Delhi Capitals moved clear at the top of the Indian Premier League table courtesy of a resounding 59-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore. 

A strong batting performance that benefited from a late onslaught by the big-hitting Marcus Stoinis powered Delhi to 196-4 after they had been put into bat by Virat Kohli.

Prithvi Shaw (42) was the aggressor in an opening stand worth 68 with Shikhar Dhawan, who contributed a more sedate 32 to the cause before departing in the 10th over. 

Rishabh Pant made 37 but it was Stoinis who stole the show in the closing overs, the Australian all-rounder blasting six fours and a pair of sixes as he made an unbeaten 53.

Bangalore's reply simply never recovered after a poor start that saw them slip to 43-3, AB de Villiers among those to fall early. 

Captain Kohli top-scored with 43 before becoming one of four wickets for the excellent Kagiso Rabada, who now has 12 in this year's tournament at an average of 12.50. 

There were two wickets apiece for Anrich Nortje and Axar Patel too, the Royal Challengers eventually finishing well shy on 137-9 from their 20 overs. 

STOINIS STUNS ROYAL CHALLENGERS 

Stoinis had endured a lean spell since starting the new IPL season with 53 against Kings XI Punjab in Delhi's opener.  

He had managed just 16 runs in three knocks since but was back to his destructive best against Bangalore, reaching his half-century off 24 deliveries as he added 89 for the third wicket with Pant.

FINCH SPARED DESPITE R-ASH MOVE

In 2019, Ravichandran Ashwin caused a stir when, as captain of Kings XI, he ran out Rajathan Royals' Jos Buttler at the non-striker's end, the batsman having left his crease before the ball had been delivered.

There was nearly a repeat when Ashwin had a similar situation with Aaron Finch here, but the India spinner opted instead to produce a stare at the out-of-position Bangalore batsman, followed quickly by a wry smile. 

Marnus Labuschagne will have to wait for his T20I debut despite displaying scintillating form in Australia's warm-up for the three-match series against England.

Labuschagne enjoyed a breakthrough series at the highest level last year in England when he starred as Australia retained the Ashes with a 2-2 draw over the course of the five-match rubber.

The 26-year-old has since become a fixture in his country's 50-over side and made a compelling case for honours in the shortest format by blasting 100 off 51 deliveries during Tuesday's intra-squad warm-up game at the Rose Bowl.

However, skipper Aaron Finch is set to remain in situ with David Warner at the top of the order, with Steve Smith settled at three, when the series opener takes place in Southampton on Friday.

"We're pretty settled with how we structure our T20 side at the moment," Finch told a pre-match news conference.

"He played nicely the other day, but I think he might have to wait a little bit longer in T20 cricket.

"He's had an opportunity to bat at the top of the order and he hits the ball in the middle of the bat more often than most other players and hits the ball in the gaps so that's a pretty good recipe for T20 cricket and all cricket.

"He played beautifully the other day for a hundred, it was a great knock."

Although elite sport behind closed doors has swiftly become the new normal in 2020, the prospect of one of sports' oldest rivalries being played out before empty stands is certainly set to jar a little.

Nevertheless, with England recalling Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Sam Curran following their exertions in the Test team, Finch expects a familiar edge to be present.

"The England-Australia rivalry is always huge, regardless of who you’re playing in front of or where you're playing," said Finch. "I think you could play it in the street and it'd still be there. It's just a great rivalry.

"The fact the stands are going to be empty will be a bit different. I think a few of our guys will appreciate it a little bit more than others, but at the same time we’ve probably spent 90 per cent of our careers playing in front of no one, from club cricket, junior cricket, even state cricket at times, so it doesn't change too much."

The last time the sides met in white-ball cricket was in last year's World Cup semi-final, when England stormed to an eight-wicket victory at a typically raucous Edgbaston.

"They blew us out of the water," Finch, who was trapped lbw by Archer for a first-ball duck, recalled.

"It was a tough day, but a different format, so we aren't holding any scars over that."

Aaron Finch made his T20I debut for Australia against England in 2011. Two years later, he made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka. In 2013, he scored 156 runs off 63 balls in a T20I, the highest ever T20I individual score. He was selected for the 2015 World Cup side and scored a century in the first match against England.

