Glenn Maxwell put on a show as he proved decisive in Australia's successful run chase against Sri Lanka, helping the tourists to a two-wicket victory via the DLS method.

Hosts Sri Lanka set Australia a tricky – albeit achievable – target of 301 in the first contest of a five-match ODI series after a solid batting effort and they then produced some fine performances with the ball.

But Australia, whose chase was interrupted by rain, had enough firepower to reach the adjusted target of 282 with nine balls to spare, Maxwell essential to the cause at the end with a brilliant 80 not out off 51 balls.

Sri Lanka's steady start led to Danushka Gunathilaka (55) and Pathum Nissanka (56) enjoying an encouraging opening stand of 115.

Both were taken shortly after getting their half-centuries, but Kusal Mendis marshalled a middle-order recovery from 134-3 with a fine knock of 86 not out.

Wanindu Hasaranga then provided the finishing touches with a lively flurry, hitting 37 off just 19 to give Sri Lanka a competitive total.

Australia's chase got off to a poor start with David Warner snared leg before for a duck by Maheesh Theekshana (1-51), but captain Aaron Finch (44) and Steve Smith (53) got Australia back on track with their partnership of 67 – the latter then enjoyed a stand of 54 with Marnus Labuschagne.

Dunith Wellalage eventually caught Labuschagne off the bowling of Dasun Shanaka for 24 before then claiming the scalp of Smith, his first wicket in international cricket.

Australia's momentum was further slowed by the exceptional Hasaranga (4-58) removing Marcus Stoinis (44), Alex Carey (21) and Pat Cummins (0), but Maxwell proved unstoppable, finishing Sri Lanka off with successive sixes.

To the Max

There was something so effortless and cool about Maxwell's display here. Strutting up to bat with no helmet and just a baseball cap, he had the air of an old pro rocking up for a brief but emphatic stint at his local park.

There was nothing routine about his performance, though. His external composure translated to his cricket as he approached it like a T20 game, hitting 12 boundaries (an even split between fours and sixes) in a devastating knock.

Hasaranga haul in vain

Sri Lanka certainly gave this match their all, and Hasaranga was especially fired up as he attacked Australia with bat and ball.

His fearsome flourish at the end of Sri Lanka's innings made things a little more tense for Australia, while his four-wicket haul, which included the removal of Ashton Agar in the tense closing stages, almost proved decisive.

Unfortunately for him and the hosts, however, Maxwell was just too good. On any other day, Hasaranga would surely be being championed as the man of the match.

Awer Mabil has declared his crucial penalty in Australia's shoot-out victory against Peru was a "thank you" to the nation that took his family in after they fled Sudan.

The 26-year-old gave Australia the lead in sudden death with his side's sixth penalty, then watched on as Andrew Redmayne denied the South Americans as the Socceroos secured a spot in a fifth consecutive World Cup.

That will now signal a remarkable journey for Mabil from a Kenyan refugee camp to the showcase finals in Qatar later this year, and he dedicated his penalty to the nation that took in his family in 2006.

"I knew I was going to score. It was the only way to say thank you to Australia on behalf of my family," he said after Monday's match, which finished 0-0 after extra time.

"I was born in a hut, a little hut. My hotel room here is definitely bigger than the hut, the room we had as a family in that refugee camp.

"For Australia to take us in and resettle us, it gave me and my siblings and my whole family a chance at life.

"That's what I mean by thanking Australia for that chance of life, that chance of opportunity they allowed my family."

Mabil was born in a Kenyan refugee camp after his family fled conflict in Sudan, surviving on one meal a day as a child, but found a distraction in football and hopes his contribution can inspire other refugees.

"I scored, a lot of my team-mates scored, everybody played a part and maybe that refugee kid played a big part," he said.

Australia complete Group D for the World Cup alongside France, Denmark and Tunisia, with their opening game falling on November 22 against Didier Deschamps' defending champions.

Australia qualified for the World Cup after beating Peru 5-4 on penalties following a goalless Intercontinental Play-off in Doha.

Socceroos boss Graham Arnold made the brave decision to substitute goalkeeper and captain Mathew Ryan for Andrew Redmayne ahead of the shoot-out, but was vindicated as the 33-year-old – who danced on his line for the spot-kicks – saved the decisive penalty from Alex Valera.

Peru, 22nd in the FIFA rankings, went in as favourites but started tentatively as Australia made the early running, particularly Martin Boyle who did well to beat two Peru defenders on the right in the 23rd minute before his inviting cross evaded everybody.

