Zampa returns, Australia bat first

Leg-spinner returns after missing second match as Australia look to salvage some pride in Adelaide

Australia have recalled Adam Zampa for the third and final KFC T20 against Sri Lanka in Adelaide tonight.

Zampa was a shock omission from Sunday's match at Kardinia Park, which Sri Lanka won to seal the three-match series, despite bowling well to take 2-26 in the series opener at the MCG.

But he's been recalled for the match on his home ground, with Andrew Tye dropping out of the side.

Sri Lanka are without wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella due to suspension, with Dasun Shanaka coming into the side.

Australia lost the toss and will bat first for the third time as they look to salvage some pride from the series.


Travis Head hopes a return to Adelaide Oval will spark some fireworks with the bat as Australia seek a consolation victory over Sri Lanka in Wednesday’s third and final KFC T20 INTL.

Head was dismissed for four during Australia’s final-ball defeat in Sunday’s second T20I, unable to launch after coming to the crease when the hosts were 3-113 in the 14th over.

Quick single: Gunaratne epic steals series

It followed his 25-ball 31 at the MCG in Friday night’s the first T20I, a match that also resulted in a final-ball defeat for the hosts.

Back on home turf in Adelaide, Head now hopes to cash in on his good record at the venue where he scored his maiden ODI century last month - with Australia seeking to restore some pride after Sri Lanka sealed an unassailable 2-0 series lead at Geelong’s Kardinia Park.

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“It’s always pretty special to come home and play in front of the home fans,” Head said after the Australian squad arrived at Adelaide Airport on Monday afternoon.

“I’ve been able to do that in front of home fans and have had some success.

“I feel like I’m doing everything well.

“Last night I came out with a bit of a licence (to attack) after a great start from the top order, but it just didn’t happen.

“I’m comfortable with that.

“I thought I played pretty well at the MCG under those conditions with big boundaries and a strong breeze.

“I’m feeling like I’m in good form, good touch at the moment.

“I play well at Adelaide Oval, so if I get the opportunity again and if the batters set a platform and give me an opportunity late in the innings, or if I have to come in early, I’m happy with any situation and hopefully I can do a job for the side.”

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Australia’s failure to capitalise on the ‘big moments’ cost the hosts in two T20I defeats, Head believes, but he doesn’t think any drastic changes are required for a turnaround of fortunes in Adelaide.

On Friday, a late fightback with the ball saw Australia take the game into the final over only to fall short, while on Sunday night, the tourists had looked well out of it needing 48 runs from the final three overs before Asela Gunaratne’s late assault stole a thrilling victory.

“We don’t need to do too much differently,” Head said. “It’s the small moments in the games.

“We didn’t finish as well with the bat as we would have liked on Sunday and with the ball, we had great plans but credit to Sri Lanka, they batted well.

“We’ve got to free the mind and play a positive brand of cricket and hopefully the tide can turn.”

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While Wednesday’s final T20I is a dead rubber, Head believes there is still plenty to play for, particularly for the younger members of Australia’s T20 squad who wish to prove themselves on the international stage.

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“It’s disappointing to be two-nil, we came in wanting to win and that hasn’t been the case,” he said.

“So we do have a point to prove, we’ve got a strong, in-form squad but it hasn’t gone our way (so far), so it will be nice to get some respect back on Wednesday.

“We’ve played some really good cricket in parts and some not-so-great cricket.

“The series is over but there are still guys who want to prove themselves in international cricket.

“It’s another opportunity to play for Australia.”

Relive an unbelievable final two overs

Among those hoping to be named in Wednesday’s XI are South Australia leg-spinner Adam Zampa and Adelaide Strikers quick Billy Stanlake.

Both players were left out of Australia’s side in Geelong – Stanlake after a disappointing international debut what saw his four overs cost 42 runs in the opening match of the series, while Zampa was a surprising exclusion after an impressive four-over spell that reaped 2-26 at the MCG.

Quick single: Finch explains Zampa's shock omission 

While Head is hoping for some vocal support from his home crowd, the Sri Lankans hope they’ll receive the same strong backing they welcomed in Melbourne and Geelong.

Sri Lanka’s boisterous fans celebrated long and loud outside Kardinia park after the tourists’ series-sealing victory, singing, chanting and playing musical instruments for more than an hour outside the players’ entrance.

They were also a strong presence at the opening match at the MCG.

"It was like playing at home away from home," man-of-the-match Gunaratne said of their fans after Sunday’s game.

"The support that the Sri Lankans brought was a great strength and made it a little easier."