Cummins backs Stanlake after tough T20I debut against Lanka
Melbourne [Australia], Feb.18 (ANI): Australian paceman Pat Cummins has called on his teammate Billy Stanlake to put his poor Twenty20 international debut behind and back his pace in the remaining two games of the three-match series against Sri Lanka.
Unlike fellow debutants Michael Klinger and Ashton Turner, Stanlake had a forgettable debut during his side's five-wicket defeat at the hand of Sri Lanka in the opening T20 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
The towering pacer's first two deliveries were wides before losing his delivery stride. He gave away 42 runs in his three overs, which also included eight wides.
It is now doubtful whether Stanlake will stay in the attack for the upcoming T20, with uncapped quick Jhye Richardson waiting in the wings.
"It's the nature of T20 cricket – if you live and die by the results, you'll lose your hair pretty quickly. (Stanlake) bowled with good pace, (but) he hadn't played many games in the last couple of weeks," cricket.com.au quoted Cummins as saying.
"He's been on the ODI tour, so he'll be better for the run. Hopefully, on a bit of a quicker wicket here, he'll show what he has," he added.
Reflecting on his side's overall performance, Cummins admitted that Australia were not as disciplined in their bowling as they could have been.
"We probably let them get away from us a bit too early, but it was a pretty great result getting that close. We probably weren't as disciplined with our bowling as we could have been," Cummins insisted.
Chasing a respectable target of 169 runs to win, Sri Lanka's Niroshan Dickwella (30) and Dilshan Munaweera (44) added 74 runs for the second wicket before Gunaratne smashed a quick-fire 52, including seven boundaries.
Milinda Siriwardana faced 11 balls to make 15 and was dismissed as Lanka's fifth wicket at 152 when the visitors needed 15 runs off 15 balls.
Chamara Kapugedara (unbeaten at 10) held his nerve till the end while Seekkuge Prasanna (unbeaten at eight) smashed the winning boundary when the game was tied in the last ball of the innings.
Australia, who are now trailing 0-1 in the three-match series, will play their second T20 against Lanka on Sunday at Shell Stadium in Victoria. (ANI)