In 2018, Finch broke his previous record of the highest individual T20I innings by scoring 172 runs against Zimbabwe. With this feat, he also became the only batsman to score 150+ runs twice in T20I cricket. This was also the highest individual score set by a captain in a T20I inning.

 

Career Statistics (2009-present)

Full name: Aaron James Finch

Born: November 17, 1986, Colac, Victoria, Australia, (age 33)

Major teams: Victoria, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Daredevils, Melbourne Renegades, Auckland Aces, Pune Warriors India, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Yorkshire, Mumbai Indians, Gujarat Lions, Surrey, Kings XI Punjab.

Batting Style: Right-handed

Bowling Style: Slow left-arm orthodox

Playing role: Opening batsman

 

T20I Career

Mat      Inns      NO   Runs     HS       Ave       BF       SR        100   50    4s    6s  

61         61          9     1989     172     38.25    1276     155.87     2     12   196    92 

T20 Career

Mat      Inns      NO   Runs     HS       Ave       BF      SR        100   50   4s     6s  

284       279       32     8914     172     36.08    6201    143.75     8     60   856   373      

 

Career Highlights

  • Most runs in a T20I inning (172)
  • 2nd most capped Australian (61)
  • 1st player to reach 900 rating points on ICC T20I rankings.
  • 10th all-time in T20I runs scored (1989)
  • Australian T20I player of the year (2014 & 18)
  • 8914 T20 runs at 36.08

Australia ODI captain Aaron Finch hailed the consistency of India skipper Virat Kohli and said the rivalry between the two teams is just as big in limited-overs formats as it is Test cricket.

Kohli made his Test debut nine years ago and has gone on to become one of the game's greatest batsmen, as well as taking on the captaincy across all three formats.

There is little love lost on the field between Australia and India but Finch recognises Kohli's class, saying he is part of a group of players such as Steve Smith, Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar who define greatness.

"Every player, regardless of who it is, has a bad series. But very, very rarely do you see Kohli, Smith, even going back Ponting, Sachin, these guys they don't have two bad series in a row," Finch said on the Sony Ten Pit Stop show.

"The pressure of playing for India is one thing but also leading India is another and the way he has done it, so consistently for a long time.

"And taking over from [MS] Dhoni, the leadership, that is huge. The expectations were high and he kept delivering and I think that that is the most impressive thing.

"What has been so impressive for so long is just his consistency across three formats. To be the best player of all-time in ODI cricket is one thing. But then to also be in Test cricket and T20 cricket as a rounded player, that is remarkable."

Australia are scheduled to go head-to-head with India for three T20 matches in October, before beginning a four-Test series in December and rounding out with three ODIs in January next year.

The uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic means no fixtures are particularly set in stone right now, but Finch says the rivalry between Australia and India is hot regardless of the format.

"India and Australia are two very successful teams, two countries that are very passionate about cricket as well. So, it's hard to compare the rivalry [in Tests and ODIs]," Finch told reporters on virtual news conference.

"One is the traditional game of Test cricket and the grind of five days, that mental battle day in day out while one-day cricket is more skill-based obviously, just on that day. If a couple of guys have a great day on the field, it goes a long way in winning the match.

"That said, it's not a case of being less important or being taken lightly because it's ODI or T20 cricket."

The global health pandemic has seen Australia's home ODI series with Zimbabwe, which was scheduled for August, postponed indefinitely.

As things stand, T20 clashes with the West Indies and India in October that precede the T20 World Cup – which could still be rearranged – will be the next assignments for Australia.

But there remains the possibility of limited-overs matches being organised to take place in England, something Finch is preparing for.

"It's a little bit up in the air, just with how quickly everything is changing. In Victoria [where restrictions have been tightened] we are going the other way again," he said.

"We're not exactly sure when our next game is going to be. In our mind we were planning for Zimbabwe, we were planning for England, and all going well, I think that was our next game, that's what we are planning for.

"I am preparing to go to England and play, whether that happens we will wait and see.

