Hazlewood holds his nerve as insane Sri Lankan comeback forces super over, but Smith hurt

Cricket, featured

Sri Lanka have been denied one of the most unlikely T20I victories in recent memory by a nerveless super over from Australian star Josh Hazlewood, after an incredible comeback saw the visitors tie the scores off the final ball of their innings.

Set a target of 165, the tourists looked dead and buried at 6-115. But needing 19 off the final over, heroics from opener Pathum Nissanka (73) and tailenders Maheesh Theekshana and Dushmantha Chameera meant Australia needed extra time to secure the victory.

For that, they had Hazlewood to thank, the Test star’s rise into the limited-overs elite continuing by conceding only five runs from his super over, Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka unable to make hide nor hair of his canny yorkers.

“I reckon that’s my first super over actually so it’s good to get one out of the way,” Hazlewood said after the match.

“I felt reasonably confident. I think I bowled in the 19th over and executed pretty well.”

Twin boundaries from Marcus Stoinis saw the Aussies make short work of the six-run target, eventually confirming the result that had seemed on the cards until those late fireworks.

More concerning than the frantic finish for Australia, however, was a nasty head knock to Steve Smith, sustained attempting to save a Theekshana six in the last over.

But for a foot touching the boundary rope as he leapt, Smith would have produced one of the most incredible boundary saves in T20 history – but having paid the price for the effort by hitting his head hard on the SCG turf, he could only watch on for the rest of the match as things got tense.

Steve Smith receives attention.

Steve Smith receives attention after hitting his head while attempting to take a catch in Australia’s T20 match against Sri Lanka. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The 32-year old went off for treatment, before Chameera tied the scores by hitting the last ball for four.

Josh Inglis (48) proved the best of Australia’s batters, and Sri Lanka were sluggish in their response before they began to get on top through Pathum Nissanka (73) and captain Dasun Shanaka late in their innings.

Nissanka survived until the last over with his side needing 19 off the last six balls.

All hope seemed lost when he was picked off by Pat Cummins but Theekshana had different ideas.

“It all happened pretty quickly and whenever someone dives and doesn’t get up it’s a concern,” Hazlewood said of Smith’s injury.

“It’s good to see him walking around now and he’s walking around the changing room now. The early signs are good and I guess the medicos will make their call and assess him later.”

The two sides are next in action when they travel to Canberra on Tuesday.


Leave a Reply