David Warner dominated against Sri Lanka. Picture: AFP Photo
David Warner dominated against Sri Lanka. Picture: AFP Photo

Smith, Warner turn back clock to seal series

David Warner continued his post-Ashes resurrection as Australia made light work of Sri Lanka again with a nine-wicket win in Wednesday night's Twenty20 fizzer at the Gabba.

Warner finished unbeaten on 60 (41 balls) and was beautifully supported by Steve Smith (53 not out from 36 balls) as Sri Lanka failed to fire a shot for the second time in four days.

After scoring only 95 runs in 10 Ashes innings in England, Warner has burst back to life since returning to Australia.

He scored a Sheffield Shield century in his first dig after the Ashes and backed it up with an unbeaten 100 against Sri Lanka in Adelaide last Sunday.

Despite his hot form coming against white ball, Warner is showing the type of touch needed to retain his Test berth when Australia faces Pakistan at the Gabba from November 21.

Warner and Smith were in a different class to the hapless Sri Lankans.

After serving bans for their involvement in the infamous ball-tampering scandal, it was the first time Warner and Smith had batted together for Australia on home soil since 2017 and their fluency should have Pakistan and New Zealand worried ahead of the upcoming summer.

David Warner was in great form again.
David Warner was in great form again.

"It's nice and easy batting up the other end from Davey," Smith said.

"He makes it look easy. He played beautifully the other night and backed it up again.

"We played well. The bowlers did a terrific job and we were able to restrict them to 118 on what was a terrific wicket.

"I've had lots of resting. It's good to be back now (playing Twenty20). It was nice to contribute with a few runs."

Chasing 118 for victory, Australia made a nervous start when captain Aaron Finch was caught down the leg-side for a golden duck off Sri Lankan veteran Lasith Malinga.

Alex Carey got two stumpings off Adam Zampa
Alex Carey got two stumpings off Adam Zampa

But Warner and Smith didn't put a foot wrong, coasting Australia to victory in 13 overs to wrap up the three-match series ahead of Friday night's final game in Melbourne.

The only downside of the night was only 11,986 people came through the Gabba gates on the back of near non-existent promotion.

For a moment it appeared even the Gabba ground staff weren't aware there was a match on when the sprinklers briefly came on during Sri Lanka's less than impressive innings.

After winning the toss, the visitors never looked comfortable under the bright lights at the Gabba as they were skittled for 117 in 19 overs.

Kusal Perera was the pick of the batsmen with 27 (19) while opener Danushka Gunathilaka (21) was the only other to pass 20.

Steve Smith got among the runs as well.
Steve Smith got among the runs as well.

Australia's bowlers shared the workload, with Billy Stanlake (2-23), Pat Cummins (2-29), Ashton Agar (2-27) and Adam Zampa (2-20) finishing with similar figures.

It was Cummins who produced the most memorable moment of the innings with a run out of Lakshan Sandakan (10) in rare circumstances.

Sandakan blasted the ball straight past Cummins into the stumps, leaving Cummins to field the ball then rip a stump out of the ground because the bails had already been dislodged.

"It's all a bit of a blur," Cummins said of the run out.

"I don't think I've ever got a run out like that so I'll take it."

Friday night's match will be followed by a three-game T20 series against Pakistan, who were recently beaten 3-0 by Sri Lanka.

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Billy Stanlake proved an able replacement for Mitchell Starc.
Billy Stanlake proved an able replacement for Mitchell Starc.