Ricardo Gareca's team improved in the second half, but the first shot on target did not arrive until the 81st minute via an Ajdin Hrustic free-kick that never troubled Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, who denied Hrustic two minutes from time with a sweeping shot down to his left from a low Awer Mabil cross.

La Blanquirroja came closest to winning it in extra time as substitute Edison Flores rose to win a header at the far post, but could only hit the woodwork, and so to penalties it went.

Both teams failed with one each from the first five kicks, before Mabil scored and the dancing Redmayne saved from Valera to win it for Australia, who will go into World Cup Group D when they return to Qatar in November to go up against France, Denmark and Tunisia.

A remarkable innings from captain Dasun Shanaka won the third and final T20I for Sri Lanka against Australia in Pallekele on Saturday.

Australia had already sealed the series and looked on course for a whitewash until Shanaka (54 not out from 25 balls) started hitting boundaries at will to turn things around.

Aussie skipper Aaron Finch and David Warner got the tourists off to a strong start, hitting 43 within six overs before the former was bowled by Maheesh Theekshana for 29.

It was all looking too easy for Australia until a team hat-trick shook them in the middle of the innings, with Glenn Maxwell (16), Warner (39) and Josh Inglis (0) falling in consecutive balls.

Steve Smith (37 not out) and Marcus Stoinis (38) settled things back down, adding 48 before Stoinis was stumped by Kusal Mendis as the Aussies set a target of 177.

The hosts were in a promising position at 67-1, but once Pathum Nissanka (27) and Charith Asalanka (26) were gone, things looked bleak.

However, Shanaka all of a sudden went after every ball, and a partnership of 50 from 21 balls with Chamika Karunaratne (14 not out) set up a final over needing 19 runs for victory.

Kane Richardson bowled two wides, before two singles and three boundaries left Sri Lanka needing just one off the final ball, which arrived as Richardson sent down another wide.

Ultimate captain's innings from Shanaka

Heading into this game, many were doubting whether Shanaka should even be in the team. They are probably not questioning him now.

Shanaka hit five fours and four sixes as he almost single-handedly turned the game around, including a vital 14 from three balls in the final over. 

Hazlewood goes from hero to villain

Josh Hazlewood had been particularly stingy with his bowling, with figures of 2-3 after three overs.

However, his final over went for 22, with Shanaka hitting him for two fours and two sixes to inflate the experienced bowler's final numbers to 2-25 from four overs.

Australia survived a Wanindu Hasaranga blitz to seal a T20I series win over Sri Lanka.

For the second time in as many days, Sri Lanka produced a disappointing batting showing in Colombo, following up 128 all out in the first game with 124-9 on Wednesday.

Charith Asalanka (39) again impressed with the bat but the Australia attack fired without the injured Mitchell Starc, as his replacement Jhye Richardson and namesake Kane Richardson accounted for seven wickets.

Australia stuttered to 64-4 in reply but were still in cruise control even when Marcus Stoinis departed to leave them 80-5 in the ninth over.

However, Hasaranga gave them hope with his final over, removing Glenn Maxwell and Ashton Agar in successive deliveries before narrowly missing out on a hat-trick.

But Matthew Wade kept his composure, scoring an unbeaten 26 to steer Australia over the line and secure an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series with a three-wicket win.

Relentless Richardsons

Starc suffered a hand injury in Australia's 10-wicket win on Tuesday but his absence mattered not thanks to the efforts of Kane and Jhye Richardson.

Kane Richardson claimed 4-30 and Jhye Richardson 3-26, the latter dismissing Kusal Mendis (36) hit wicket and removing all-rounder Hasaranga (12) in the penultimate over.

 

Wow-nindu

Hasaranga was 0-27 for his two overs in the first game but bounced back in style with 4-33.

He looked to be turning the game in Sri Lanka's favour in the 12th over, deceiving Maxwell (19) with a googly and then bowling Agar through the gate. Hasaranga came agonisingly close to drawing an outside edge from Jhye Richardson, who denied him a hat-trick.

Ajdin Hrustic's late deflected strike sealed a 2-1 victory over the United Arab Emirates that put Australia one win away from the World Cup.

The Socceroos could not muster a shot on target in the first half of a do-or-die play-off at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium and they were indebted to Mat Ryan for twice denying Harib Abdalla Suhail at his near post.

Australia got into their stride after break and were in front when Jackson Irvine turned in Martin Boyle's cross from close range with 53 minutes gone.

