Australia will be looking for the perfect end to their first T20 series since being crowned World Champions late last year. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, will be desperate to avoid the humiliation of a second consecutive whitewash on Australian shores in this format. Who will come out on top? Read on for our full Australia vs Sri Lanka 5th T20 preview and prediction:
Australia vs Sri Lanka 5th T20 Preview and Prediction
Series So Far
Australia started this series with a very convincing bowling performance at the SCG that made a slightly below average performance with the bat irrelevant. That has rather set the tone. Sri Lanka did battle back from a seemingly hopeless position with three overs to go to force a super over in the second T20, only for a miserly display from Josh Hazlewood in that super over to condemn them to a second defeat. That left them staring down the barrel in the series.
It did not get much better at Manuka Oval in Canberra. On a difficult pitch, they managed to post just 121 runs on the board and that was never going to be enough against this Australian side. They knocked off the chase in under 17 overs to complete the series victory. It was a similar story at the MCG. Sri Lanka threatened with the ball early in Australia’s innings, but they had only 139 runs to defend and Australia were able to chase that down relatively comfortably.
Australia will likely continue with the slightly experimental line-up with Ashton Agar opening alongside Ben McDermott. Aaron Finch will come in at three, with Glen Maxwell at four and the excellent Josh Inglis at five. That allows them to play finishers at six and seven in Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade. The big three of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc will be rested again. Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Jhye Richardson and Adam Zampa comprise the frontline bowling attack.
Sri Lanka look likely to continue with Pathum Nissanka and Danushka Gunathilaka at the top of the order, though the latter has looked out of his depth. Kusal Mendis will bat at three with Charith Asalanka in at four. Dinesh Chandimal will be in next, followed by captain Dasun Shanaka. It is a long tail with Chamika Karunaratne at seven, Dushmantha Chameera at eight, Maheesh Theekshana at nine, Jeffrey Vandersay at ten and Lahiru Kumara at 11. Wanindu Hasaranga’s absence is keenly felt.
Unfortunately for the Sri Lankan bowlers, who have been generally impressive in this series, the Sri Lankan batters just have not been able to adapt to the pace and bounce on offer. The Australian bowlers, it should be said, have been excellent at exploiting that weakness, with Agar particularly effective with the ball. He has gone for just 28 runs in the eight overs he has bowled. Unless something changes fairly dramatically, expect another comfortable win for the hosts.
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