COLOMBO: Josh Hazlewood ran through hosts Sri Lanka to limit them to a modest 128 all out in the first T20 after Australia’s Aaron Finch won the toss and chose to bowl in Colombo on Tuesday.
Hazlewood took three wickets in the 14th over and triggered Sri Lanka’s middle-order batting collapse to give the visitors an easy-looking 129 to win the first of three T20s.
The in-form pacer finished with an impressive 4-16 in his four overs and took the wickets of Danushka Gunathilaka (26), Kusal Mendis (1), Bhanuka Rajapaksa (0) and captain Dasun Shanaka (0).
Hazlewood was well supported by his new ball partner Mitchell Starc who removed opener Pathum Nissanka for 36 off 31 balls before cleaning up the hosts’ lower order to finish with 3-26 in his four tight overs.
Earlier, Sri Lanka’s top three batters gave the hosts a slow but steady start and took the team to 100 for two in the first 12 overs.
None of the top three – Nissanka, Gunathilaka and Asalanka – was able to stick around to top up the score in the closing overs on a slow, rain-hit Colombo outfield.
Starc dismissed Wanindu Hasaranga, who tried to lead a lower order fightback with a 15-ball 17, as well as Dushmantha Chameera (1).
The other Australian bowlers supported the pace duo and bowled some tight lines to keep Sri Lankans in check.
Pace bowler Kane Richardson took one for 22 in his 3.3 overs while spinners Ashton Agar and Glenn Maxwell bowled six wicketless overs between them.
The hosts lost Asalanka and Chamika Karunaratne to run outs and were bowled out three balls short of their allotted 20 overs.
Australia are playing three Twenty20 internationals, five one-day internationals and two Test matches during the Sri Lanka tour, which ends July 12.