The UAE were level four minutes later when Caio Canedo fired into the roof of the net from six yards out with his left foot after Suhail's cross caused panic in the Socceroos defence.

Craig Goodwin missed a great chance to put Graham Arnold's side back in front, but the decisive moment came six minutes from time as Hrustic let fly with a powerful left-foot strike that hit Ali Salmeen and gave goalkeeper Khalid Eisa no chance.

Australia will face Peru in an intercontinental play-off at the same venue next Monday, with the winner sealing their place in the showpiece in Qatar. The UAE's wait for a first World Cup appearance since 1990 goes on.

Australia cruised to a 10-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the opening T20I of the three-match series after a dismal collapse from the hosts.

In a rain-affected first match of Australia's tour, which will encompass series in all three formats, Sri Lanka looked to be in a strong position on 100-1.

However, from there they lost nine wickets for just 28 further runs, Josh Hazlewood (4-16) and Mitchell Starc (3-26) ripping through Sri Lanka's line-up.

Danushka Gunathilaka went in the fifth over after a pacey 15-ball 26 but Sri Lanka appeared solid until Starc bowled Pathum Nissanka (36).

That brought about a flurry of wickets, Charith Asalanka (38) run out by Mitchell Marsh and Matthew Wade just before the first rain delay.

Australia polished off the tail upon resumption, Wanindu Hasaranga (17) the sole other batter to reach double figures, and the rain could not stop captain Aaron Finch (61 not out) and David Warner (70no) from powering the tourists to the meagre target with 36 balls remaining. Finch finished things off with an uppercut for six.
 

Josh the boss

Hazlewood's figures marked the second best of his career in T20 international cricket after the 4-12 he took against the same opposition in Sydney in February.

The seamer continues to torment Sri Lanka, his effort this time around comprising 15 dot balls as he gave up only two boundaries.

Hasaranga helpless

Hasaranga was one of the star performers of the 2022 Indian Premier League, taking 26 wickets, but was bludgeoned by Finch and Warner on home soil, his two overs going for 27 runs.

Maheesh Theekshana was slightly better with 0-25 from four, but Sri Lanka's decision to pick two spinners backfired.

Sean Abbott will fly home from Australia's tour of Sri Lanka without playing a game after suffering a fractured finger.

The paceman, who was only in the T20I squad, was struck on the left index finger by a net bowler this week.

Cricket Australia confirmed ahead of the opener in the three-match T20I series in Colombo on Tuesday that Abbott will not be replaced in the squad.

Abbott was due to link up with Australia's A squad in Sri Lanka after the T20I series. Scott Boland has been called up to cover for Abbott in the A team's four-day matches ahead of the two-match Test series

Meanwhile, Peter Handscomb will leave the A squad to return to Melbourne and be with his pregnant wife.

Jimmy Peirson has been added to the squad as a replacement for Handscomb.

Alex Carey is set to captain the Australia A team in their first 50-over match in Colombo on Wednesday after being added to the squad along with Cameron Green, who will also play.

Dasun Shanaka is confident Sri Lanka can claim a shock win over world champions Australia in a T20 International series that starts in Colomba on Tuesday.

The visitors previously beat their hosts 4-1 in a five-match series in February on home soil after winning the T20 World Cup for the first time in Dubai.

Aaron Finch's side have since won a one-off match in Pakistan despite being without a whole host of players.

They are close to full strength for the start of the three-match series, with Finch and Marcus Stoinis the only players who featured in that win in Lahore who have named in the team for the opener at the R.Premadasa Stadium.

Yet Sri Lanka captain Shanaka believes his side can make the most of the conditions on the back of a triumph for the Test side against Bangladesh in such tough times due to a financial crisis in the country.

He said: "We gained much playing Australia in their own backyard last time out and I'm confident that we are well geared in the batting and bowling to get the better of them with our home conditions in our favour."

Shanaka added: "Lots of our players have benefited by playing in the recent IPL and that experience would be a leading edge to maximising their potential when Sri Lanka locks horns with the Australians strong as they are.

"A positive factor for our players at the IPL is that they have gained the opportunity of flexing their muscles in gay abandon, unlike back home where the domestic season has been plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in several players being laid down, while the adverse weather has been a negating factor as well."

Sri Lanka have named uncapped duo Nuwanidu Fernando, a top-order batter, and Matheesha Pathirana, a right-arm seamer, in their squad early in a new era under head coach Chris Silverwood.

The tourists are without Pat Cummins (rested) and Adam Zampa (parental leave), while Michael Di Venuto is filling in at the start of the series after head coach Andrew McDonald was forced into isolation back home following a positive COVID-19 test.

