ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – Opening batsman David Warner hit his first Twenty20 international century as Australia beat Sri Lanka by 134 runs in the first of three matches.
Warner’s whirlwind unbeaten 100 from 56 balls on Sunday at Adelaide Oval underpinned Australia’s 233-2 — the country’s fourth-highest T20 total and best on home soil.
In reply, Sri Lanka stumbled to 99-9 as Australia took a 1-0 lead in the three-game series which continues in Brisbane on Wednesday and Melbourne on Friday.
The winning margin is, by runs, the third-largest in a T20 international between test playing nations — Pakistan’s 143-run victory against the West Indies at Karachi in April 2018 is the biggest.
Warner, on his 33rd birthday and in his first home international since being banned for ball tampering in South Africa, leapt wildly into the air on reaching his milestone from the last ball of Australia’s innings.
The left-hander received support from captain Aaron Finch (64 from 36 balls) and Glenn Maxwell (62 from 28).
Sri Lanka fast bowler Kasun Rajitha finished with 0-75, the most runs conceded in a four-over spell in T20 internationals.
Warner’s century featured 10 fours and four sixes, surpassing his previous best T20 international score of 90 not out.
Maxwell and Warner put on 107 runs and their century stand took only 52 balls.
Sri Lanka’s run chase was affected by early wickets as the visitors slumped to 13-3 after 22 balls.
Australian pacemen Mitchell Starc (2-18) struck in the first over and Pat Cummins (2-27) took two wickets in consecutive deliveries in his first over.
Spinners Adam Zampa (3-14) and Ashton Agar (1-13) were also wicket-takers as Dasun Shanaka top-scored with 17 for Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka came in to the match on a four-game T20 winning streak, including all three matches in Pakistan and the final match on a tour of New Zealand. The Sri Lanka side in Pakistan was missing many of the country’s top players due to security concerns.
Australia will host Pakistan in a three-match T20 series in early November.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5