"We just have to be really conscious of being ultra flexible. There might be a tour comes up at relatively short notice because we can get there, and that would be brilliant.

"Whatever it takes. The players are all in the same boat. Whatever we have to do to get a game up and going, that is in the best interest of world cricket, we’d be up for that."

David Warner has won the Allan Border Medal for the third time after edging out team-mate Steve Smith by the narrowest of margins.

Australia opener Warner polled 194 votes, one more than Smith, while last year's winner Pat Cummins was also close behind with 185.

Marnus Labuschagne won the award for Men's Test Player of the Year, with Smith again coming a close second, while Aaron Finch claimed the ODI honour for the first time and Warner made it a double by landing the T20I gong.

Warner previously won the Allan Border Medal in 2016 and 2017, with four-time winners Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke the only players to have won the accolade, considered the most prestigious individual prize in Australian men's cricket, on more occasions.

The 33-year-old impressed across all formats during last season, scoring three centuries at the Cricket World Cup at an average of 71.88.

Warner struggled as Australia retained the Ashes in England but rebounded with superb home Test performances against Pakistan, versus whom he scored 335 not out in Adelaide, and then New Zealand.

The batsman's T20 form was spectacular, as he averaged 147.61 in three clashes with Sri Lanka and 140 in another trio of matches against Pakistan, helping him to see off 2019 winner Glenn Maxwell in the voting for the T20 honour in addition to the Allan Border Medal.

Warner and Smith both impressed as they returned from one-year suspensions in 2019 after their involvement in the ball-tampering affair the previous year.

The Australian Cricket Awards are voted for by players, the media and umpires after each Australia game.

Fast bowler Wes Agar was named The Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year, while in the women's game The Belinda Clark Award went to Ellyse Perry, who like Warner is a three-time winner of the top prize available.

The Brisbane Heat missed out on a place in the Big Bash League finals after a seven-wicket defeat to the Melbourne Renegades on Monday.

Aaron Finch led a cool and commanding chase, his 63 not out leading the Renegades to 155-3 after the Heat had set a target of 155 at Docklands.

Only a win would have been enough to secure a play-off place for Darren Lehmann's side, but they failed to make the most of chances in the field, meaning the Sydney Thunder take the fifth and final spot.

With AB de Villiers (six) failing to fire after another top-order collapse, questions will likely be asked about Lehmann's future after a disappointing end to a hugely underwhelming season.

RENSHAW LEADS RESISTANCE AFTER HEAT GO OFF THE BOIL 

The Heat were 1-35 after just 21 balls as they endured another miserable start after winning the bat flip. 

Sam Heazlett's wild slice gave Finch an easy catch, and Ben Cutting, perhaps over-confident after four early boundaries that included two sixes off Will Sutherland (3-30), was lost lbw when teeing up for another big swing. 

De Villiers went to sweep Samit Patel (1-23) only for the ball to cannon off the back leg and into the stumps, and when Chris Lynn was bowled by Nabi (1-23) for the loss of just 14, the Heat's troubles were mounting. 

Renshaw and Marnus Labuschagne began the rebuilding job, the latter digging deep for 28 off 26 deliveries before Jack Wildermuth caught him trying to clear the ropes from Cameron Boyce (1-29). 

Renshaw remained a beacon of resistance, his unbeaten 65 helping the Heat amass a respectable target before he was run out in the final over.

FINCH KEEPS COOL AFTER COOPER TANTRUM

Tom Cooper and Finch made an encouraging start to the chase before the former sent a delivery from Cutting (2-35) to the grateful grasp of Jack Prestwidge at deep midwicket, leaving Cooper visibly fuming as he headed back to the dugout.

The Renegades were 2-44 when Daniel Christian was caught superbly by Renshaw and, when Beau Webster was bowled full and straight by Cutting after making 14, Heat hopes were beginning to rise. 

Finch, though, refused to panic. Australia's Twenty20 and ODI captain showed few signs of wilting in the Heat onslaught, with Nabi's four boundaries helping to keep the pressure off his skipper. 

Prestwidge allowed a Finch drive to slide through his fingers as the Heat found their season slipping away, another mistake on the rope helping Finch bring up his half-century. 

