Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne (Aus)
Date: Friday, November 1, 2019
This is the final T20I between Australia and the touring Sri Lankans this season. The series may be over – Australia took the first two matches in convincing fashion – but both teams have something to play for on Friday. Australia would love to complete a sweep on home soil, setting down a marker for the rest of the international season. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, are desperate for a win and to avoid the sweep, taking some measure of pride out of this tour.
It was the Sri Lankan batting that failed to get going for the second time this series and that put them in no position to win the second T20I match. Electing to bat first, the tourists put up just 118 to win, a total that Australia chased down with ease as they lost just one wicket along the way and with seven overs to spare.
The first T20I went a similar route, albeit with the batting order reversed. In that game, it was the Aussies who set the target as they put up 233 in their allotted overs. Sri Lanka’s chase never got going, with the tourists losing wicket after wicker on their way to just 99 runs and a 134 run defeat.
Australia will be looking to whitewash Sri Lanka with another match that is as one-sided as the two that have come before it. The Australian openers – David Warner especially – have batted so well that the middle order may as well have left after their fielding duties were complete. Warner has been simply imperious, producing stroke after stroke of the highest quality, while the likes of Aaron Finch and Steven Smith have provided able foil for his work.
Look for Billy Stanlake to again impress with the ball. He went 2 for 23 at the Gabba and he is a player able to get the maximum bounce out of the conditions. Stanlake is a player that needs to continue to impress to get more run in this side.
Anything has to be better than what Sri Lanka have managed on this tour so far. They have totaled just three wickets through a pair or T20I games, with the bowling never getting going enough to threaten the top of the Australian order. Combine this with a batting performance with a current high score of 27 runs for an individual player and you get some idea of why there are a number of players in this side who need to stand up and be counted in Melbourne.
Kusal Mendis is one example of a player not getting it done, with the opener having scored one run in total in the two games played.
We have seen nothing from Sri Lanka to even suggest that they can win this game so we at BetXchange are looking for the favourites to win comfortably again here. Warner is in such great form that his 2.40 price to be the best home team batsmen seems like it is well worth a punt, while if he puts in another shift he could also take Man of the Match honours at 5.00.