 

Finch in the spotlight

Australia captain Finch endured a frustrating Indian Premier League, scoring only 86 runs in five innings for Kolkata Knight Riders.

The opener did make 55 in his last game for his country, the T20I success over Pakistan, and the tourists will be looking for him to set the tone at the top of the order with the T20 World Cup on home soil fast approaching.

Hasaranga key for Sri Lanka

If Sri Lanka are to pull off an upset, Wanindu Hasaranga will surely have a big part to play after an excellent IPL for the spinner.

The tweaker was the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament behind with 26 at an average of 17.65 for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Maheesh Theekshana can also trouble the tourists as they face a trial by spin.

Eddie Jones has included five new faces in a 35-man England training camp ahead of the tour of Australia next month.

Charlie Atkinson, Biyi Alo, Freddie Clarke, Sam Jeffries and Patrick Schickerling have been called up for the first time.

Wing Jonny May is back in the fold after recovering from a knee injury, while Luke Cowan-Dickie (knee) and Anthony Watson (calf) will also be in camp undertaking rehabilitation work.

Players who will feature in Premiership semi-finals this weekend will not report for international duty.

England face the Barbarians at Twickenham a week on Saturday before a three-match series against the Wallabies, starting in Perth on July 2.

Red Rose head coach Jones said: "With a number of players unavailable because of the Premiership semi-finals, we've got the opportunity to call up some new players.

"It's a great opportunity to learn about them and see what potential they have to play a part in the Australia tour.

"We look forward to continuing the good work from our last camp in developing this team on and off the pitch."

 

England training squad:

Forwards: Biyi Alo, Alfie Barbeary, Jamie Blamire, Callum Chick, Freddie Clarke, Tom Curry, Trevor Davison, Charlie Ewels, Will Goodrick-Clarke, Jonny Hill, Ted Hill, Sam Jeffries, George McGuigan, Tom Pearson, Bevan Rodd, Patrick Schickerling, Jack Singleton, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Jack Willis.

Backs: Henry Arundell, Charlie Atkinson, Mark Atkinson, Orlando Bailey, Joe Cokanasiga, Ollie Hassell-Collins, Will Joseph, Jonny May, Jack Nowell, Paolo Odogwu, Max Ojomoh, Tom Parton, Adam Radwan, Harry Randall, Dan Robson.

Manu Tuilagi will miss England's three-Test tour of Australia after undergoing a knee operation, it was revealed on Thursday.

His club side, Sale Sharks, indicated the decision to opt for surgery was taken with the plan that it should put Tuilagi in a strong place ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup.

The injury-plagued centre missed the Six Nations this year and has featured only sporadically during Eddie Jones' tenure as head coach.

Jones recently said that Tuilagi "really wants to make an imprint on this Australian tour", but that plan will have to be shelved.

An automatic pick in the England side if fit, Jones must hope the surgery clears up the 31-year-old's latest problem.

Sale said in a statement: "Sale Sharks can confirm that Manu Tuilagi has undergone a routine procedure on his knee which will rule the 31-year-old out of this summer’s England tour to Australia.

"The club, in close consultation with England Rugby, have decided that a summer of rest and a full pre-season is the best course of action to ensure Manu is fit and available for Sale Sharks and England during a crucial year for both club and country.

"Everyone at the club wishes Manu all the best for his recovery and looks forward to seeing him at Carrington [the club's training base] for the start of pre-season."

England face the Barbarians at Twickenham on June 19 before travelling to Australia for Tests on July 2 in Perth, July 9 in Brisbane and July 16 in Sydney.

The 2023 Rugby World Cup takes place in France from September to October next year.

Manu Tuilagi will miss England's three-Test tour of Australia after undergoing a knee operation, it was revealed on Thursday.

His club side, Sale Sharks, indicated the decision to opt for surgery was taken with the plan that it should put Tuilagi in a strong place ahead of next year's Rugby World Cup.

The injury-plagued centre missed the Six Nations this year and has featured only sporadically during Eddie Jones' tenure as head coach.

Jones recently said that Tuilagi "really wants to make an imprint on this Australian tour", but that plan will have to be shelved.

An automatic pick in the England side if fit, Jones must hope the surgery clears up the 31-year-old's latest problem.

Sale said in a statement: "Sale Sharks can confirm that Manu Tuilagi has undergone a routine procedure on his knee which will rule the 31-year-old out of this summer’s England tour to Australia.

