Openers power Australia to thumping win over Sri Lanka in first T20

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Australian openers David Warner and Aaron Finch smashed half-centuries in an impressive 10-wicket win against Sri Lanka in the first T20 international in Colombo on Tuesday.

The visitors eased to 134-0 in 14 overs, chasing just 129 for victory, after a penetrative Josh Hazlewood spell restricted the hosts to 128 all out in 19.3 overs.

Australia, the reigning champions, are warming up for the 2022 T20 World Cup to be held on home soil later this year.

Earlier, Australia skipper Finch won the toss and asked Sri Lanka to bat first in rain-hit Colombo.

Warner hit nine fours in his unbeaten 44-ball 70 while Finch finished with a 40-ball 61 not out with four fours and four sixes.

Warner and Finch hammered 59 runs in the first six overs and attacked key Sri Lankan bowlers Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana, who bowled six wicketless overs for 52 runs between them.

Dushmantha Chameera leaked 48 runs in his four overs for the hosts.

Earlier, Josh Hazlewood took three wickets in the 14th over and triggered a middle-order batting collapse in the first of three T20Is.

The in-form pacer finished with 4-16 in his four overs and took the wickets of Danushka Gunathilaka (26), Kusal Mendis (1), Bhanuka Rajapaksa (0) and captain Dasun Shanaka (0).

"The wicket was a little bit slow but I guess you can use that to your advantage," Hazlewood said.

"The back of a length was crucial. I've been working hard on my T20 cricket, playing a lot, feeling confident and we saw that tonight."

Hazlewood was well supported by his new-ball partner Mitchell Starc who removed opener Pathum Nissanka for 36 off 31 balls before cleaning up the hosts' lower order to finish with 3-26 in his four tight overs.

Sri Lanka's top three batters gave the hosts a steady start and took the team to 100 for two in the first 12 overs.

None of the top three -- Nissanka, Gunathilaka and Charith Asalanka -- were able to stick around in the closing overs.

Starc dismissed Hasaranga, who tried to lead a lower-order fightback with a 15-ball 17, as well as Chameera (1).

The hosts also lost Asalanka and Chamika Karunaratne to run outs and were bowled out three balls short of their allotted 20 overs.

Australia are also playing five one-day internationals and two Test matches during the Sri Lanka tour, which ends July 12.

"I think with the ball, when Josh Hazlewood is bowling such consistent lengths, we know as batters how hard it is to face that," Finch said.

"We managed to control the middle overs by getting wickets."

bb/jc

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