Sydney Sixers fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood played a critical part in Australia’s two-wicket victory over hosts Sri Lanka overnight.
Hazlewood and Starc got the third One Day International off to a great start taking essential wickets in the first three overs of the game.
Starc succeeded in taking his first wicket of the game in the first over for the second time this series, knocking over opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka (also for the second time) for only five runs.
Later in the innings, his good form continued when he cleanly bowled Kusal Perera, who departed for only 11 runs after Starc’s famous delivery of his inswinging Yorker. Perera had been dropped further down Sri Lanka’s batting order to seventh after being restricted to one run in the first ODI. Starc eventually bowled two wickets for 42 runs with an economy of 4.20.
Hazlewood also had an impact early on bowling Kusal Mendis with Dave Warner taking a brilliant catch at slip. They broke what may have been a dangerous partnership as Mendis was restricted to only four runs after previously making 67 off 95 deliveries in the first ODI match and followed up with 69 runs off 69 balls in the second game for Sri Lanka.
It was a suspenseful finish for the Australians but Starc was also able to help out with the bat too, smashing one six and a four for a total of twelve runs, which put Australia in a good position to win the game as the run chase became a tense affair.
Sixers’ spin bowler Nathan Lyon and Moises Henriques were both rested for the third game.
Hazlewood, Starc, Henriques and Lyon have all made an impact with the ball during the ODI series against Sri Lanka, combining to take 11 wickets in the first three matches.
The Australians currently lead the series 2-1 with two games left to play. The fourth ODI game will be played on Wednesday the 31st of August with the final match on Sunday 4th of September. The Australians can secure the series with victory in the fourth ODI.