balls against the West Indies in 2010 at Sydney.
Yuvraj Singh famously scored the fastest half-century in the shortest format at the inaugural 2007 T20 World Cup. He had achieved the feat off just 12 balls against England at Durban. Innovative strokeplay from Glenn Maxwell (23) also injected impetus into Australia’s response.
Their first victory in the Super 12 also reversed some of the damage to their net runrate which New Zealand had inflicted in their first match. Australia are now at -1.555, with matches against England, Afghanistan and Ireland remaining.
The Optus Stadium deck had good carry as Australia’s seamers took three wickets with a barrage of pace and bounce which set Sri Lanka back.
Top-order batsmen Pathum Nissanka (40) and Dhananjaya de Silva (26) found it difficult to score boundaries but showed urgency in running between the wickets.
Mitchell Marsh ran out Nissanka and triggered a mini-collapse, only arrested by a late onslaught from Charith Asalanka in the final overs.