Marcus Stoinis scored the second-fastest half-century in the Men’s T20 World Cup as Australia defeated Sri Lanka by seven wickets to avenge their open loss.
Australia completed their goal in Perth with 21 balls, thanks to Stoinis’ 59-ball innings.
Earlier, Charith Asalanka struggled to help Sri Lanka reach 157-6 with 40 from 45 balls.
The victory relieves pressure on the defending champions, Australia, who entered the match at the bottom of Group One in the Super 12.
Before their vital match with England in Melbourne on Friday, it elevates them to fourth (09:00 BST).
Afghanistan and Sri Lanka play earlier on the same day at the same location (05:00).
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Stoinis Powers Australia Home
Even at this early stage of the competition, Australia was under pressure going into this game after their 89-run loss to New Zealand left them with little margin for error.
To improve their dismal net run rate, they needed to win, and they needed to win decisively. A second loss would have made it impossible for them to go to the semifinals.
When Stoinis walked to the crease in the 13th over, Australia was 97-3 and just eight runs ahead of Sri Lanka at that point in the game.
But a savage outburst of power hitting—four fours and six sixes in only 22 minutes—brought the home team across the finish line.
Aaron Finch, the captain of Australia, stated, “It was a really amazing innings.” In T20 cricket, “coming out with that purpose is the important thing; coming out with that presence is one of the big things, and his power makes him very hard to stop.”
Despite not winning any of their five games, Finch had previously won the toss and decided to bat first for the sixth consecutive game.
But after being outscored by New Zealand on Saturday by 200 runs, Australia got off to a far more determined start, dismissing the lethal Kusal Mendis for five runs in the second over.
Dhananjaya de Silva was also dismissed by David Warner with a beautiful diving catch at long-off as he attempted to accelerate, leaving Sri Lanka struggling at 75-2 in the 12th over.
They make some hasty decisions to increase the scoring rate, such as when Charith Asalanka and Pathum Nissanka make a terrible mistake and Nissanka runs out for four.
Before a valiant last-ditch effort from Charith Asalanka and Chamika Karunaratne, which included 31 from the last two overs, Sri Lanka suffered at 120-6.
Australia got off to a shaky start in the chase, limping to 33-1 and failing to score a boundary in the powerplay for the first time in their T20 international history.
The spinners for Sri Lanka, frequently their strength, deteriorated in the middle innings. Wanindu Hasaranga received harsh treatment; he finished with figures 0-53 from three overs.
Before Stoinis’ outstanding hitting, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh were the primary beneficiaries with 23 and 18 points off of 12 and 17 shots, respectively.
Dasun Shanaka, the captain of Sri Lanka, remarked, “We were five out of ten today.” We had a strong start, but we faltered in the middle overs and would have lost 15 to 20 runs.
“With the new ball, it was difficult. However, Australia performed exceptionally well in the game’s closing stages.