Fawad the finisher ices PM’s XI victory

25 October 2019 11:44 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Harry Nielsen, the son of former Australian coach Tim Nielsen, has guided the PM's XI to a narrow one-wicket T20 victory against Sri Lanka in Canberra on Thursday night.

The hard-hitting wicketkeeper blasted 79 off 50 balls and also took three catches as the PM's XI chased down Sri Lanka's 8-131 with one ball and one wicket to spare at Manuka Oval thanks to the final-over heroics of Fawad Ahmed.

Nielsen, 24, has played just 11 first-class matches but the opener proved once again he could handle an international attack through his match-winning knock.

He scored a century on his Sheffield Shield debut in the 2017-18 summer, and last season piled up a century in a tour match against the Indian Test side before becoming a rare wicket for Virat Kohli.
"I couldn't quite get the job done but it was nice to get a few runs," said Nielsen, who was dismissed with nine runs still required and five balls remaining.

"I was just trying to take it as deep as possible. We kept losing wickets at probably the wrong time and their spinners bowled really well through the middle, I just tried to hit the gaps and run hard."
Sri Lanka showed glimpses of the talent that saw them beat Pakistan 3-0 recently but left plenty of room for improvement in the Gillette T20 International series against Australia as they struggled to score against an attack that produced 48 dot balls.

In contrast, a wide from Kasun Rajita handed the PM XI's victory with the extra carrying the hosts to 9-132.
Sri Lanka captain Niroshan Dickwella won the toss and elected to bat but only three players made more than 11 runs, with Oshada Fernando top scoring with 38.

Canberra local Djali Bloomfield (2-17) started the slide when opener Danushka Gunathilaka edged to Nielsen in the second over.

Test star Peter Siddle (1-15) and veteran allrounder Dan Christian (2-16) were the pick of the bowlers with sharp three-over spells.

Outside player-of-the-match Nielsen, only Christian (13) could join Nielsen in reaching double figures.
Former international Chris Lynn was a notable failure, scoring just three and having his leg stump uprooted after stepping outside the line of a ball that shaped back in, having expressed his disquiet at being left out of Australia's T20 squad earlier this week.

Lakshan Sandakan (3-21) was the pick of the Sri Lankan attack, making inroads into the PM XI's batting order in the absence of rested skipper Lasith Malinga

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