Aussies cruise to win on back of Warner's historic ton
David Warner scored his first ever T20 century for Australia as the host nation annihilated Sri Lanka at the Adelaide Oval in the first of the three-game international series.
David Warner delivered his birthday best - basking in a maiden Twenty20 international ton - in Australia's record 134-run victory over Sri Lanka at the Adelaide Oval.
The beaming smile, switch hits and crisp blows over the fence were back as Warner put all the pain of his ball tampering ban and torturous Ashes campaign behind him with a 56-ball century.
On his 33rd birthday there was a double first pump and kiss of the Australian coat of arms after Warner pushed the last ball of the innings off Dasun Shanaka (1/10) to point for a deserved century. It continued Warner's love affair with the ground that has yielded the left-hander three Test and two 50-over centuries.
Catch every ball of the Australia v Sri Lanka Gillette T20 International Series LIVE or On-Demand with KAYO SPORTS. Get your 14-day free trial>
Warner figured in century stands with skipper Aaron Finch (64 off 36) and a rampant Glenn Maxwell (62 off 28) as Australia feasted on a mediocre Sri Lankan attack with no answer to its relentless aggression and inventiveness.
It was the first century T20 stand between Warner and Finch in a prelude to the opening dominance Australia requires to clinch a breakthrough T20 World Cup as host in 12 months.
Australia (2-233) recorded its highest home T20 total and heaviest win while the tourists managed 9-99. It was a lop sided opening to the three-match series which continues in Brisbane on Wednesday.
Australia's world class spearheads Mitchell Starc (2/18) and Pat Cummins (2/21) were hostile and accurate in decimating Sri Lanka where Shanaka top scored with 17. Impressive spinners Adam Zampa (3/14) and Ashton Agar (1/13) finished off the visitors.
WELCOME BACK WARNER
Warner waited four overs to get his eye in before blasting back to form with successive boundaries then a power pull into the Sir Edwin Smith stand off Kasun Rajitha. Warner would finish with 10 boundaries and four sixes while Kasun Rajitha (0/75) conceded Sri Lanka's most expensive T20 spell.
Warner led the 2019 Indian Premier League aggregate with 692 and averaged 71 in the World Cup before melting in the Ashes. Warner's birthday ton exceeded his 95-run Ashes output against Stuart Broad's England. Warner was captain of Australia in his last T20 match in Australia at the MCG in February 2018 but doesn't need a title to finish his career on a high.
Glenn Maxwell is the No.2 ICC ranked batsman for a reason and won't trail Pakistan's Babar Azam for long following a knock with all the trappings expected of the Big Show. Maxwell unveiled a revamped open stance which worked for the Victorian who is anxious to remove any doubts over this capacity to deal with short pitched bowling. If Australia wins a World Cup in 2020 or 2021 in India it will be with Maxwell at No.3. Maxwell can conjure shots and angles others can't.
The Adelaide crowd reaction to Steve Smith and Warner suggested the pair had been forgiven, 583 days after the Cape Town ball tampering incident. Smith didn't bat but Warner was cheered rather jeered on to a ground in contrast with savage Ashes receptions from English crowds. Australian coach Justin Langer was right in saying 'sentiment is changing' towards his men.
Australia is changing philosophy, picking its best sides - where possible over the next 12 months - which should lift a fifth placed ICC ranking. Starc was playing a fifth T20 international in four years, Pat Cummins his seventh and Smith his first since 2016. A full strength team that goes hard in the powerplays and prioritises elite fielding will be as Maxwell notes 'hard to beat in our conditions'.
The Australians feasted on a Sri Lankan attacked spearheaded by ageing slinger Lasith Malinga (0/37). Swing bowler Rajitha and Wanindu Hasaranga (0/42) came in for punishment in an attack lacking variety. Left-arm spinner Lakshan Sandakan (1/41) deceived Finch with slower ball while Nuwan Pradeep did his best to curtail Australia's batsmen. It was Australia's highest T20 total at home since their 221 against England in Sydney in 2007.