Time: Feb 18, 1:40 PM
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Runs came thick and fast in the Australian T20 League. Given the big ground dimensions and the fact that there’s turn on offer at the MCG, the spinners should play a crucial role.
Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Josh Hazlewood have been rested for the final two games.
Probable XI for Australia: Ashton Agar, Ben McDermott, Aaron Finch (c), Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Daniel Sams, Jhye Richardson, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson
Binura Fernando and Wanindu Hasaranga will remain in isolation after testing COVID positive.
Probable XI for Sri Lanka: Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Dasun Shanaka (c), Chamika Karunaratne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Shiran Fernando
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
Aaron Finch may not have been at his fiery best, but his numbers at the MCG are extraordinary. He has hit 324 runs in 10 T20Is at an average of 46 and a strike rate of 150.
Pathum Nissanka failed to build on the start in the third game, thanks to Australia’s disciplined bowling attack. He, however, remains the top run-scorer in the series: his 125 runs have come at an impressive average of 42.
Kane Richardson was adjudged the Player of the Match for his three-wicket haul at the Manuka Oval. While two of his wickets came in the powerplay, he dismissed Dinesh Chandimal at the death. To make matters more interesting, he has taken 5 wickets in 2 games at the venue.
Ben McDermott, the star of the Australian T20 League, hasn’t fired after his fifty in the opening game. Given the nature of the wicket, he might as well use the long handle to a devastating effect.
Maheesh Theekshana dismissed three of the top four Australian batters in the previous game. More importantly, he has dismissed Glenn Maxwell twice in the series.
Glenn Maxwell scored 39 off 26 and took the all-important wicket of Nissanka with the new ball. To add fuel to the fire, his record-breaking innings of 154* off 64 came at the MCG in the recently concluded Australian T20 League.
Dasun Shanaka is a handy player in fantasy cricket. Although he is yet to bag any wicket, his last two scores read 34 and 39*.
Ashton Agar opened in the innings in the previous game. Although he managed a mere 13, he looked comfortable in the powerplay. Before that, he had taken 1 for 14.
Josh Inglis has been in ominous touch throughout the summer. His scores in the series read 23, 48, and 21*.
Australia have won the series and they will utilise their bench strength to good effect, keeping the upcoming T20 World Cup at home. On the other hand, Sri Lanka must be ruining the lost chances. They came close to winning the first two games but could not hold on to their nerves. Given Australia’s pace trio has been rested, the visitors can emulate their performances from the SCG and end the series on a high.