Six more over deep backward square and a drive wide of cover signalled the death knell to the Heat's play-off ambitions and gave the Renegades something to smile about at the end of a difficult season.

Aaron Finch was run out following a mix-up with Steve Smith as Australia lost the third ODI to India on Saturday and the captain said the pair would discuss it over a beer.

Finch rushed for a single after Smith shot to short third man but the former skipper never fully committed and Ravindra Jadeja and Shreyas Iyer combined to send the ball to Mohammed Shami, who whipped the bails off at the non-striker's end.

Although Smith went on to score a stunning 131, India limited the tourists to 286-9 in Bengaluru.

Rohit Sharma (119) and Virat Kohli (89) formed a pivotal 137-run partnership and India went on to win by seven wickets with 15 balls remaining, sealing a 2-1 series triumph.

"We haven't discussed it yet, maybe we will tonight over a beer," said Finch of the incident with Smith.

"He played an exceptional knock, he rode the momentum when he had to, controlled the innings at various parts when we'd lose a wicket.

"He really controlled that middle part which was really important to give us a chance at the back end. It was a top knock, real quality."

Australia won a five-match series in India last March 3-2 and Kohli was proud to have atoned for that defeat.

"We just want to go upwards and onwards. Getting one back given that we lost the series at home last year is really satisfying," said Kohli.

"Australia were even better than last time. There's Steve, David [Warner] and Marnus [Labuschagne]. A quality bowling attack, and really intense in the field too.

"We lost the last three in the last series and coming back and winning the last two games after losing the first one, is very satisfying."

Shikhar Dhawan had to leave the field early in Australia's innings and was sent for an X-ray on his left shoulder, which he hurt while diving in the field.

Kohli was proud of how India coped without Dhawan, who could be a doubt for their tour of New Zealand, which begins with the first of five Twenty20 games on Friday.

"We're quite experienced, Rohit and I, and we were short of Shikhar's experience," said Kohli.

"We got a good start. We expect openers of the quality of Rohit and KL [Rahul] to give us starts like that.

"When KL got out it was a tricky situation. The ball was gripping and turning a bit, and this is where experience comes in.

"We [Rohit and Kohli] spoke of stringing together a partnership and all Australia want are wickets and if we don't give them wickets we can chase seven or eight runs an over later on. We have that belief in our skill."

David Warner said he has the "hunger and desire to score runs all the time" after his breathtaking hundred led Australia to a crushing ODI win over India.

Warner and captain Aaron Finch both posted stunning unbeaten centuries to seal a remarkable 10-wicket victory in the first match of the ODI series in Mumbai on Tuesday.

After India were dismissed for 255 at Wankhede Stadium, Warner blasted 128 (not out) and Finch scored 110 (not out) as Australia reached the target with 12.2 overs to spare.

Warner became the fastest Australian to 5,000 ODI runs in just 115 innings with his 18th 50-over ton and the star batsman savoured the performance.

"I have a hunger and a desire to score runs all the time," Warner, 33, said afterwards.

"I'm really making the most of it at the moment, my feet are moving well. I'm getting my head over my front leg. Weight is going through the ball.

"When you are in that kind of form and touch and everything is going well for you, you have to make sure you are practising the same and doing all the hard work."

Warner has been in devastating form for Australia over the summer, with scores of 335 (not out), 154, and 111 in Test series against Pakistan and New Zealand, while he celebrated his maiden Twenty20 century against Sri Lanka.

After a forgettable Ashes campaign in England where he managed just 95 runs at 9.50 last year, Warner added: "It's not by fluke that I'm coming out here and doing what I am doing.

"I look back at the beginning against Pakistan, I trained a lot going into the first Test match," Warner said.

"JL [head coach Justin Langer] noted to me I had been batting for almost two hours in that session which is unlike me.

"I didn't play a Shield game leading in and I felt like I needed to bat time. It put me in real good stead for the summer."

Virat Kohli has promised to "rethink" his tactics after struggling again at number four in the batting order as part of a chastening ODI defeat at the hands of Australia.

