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Australia v Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka denied ‘definite’ wide and Steve Smith injured attempting incredible six-save in incident-packed final over of T20I

Steve Smith receives treatment after an amazing attempt to stop a six against Sri Lanka in Sydney.
by Seb Evans 2 minute read

The second T20I between Australia and Sri Lanka in Sydney ended in dramatic fashion as the visitors launched a remarkable comeback to force a super over, and Steve Smith injured himself while trying to save a six.

Having posted 164-6, Australia restricted Sri Lanka to 25-3 in the powerplay at the SCG, before Pathum Nissanka (73 off 53) led a thrilling fightback with captain Dasun Shanaka (34 off 19). After Shanaka was brilliantly run out by a direct-hit from Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis conceded 18 off the final over to send the match to a super over; No.9 Dushmantha Chameera hit his first ball (the last of the innings) for four to level the scores.

The final over also saw an almost extraordinary piece of fielding from Steve Smith. With Sri Lanka needing 12 to win off three balls, No.10 Maheesh Theekshana hit his first ball off Stoinis towards the midwicket boundary. Hugging the boundary rope, Smith dived one-handed to catch the ball from over the rope and fling it back in play. The extraordinary effort was reminiscent of Nicholas Pooran’s incredible effort in the 2020 IPL.

Unfortunately for Smith, his foot had touched the boundary as he jumped, meaning his last contact with the ground before his first contact with the ball was outside the field of play and a six was given. The Aussie also landed awkwardly on his head after catching ball, and received treatment on the ground before being taken away by physios. He would later be ruled out of the remainder of the series with concussion.

Sri Lanka ran a by on the next ball, but Shane Warne on commentary suggested it should have been given as a wide because the ball landed outside the blue lines. Sri Lanka may count themselves unlucky; had the wide been given they would have needed only four to win off two balls, rather than five off one.

“To me that’s a wide,” Shane Warne said on Fox Cricket. “I think Sri Lanka should have got that extra run which means they would have won the game. Even the batsman is saying how’s that a wide?”

Adding to the chaos was a siren which sounded as Nissanka pushed the second legal ball of the over for two. As the pair scampered back, Warne thought a no-ball had been singled, only for the other commentators to tell him it was a fire alarm that had sounded.

The super over itself was anticlimactic, thanks largely to outstanding bowling from the miserly Josh Hazlewood, who restricted Sri Lanka to 5-1 with the help of a long-range Glenn Maxwell run-out.

Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis then knocked off the required runs with ease in Australia’s batting over to bring to a close a rollercoaster of a match.

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