Wanindu Hasaranga left the cricket world perplexed on Friday night with an extraordinary new delivery dubbed the 'undertaker' by Shane Warne.
Australia began life without departed head coach Justin Langer by claiming a 20-run (Duckworth/Lewis method) win over Sri Lanka in the opening T20 at the SCG.
SPEAKING OUT: Pat Cummins breaks silence on Langer exit
New opener Ben McDermott hit his first half-century at international level as his 53 from 41 balls set the tourists a target of 150.
That target was later revised to 143 due to rain delays, with Josh Hazlewood restricting the Sri Lankans' hopes of getting going.
On his return to the international arena, Hazlewood finished with figures of 4-12 - his best in T20 internationals - to restrict Sri Lanka to 8-122.
Hasaranga was the star with the ball for Sri Lanka, claiming the prized scalps of Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith to finish with 4-38.
And it was his ball to dismiss Maxwell that had the cricket world talking, with Hasaranga showing off a bizarre 'underarm' technique.
While he normally delivers the ball over the top, Hasaranga will at times drop his arm angle right down to about shoulder height - the ball coming out much flatter and lower.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 11, 2022
After copping some punishment early, Hasarange came back to dismiss Maxwell with the unique delivery.
“We’ve got to come up with a name for it,” Warne declared in commentary.
“Maybe the undertaker, the round-arm undertaker.
Mark Howard added: “It’s an extraordinary way to deliver it."
Hasaranga's arm isn't quite as low as Lasith Malinga's👀
He may as well bowl underarm😁
If we're not calling it rubbish, I'm not sure what to call it🤔
— Chris O'Toole (@Chris_OToole23) February 11, 2022
Apparently it's not only pacers who have taken bowling lessons from Malinga. Yes I'm talking about Hasaranga's round arm delivery that came outta nowhere#SLvsAUS
— thrinith.s (@thrinithshevon) February 11, 2022
What the hell is Hasaranga doing ? Pace is down as well. What's this Kedar Jadhav inspired below sea level bowling.
— IndianLanger (@IndianLanger) February 11, 2022
Wtf hasaranga bowling round arm 🤣
— yolow (@louise99971) February 11, 2022
Great Bowling by Wanindu Hasaranga 🇱🇰 https://t.co/tbGDUqUAs7
— 𝗥 𝗔 𝗘 𝗘 𝗦 🇵🇰 (@Raees_05) February 11, 2022
McDermott and Hazlewood star in Australia victory
Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka opted to bowl first, with Finch opening the batting with McDermott in the absence of David Warner.
Finch went cheaply but McDermott showed the kind of form which made him the top run scorer in the Big Bash this year.
"It feels really nice to get that milestone at the top of the order with Finchy," McDermott said.
"I've come in in different positions over a number of years but it's really nice to get into a familiar position, having batted there for the Hurricanes this season.
"It's really nice to contribute for a win tonight for Australia."
The 27-year-old was able to put on a 50-run partnership with debutant Josh Inglis before the Sri Lankans ripped through the Australian middle order after a rain delay.
Cummins and Hazlewood then claimed the wickets of Avishka Fernando and Danushka Gunathilaka in the first three overs to give the hosts the ascendancy.
It could have been even more commanding were it not for the Test captain dropping Pathum Nissanka's dipping shot at mid-on when he was on 16.
Adam Zampa (3-18) claimed Nissanka and Charith Asalanka in his first over before Hasaranga scooped him into the hands of Smith at cover.
A second rain delay with Sri Lanka on 5-89 after 14.5 overs meant an over was lost and the target was revised to 143.
Sri Lanka were unable to get there, with Hazlewood claiming three crucial wickets after the pause.
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