Aaron Finch and David Warner dominated proceedings as Australia cruised to a 10-wicket victory with 12.2 overs to spare in response to India's disappointing 255 all out at Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.

A miserable start to the three-match series saw India captain Kohli caught and bowled by Adam Zampa for 16 just after he had hit the spinner for six.

Kohli is the world's number one batsman in the 50-over format but 16 is in fact his highest score from fourth in the order as part of a dreadful seven-innings streak that dates back to January 2015.

"We've had this discussion many times in the past," Kohli, who dropped down the order after Rohit Sharma's return, said to Star Sports.

"Because of the way KL Rahul has been batting, we have tried to fit him in the batting line-up.

"Having said that, I don't think it's quite gone our way whenever I've batted number four, so we'll probably have to rethink about that one.

"All in all, it's about giving some guys opportunities and you'll never know if this works or not if you don't try. 

"It's very easy to just go with one template and just follow it non-stop. I think people need to relax and not panic with one game, I'm allowed to experiment a little bit and fail as well at times. 

"You lose games here and there, but this was one of the days where it didn't come off."

Rahul (47) put on 121 for the second wicket along with Shikhar Dhawan (74), but his dismissal proved the turning point for Australia's bowlers, as India quickly fell to 164-5.

Set 256 to win, Warner (128 not out off 112 balls) and Finch (110no from 114) enjoyed a day to remember with the highest opening stand in an ODI against India, leaving the hosts with plenty to think about before the second game in Rajkot on Friday.

"It's just one bad day at office," added Dhawan. "We played well against West Indies before. As a team we back each other, and we don't focus too much on a loss.

"They played really well. We were a bit unlucky as well, like a few top edges went here and there, they didn't go in the hand.

"When KL got out, at that time we planned to accelerate and those four wickets we lost, that's where we lost the momentum.

"From there, we were targeting 300 runs and because of loss of wickets we ended up scoring less runs on that sort of a wicket. In bowling, we could not take wickets and they outplayed us. It is the captain's choice [where he bats]."

Aaron Finch and David Warner pummelled India with imperious unbeaten centuries to seal a crushing 10-wicket victory for Australia in the first match of the ODI series at Wankhede Stadium.

India collapsed from 134-1 to 255 all out in Mumbai on Tuesday after Shikhar Dhawan (74) and KL Rahul (47) put on 121 for the second wicket.

Mitchell Starc took 3-56, while there were two wickets apiece for Pat Cummins (2-44) and Kane Richardson (2-43) in a superb performance in the field for the tourists.

The magnificent Finch (110 not out from 114 balls) and Warner (128no off 112) reached the victory target with 12.2 overs to spare, staging the highest opening stand in an ODI against India, as Marnus Labuschagne was not required to bat on debut.

Warner become the fourth fastest to 5,000 ODI runs – and the quickest Australian – in the process and has four centuries in his last eight international knocks in the 50-over format.

India, beaten by Australia in a series on home soil last year, also lost Rishabh Pant to concussion when he was struck on the helmet, Rahul taking the gloves in his absence in the first of three ODIs

Dhawan got his timing going after a slow start, reaching his 50 in the 20th over with Rahul in good touch at the other end after Rohit Sharma was removed by Starc.

Spinners Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar did a good job of keeping the run-rate down in the middle overs, though, and the left-arm tweaker drew a false shot from Rahul for a much-needed breakthrough.

Cummins came back into the attack to strike a big blow by ending Dhawan's innings in the next over and Virat Kohli (16) was caught and bowled by Zampa immediately after hitting him for six.

Shreyas Iyer also failed to hang around before Ravindra Jadeja (25) was caught behind attempting to cut Richardson, and Pant (28) departed in painful fashion, an attempted pull off Cummins hitting his helmet and resulting in a catch for Ashton Turner. 

India added only 42 runs for the last five wickets and play was stopped due to a kite flying into the stadium before Warner and Finch blew Kohli's side away.

Warner successfully reviewed when he was given out caught behind hooking in the sixth over and needed only 40 balls for a half-century, with Finch raising his bat soon after.

Both openers smashed Kuldeep Yadav over the rope and continued to pierce the field with exquisite strokes on both sides of the wicket, Warner also overturning an lbw decision when he was struck on the pad by Jadeja.

