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Australia comfortably home against Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka was defeated comfortably by Australia at the Oval as Aaron Finch smashed 153 runs off 132 balls.



Australia comfortably home against Sri Lanka
Mitchell Starc bagged four wickets to cut off the Lankan middle order. Photo: Getty

After two washed out games, Sri Lanka will be desperate to come out all guns blazing but defending champion Australia had much more depth and will be hard to beat.

Sri Lanka have not played a match at the World Cup since June 4, forced to split points with Bangladesh and Pakistan following two washed out games.

Captain Aaron Finch’s brilliant 153 and ruthless pace bowling by Mitchell Starc led Australia to an emphatic 87-run victory over Sri Lanka in the Cricket World Cup on Saturday.

After Sri Lanka had won the toss, Finch and David Warner shared a solid opening partnership of 80 before Warner, on 26, was bowled by spinner Dhananjaya de Silva.

Finch and Steve Smith (73) shared a fine partnership of 173 to lead the defending champions to an imposing total of 334 for seven.

After a brilliant 132-ball 153 from skipper Aaron Finch, contributions from Steven Smith (73 off 59) and Glenn Maxwell’s unbeaten 46 off just 25 balls helped Australia post a mammoth 334 for seven against Sri Lanka at the Kennington Oval in London.

Sri Lanka got off to a flying start in chase of the mammoth 334 for seven posted by Australia. The two opebners — Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera — strung together an 115-run opening stand before Perera was dismissed on 52 in the 16th over.

Perera, however, was bowled by Starc for 52 and Lahiru Thirimanne laboured to 16 before edging Jason Behrendorff to wicketkeeper Alex Carey. faded after a bright start and Starc picked up four wickets as they were bowled out for 247 in the 46th over.

Australia’s fourth win of the tournament lifted them top of the 10-team standings while Sri Lanka stayed fifth with only one win from five matches.

“I thought we were a tad short with the new ball and it’s so hard to pull it back after that. We were a bit slow to change our plans and lost a bit of momentum,” man-of-the-match Finch said.

Coming to this match, Sri Lanka had an abandoned game against Bangladesh whereas Australia won convincingly by 41 runs against Pakistan.

Sri Lanka, who won the tournament back in 1996, stands fifth with just one win — against minnows Afghanistan in a rain-hit match — from four games.

Sri Lanka will need to do it the hard way with games against England, South Africa, India and West Indies still to come after Saturday’s outing.

For Australia, the equation is more likely to require three wins from their remaining five fixtures. At the same time Australia will be chasing improvement in terms of performance and also balance.

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