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Starc stitches can’t stop Aussie quicks



Kane Richardson (4-30) and Jhye Richardson (3-26) snared seven wickets between them to limit the home team to 9-124 before a calm knock of 26 runs from 26 balls from World Cup winner Wade ensured a three-wocket Australian win in the second match in Colombo. “There was a bit going (on), and we know Sri Lanka are a difficult team to face at home,” Wade said after his player-of-the-match performance.“We just knew we needed to get through their two main spinners and tick off the runs. It certainly helped that guys got off to a flyer at the start, so the run rate wasn’t really an issue.”Starc is likely to be unavailable until the ODIs begin on June 14 after slicing open the finger on his left hand in a freak accident when it made contact with the spikes on his shoes during his follow through. He had six stitches and his finger was heavily bandaged as he handed drinks to his teammates, with his return to the field still unknown. His absence, however, allowed the Richardsons to step into the fold and they helped keep Sri Lanka under 130 for the second night in a row. While captain Aaron Finch and David Warner started well in the chase, putting on 33 inside the opening three overs, the Aussies lost regular wickets to add pressure to the lower and middle order. Then Wade, Australia’s specialist Twenty20 wicketkeeper who doesn’t have a Cricket Australia contract and has flagged he may not play much more international cricket after Australia’s T20 World Cup defence later this year, held his nerve to get the Aussies over the line. “Matthew Wade also showed his experience taking us through,” Finch said. “There was a little bit of panic from our end, but that can happen when the crowd gets involved.”Kane Richardson said the cricket in Sri Lanka through the opening two games had been “frantic” and the World Cup winners had been challenged by the home team. “The last two games have been really random and frantic, but we‘ve managed to stay calm; it probably didn’t look that way with the bat,” he said. “I think it’s just the product of this environment at the moment and the opposition are just really up and about to win.”The third and final match of the series will be played in Kandy on Saturday. The win was the second in the day for Australia after Test all-rounder Cameron Green showed his white-ball capabilities with an unbeaten 119 off 111 balls as Australia A defeated Sri Lanka A in a 50-over game.

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