Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Australia try to square series on Geelong's debut

Match facts

February 19, 2017
Start time 1920 local (0820 GMT)

Big Picture

Australia's ostensible home advantage against Sri Lanka was diminished at the MCG on Friday night by two factors: the unsettled and makeshift nature of the Twenty20 team with the Test team concurrently preparing in India, and the enormous amount of support for Sri Lanka from a large Melbourne expatriate population. Both factors will again be at play on Sunday, with a third thrown into the mix - Kardinia Park's debut as an international venue in Geelong, a little more than an hour's drive to Melbourne's south-west. While the acting captain Aaron Finch knows the venue well as a product of nearby Colac, others will be less familiar with Geelong and also each other.

As Michael Klinger put it: "Sri Lanka came straight from playing T20s and one-dayers in South Africa and we had a couple of Sheffield Shield matches since the Big Bash ended. But in this day and age you adapt quickly to the change in formats. There's no excuse, we've got two days now to turn it around pretty quick and get a win in Geelong."

Sri Lanka themselves need more improvement, particularly in terms of how tidy they are in the field. Several chances went down at the MCG, something it must be said the hosts did not take full advantage of. Partly this was because Finch, Michael Klinger and Travis Head were unable to go on from starts, partly because Lakshan Sandakan and Seekkuge Prasanna bowled thriftily and well in the middle overs. Adam Zampa also delivered a fine spell when Sri Lanka chased, but Ashton Turner was underused, and Head not called upon at all. More ruthless batting and more agile use of spin will be vital to an Australian recovery from their opening defeat.

Form guide

Australia: LWWLW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Sri Lanka: WWWLL

In the spotlight

Alongside Adam Zampa, Pat Cummins is a rare member of the current Australian T20 side who would be a likely member of a full-strength team. As such he needs to lead the way for the bowlers, and, while he bowled with speed and hostility at the MCG, he will want to offer a greater wicket-taking threat at Kardinia Park. This and the third match of the series in Adelaide will be Cummins' last opportunities in Australian colours before the Champions Trophy squad for England is selected.

Though he led the side well, Upul Tharanga is by no means certain of his place in Sri Lanka's T20 XI beyond this series. An average of 12.58 and not a single half-century in 12 T20 appearances for Sri Lanka would suggest as much. So while Tharanga's first priority will be to guide the tourists to a series-sealing victory, a substantial score at the top of the order would also be more than welcome.

Team news

Ben Dunk may be considered for inclusion after Australia played only three specialist batsmen in game one.

Australia (possible) 1 Aaron Finch (capt), 2 Michael Klinger, 3 Ben Dunk, 4 Travis Head, 5 Moises Henriques, 6 Ashton Turner, 7 Tim Paine (wk), 8 James Faulkner, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Andrew Tye.

Sri Lanka may well keep an unchanged side to follow up their opening victory.

Sri Lanka (possible) 1 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 2 Upul Tharanga (capt), 3 Dilshan Munaweera, 4 Asela Gunaratne, 5 Milinda Siriwardana, 6 Chamara Kapugedera, 7 Seekkugge Prasanna, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Lakshan Sandakan, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Vikum Sanjaya.

Pitch and conditions

Kardinia Park's drop-in pitch has been friendly to batsmen in its few recent opportunities. The weather forecast for Geelong is not the most promising however, with showers expected in late afternoon and early evening.

Stats and trivia

  • Geelong joins Cairns as the only non-capital Australian cities to host the national team in an international match

  • A win for Sri Lanka will give them three from three series wins in Twenty20 matches in Australia


"Certainly in Twenty20 cricket, your top three or or four batters, if you get 60, 70-plus runs, it goes a long way to winning the game. In that situation, myself and Finchy, who got starts, it certainly would have been nice if one of us got a big score but it didn't happen."
Michael Klinger knows the hosts need to go on from starts up the top

Sri Lanka 2nd innings Partnerships

1st5WU TharangaN Dickwella
2nd17EMDY MunaweeraN Dickwella
3rd5EMDY MunaweeraBKG Mendis
4th13EMDY MunaweeraDAS Gunaratne
5th0TAM SiriwardanaDAS Gunaratne
6th52CK KapugederaDAS Gunaratne
7th27S PrasannaDAS Gunaratne
8th41KMDN KulasekaraDAS Gunaratne
9th16SL MalingaDAS Gunaratne