Warner leapt in the air with his trademark celebration after majestically cutting Jasprit Bumrah for four off his 88th ball before Finch swept Jadeja to the boundary for a 15th ODI before stunned India were put out of their misery.

Big Bash League champions Melbourne Renegades were unable to defend 175 and clinch their first win of the season as Perth Scorchers claimed a six-wicket success.

Despite Jhye Richardson (3-22) removing Aaron Finch for a golden duck, Sam Harper (73) and Beau Webster (59 not out) had put Melbourne (175-5) in a strong position to finally deliver a maiden victory at the seventh time of asking.

Yet Perth openers Josh Inglis (51) and Liam Livingstone (59) shared a century stand to leave the Scorchers firmly in charge at the halfway point of their chase.

Cameron Bancroft then hit the winning runs as Perth (178-4) got home with an over to spare.

FINCH FLOUNDERS BEFORE MARSH WINS BATTLE OF THE BROTHERS

There was no captain's innings from Finch, who skied a bouncer from Richardson to Cameron Green from his very first ball to leave Melbourne 1-1.

Richardson took the wicket of Australia Test batsman Marcus Harris (14) in the powerplay and the Renegades were struggling at 48-3 as Mitchell Marsh got one over on his brother, Shaun.

The older Marsh was on just two when he swiped his brother to the leg-side fence, where Livingstone was on hand to ensure Mitchell got the family bragging rights.

RENEGADES REBUILD THROUGH HARPER AND WEBSTER

The failings of the Renegades' top order did not lead to a collapse, though, as half-centurions Harper and Webster gave them a good total.

Harper might have been out before he reached 50, but the ball slipped through the normally reliable Chris Jordan's hands on the ropes for a six that brought up the milestone.

He was eventually dismissed when Ashton Agar hung on to another chance in the deep but Webster's unbeaten half-century, which included four sixes and three boundaries, raised the prospects of a first Renegades victory.

 

LIVI DAZZLES DESPITE BOX-CLATTERING DELIVERIES

Perth's opening partnership effectively put paid to Melbourne's hopes, though, as Inglis and Livingstone compiled 102 in the first half of the Scorchers' innings.

Livingstone was able to lead the way despite twice copping painful-looking deliveries between his legs – the 26-year-old letting out audible groans on both occasions – and one of his four maximums travelled a whopping 97 metres.

Inglis upped the ante when his fellow opener chipped Richard Gleeson (3-30) straight to Finch, reaching his half century in 31 deliveries, two balls fewer than Livingstone, before falling caught-and-bowled to Kane Richardson.

Two sixes from Tim David (16) brought the total closer and Bancroft (20 not out) sealed the Scorchers' third win of the season.

Defending Big Bash League champions Melbourne Renegades crashed to a third consecutive defeat to start the season following a crushing loss to Hobart Hurricanes.

The Renegades' horror start to their BBL title defence continued on Tuesday – beaten by seven wickets at Blundstone Arena in Hobart.

Melbourne lost 8-38 as they were bowled out for 147 before Hobart – led by D'Arcy Short and Ben McDermott – chased down the total with five balls to spare on Christmas Eve.

The Renegades slumped to 0-3 following the devastating defeat, while the Hurricanes improved to 2-1.

 

RENEGADES IN A HOLE AFTER COLLAPSE

With Aaron Finch at the crease, the Renegades were looking comfortable in their pursuit of win number one this season.

After Sam Harper was dismissed for a duck and Shaun Marsh scored 37, Renegades captain Finch hit 50 off 36 balls to have the titleholders 109-2.

Then it turned sour for the Renegades. Finch chipped a shot to mid-wicket, sparking a stunning collapse against the Hurricanes.

The Renegades lost their final seven wickets in 23 balls – James Faulkner (3-26 from 3.1 overs), Nathan Ellis (3-15 from three overs), Riley Meredith (3-26 from four overs) and Qais Ahmad (1-23 from four overs) enjoying the ball.