"The club, in close consultation with England Rugby, have decided that a summer of rest and a full pre-season is the best course of action to ensure Manu is fit and available for Sale Sharks and England during a crucial year for both club and country.

"Everyone at the club wishes Manu all the best for his recovery and looks forward to seeing him at Carrington [the club's training base] for the start of pre-season."

England face the Barbarians at Twickenham on June 19 before travelling to Australia for Tests on July 2 in Perth, July 9 in Brisbane and July 16 in Sydney.

The 2023 Rugby World Cup takes place in France from September to October next year.

Australia prepared for their World Cup play-off with the United Arab Emirates by coming from behind to beat Jordan 2-1.

The Socceroos will face the UAE next Tuesday, with the winner progressing to an intercontinental play-off against Peru for a place at Qatar 2022.

Australia went winless in their final three games of the third round of qualifying and fell behind at the Al-Janoub Stadium in Qatar on Wednesday.

Mousa Al Tamari's long-range effort gave Jordan a 17th-minute lead, the winger finding the bottom-left corner.

However, Bailey Wright levelled matters five minutes before half-time as he headed home at the far post from Craig Goodwin's free-kick.

Aaron Mooy struck the post with a free-kick of his own and it was a set-piece that provided the decisive goal in the 68th minute, Awer Mabil netting from point-blank range after Jordan failed to clear their lines from a corner.

 

Head coach Andrew McDonald will miss the start of Australia's tour of Sri Lanka after testing positive for coronavirus.

McDonald was unable to fly out with the rest of the touring party on Wednesday after returning a positive test on Tuesday.

Michael Di Venuto will coach the Twenty20 team in the absence of McDonald, who must spend a week in isolation.

A three-match T20 series gets under way in Colombo next Tuesday.

Sri Lanka and Australia will then play five ODIs this month before a two-match Test series in Galle.

Australia have not been in action since McDonald was appointed as Justin Langer's successor on a four-year deal.

England have appointed Australia women's head coach Matthew Mott to take charge of their men's white-ball teams.

Rob Key, the new managing director of England men's cricket, decided to split the coaching roles and appointed New Zealand legend Brendon McCullum as Test head coach last week.

Paul Collingwood, interim head coach following the dismissal of Chris Silverwood, was thought to be the leading candidate for the role with Eoin Morgan's limited-overs sides.

However, Mott has landed the job, and it was confirmed on Wednesday that the 48-year-old has signed a four-year deal. 

Mott was appointed as Australia head coach in 2015 and subsequently guided them to the Women's World Cup title last April, losing just two of their past 42 ODI matches.

He is expected to be in place for the world champions' three-match ODI series against the Netherlands in Amsterdam next month.

Mott said: "I am delighted to accept the opportunity to take this white-ball role with England. Whilst I am Australian, I have deep connections, and several of my closest friends are in the UK, having spent considerable time in Scotland, Wales and England, both as a player and coach.

"When this role became available, I was attracted by the chance to work with such an established and successful team under the astute leadership of Eoin Morgan and now Rob Key, whom I have always admired as an excellent cricket mind.

"The idea of the split roles and the chance to work alongside Brendon McCullum in his red-ball role is an opportunity that I am incredibly enthusiastic about and certainly provides the right balance for my family as we embark on this exciting journey.

"It was always going to take something special to leave the role that I have loved for the past seven years with the Australian Women's team. However, I genuinely believe that the time is right to play a role in helping the England Men's ODI and T20 group continue to evolve as one of the best teams in the world.

"I am fully aware that this team has been functioning well and part of my initial plan is to work with the playing group and support staff on how we can firstly maintain, then enhance, the success they have started to build over the past few years.

"Since the excitement of accepting this role, I, like many people around the world, have been trying to come to terms with the tragic loss of my great mate Andrew Symonds. The support of his beautiful family and close friends in the coming days will be vitally important, so I respectfully request some time to process his passing and the immense loss before making any further comment on the role at this stage."

Mott has previously worked in the head coach roles at New South Wales and Glamorgan, while he has also had a few brief spells working with Australia A.

A former top-order batter for Queensland and Victoria, he was among the names floated as a potential successor to Justin Langer to coach the men's side for Australia.

In 2009, Mott was also an assistant coach in the Indian Premier League for Kolkata Knight Riders, who McCullum played for in the inaugural edition of the competition before later coaching the franchise.

Mott will be aiming to deliver T20 World Cup glory in Australia this year before they defend their ODI World Cup title in India in 2023.

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