 

SHORT AND MCDERMOTT STEER HURRICANES

The Renegades' capitulation opened the door for the Hurricanes, and Short and McDermott took full advantage.

Short set the tone after opener Simon Milenko and Caleb Jewell departed in the same Tom Cooper (2-32) over, hitting seven boundaries and a six for a 45-ball 60 in Hobart.

While he was trapped lbw by Cameron Boyce (1-20 from four overs), captain McDermott (51 not out) and David Miller (25 not out) sealed the win and heaped further misery on the Renegades.

 

MILLER SHOWS HIS POWER

There are big sixes and then there are big sixes.

South African import Miller sent a Harry Gurney delivery out of the ground in the 17th over to cap a miserable day for the visiting Renegades.

Rain stopped Australia from chasing down Pakistan's total as the opening Twenty20 match was abandoned at the SCG on Sunday.

Australia were 41-0 from 3.1 overs in the revised 15-over contest after Pakistan set the hosts 119 for victory, when the rain arrived again in Sydney.

Pakistan had reached 107-5 in the weather-affected game – a target readjusted after play was halted for just over an hour mid-match – before the clash was washed out.

Amid the threat of showers, Australia captain Aaron Finch won the toss and sent Pakistan into bat in the first of three T20s.

Fresh off a 3-0 series sweep of Sri Lanka, Australia got on top early after Mitchell Starc (2-22) – producing a first-ball duck – and Kane Richardson (2-16) struck to leave Pakistan 10-2.

Led by top-ranked T20 batsman and captain Babar Azam – who finished unbeaten on 59 from 38 balls atop the order – Pakistan recovered from their slow start.

Mohammad Rizwan (31) was Pakistan's next best performer before he fell victim to the spin of Ashton Agar (1-23), with Asif Ali (11) the only other batsman in double-figures.

Desperate for a result against the touring nation, Finch got Australia off to a flying start with an unbeaten 37 runs from 16 deliveries.

Finch hit 26 from one Mohammad Irfan over but rain spoiled the party, with the game just 11 balls shy of the five overs needed to constitute a match.

 

 

 

David Warner marked his return to the international Twenty20 arena with a stunning maiden century as Australia eased past Sri Lanka by 134 runs in their opening game.

Warner was back in the T20 fold for the first time since the infamous ball-tampering saga, in which the star Australia batsman served a year-long suspension.

Having already made his Test and ODI comeback, birthday boy Warner capped his T20 return with an unbeaten hundred in his 71st appearance against touring Sri Lanka in Adelaide on Sunday.

Warner led Australia to a record-breaking victory, surpassing last year's 100-run win over Zimbabwe, and their highest T20 total on home soil – 233-2 – before hapless Sri Lanka only managed 99-9 in response at Adelaide Oval.

After a forgettable Ashes series in England which only yielded 95 runs across five matches, Warner was desperate to return to form as the Australian summer got underway.

Warner was back to his brilliant best on his 33rd birthday as the big-hitting star scored 100 runs from just 56 balls in game one of the three-match series against Sri Lanka – bringing up his ton from the last delivery of the innings.

The tone was set by Warner and captain Aaron Finch (64) after Sri Lanka opted to bowl first, with the opening pair combining for 122 runs from just 10.5 overs and reaching their half-centuries in the same over.

Finch and Warner smacked consecutive sixes from Kasun Rajitha – who finished with figures of 0-75 from four overs for the most expensive spell in T20 history – before the former was caught at deep midwicket off the bowling of Lakshan Sandakan (1-41).

Glenn Maxwell (62) then joined Warner at the crease as the duo put on 107 runs from just 52 balls, though Maxwell was dismissed by Dasun Shanaka (1-10) in the last over.

Sri Lanka made a nightmare start to their run chase after Kusal Mendis fell victim to Mitchell Starc (2-18) for a duck in the first over, before the visitors were left reeling at 13-3 in the four over as Pat Cummins (2-27) wreaked havoc.

Shanaka was Sri Lanka's highest score with 17 on putrid day for Sri Lanka, with spinner Adam Zampa (3-14) cleaning up the final three wickets, while Maxwell produced a stunning piece of fielding to run out Wanindu Hasaranga (5).

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