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With an emphatic victory over Sri Lanka, Australia issues a World Cup warning.

With an emphatic victory over Sri Lanka, Australia issues a World Cup warning.

Australia began their stuttering ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup campaign with a five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka on Monday in Lucknow.
After going winless in their first two matches, the five-time World Cup champions showed significant progress by successfully chasing down Sri Lanka’s modest total of 209 with more than 14 overs remaining.

Sri Lanka appeared to be on track for a big total when openers Kusal Perera (78) and Pathum Nissanka (61) put on 125 for the first wicket, but some inspired bowling from Adam Zampa (4/25), Mitchell Starc (2/43) and Pat Cummins (2/32) combined with some good fielding meant the Asian side was restricted late in their innings.

Pacer Dilshan Madushanka (3/38) threatened to derail Australia’s chase by dismissing experienced duo David Warner and Steve Smith early in the chase with a superb double-wicket maiden.

However, half-centuries from Josh Inglis (58) and Mitchell Marsh (52) as well as some lofty late blows from Glenn Maxwell (31*) ensured Australia’s first win of the tournament.

Australia moves up to eighth in the World Cup standings, while Sri Lanka remains winless and has a lot of work to do to stay in contention for a semi-final spot.

Sri Lanka 209 (43.3 overs) defeated Australia 215/5 (35.2 overs) in match 14.
Australia’s start in Lucknow was chaotic. While Mitchell Marsh and David Warner made quick starts, Dilshan Madushanka struck twice in the third over to give Sri Lanka hope. He had David Warner (11) and Steve Smith both lbw.

Mitchell Marsh, on the other hand, continued to attack from his end. In the first 12 overs, he hit nine boundaries. He scored his fifty off 39 balls, ensuring that Australia batted at a healthy strike rate.

Sri Lanka responded in the 15th over, when Marsh was run out for 52.

A good thing Australia was led by Josh Inglis, who started with back-to-back fours, and Marnus Labuschagne. Their 77-run partnership helped to stabilize Australia’s chase. Inglis was joined by Maxwell after Labuschagne was dismissed for 40 in the 29th over.

The innings picked up steam as a result of Maxwell’s aggression, and Australia was closing in on a big win.

After the mid-innings break, Sri Lanka lost three crucial wickets. In the 27th over, Cummins got one to jag back and crashed into Kusal Perera’s stumps.

Kusal Mendis (9) fell in the next over while attempting to take on Zampa on the leg-side. David Warner charged in again and held on to a brilliant take.

Sadeera Samarawickrama, the previous game’s centurion, was LBW to Zampa in the 30th over.

Early in Sri Lanka’s innings, Mitchell Starc was able to extract movement with his swinging ball.

Starc hit the pads of Pathum Nissanka with the first ball, and Australia appealed after being denied. They did, however, lose the review after it was discovered that there was an inside edge.

Over the next few overs, the Sri Lanka openers produced a number of quality drives and cuts to get the innings going.

Nissanka and Kusal Perera continued their aggressive play in the next Powerplay, scoring 33 runs between overs 11 and 15.

They opened their arms against Zampa’s leg-spinner and took 16 runs off his first two overs. Perera reached his half-century in the 19th over, and Nissanka followed with one in the 20th.

Nissanka (61) pulled a Pat Cummins delivery in the deep and ended up placing it towards mid-wicket in the 21st over, giving Australia a breakthrough.

David Warner covered a significant amount of ground to his left before making an outstanding catch.

Perera, on the other hand, kept Sri Lanka’s attack going, hitting four fours in the next three overs.

Mendis, Sri Lanka’s new captain, won the toss and chose to bat first. He believes that a total of 280-300 would be safe for his team, and that the ball might do a little more under the lights.

Chamika Karunaratne and Lahiru Kumara replaced Dasun Shanaka and Matheesha Pathirana in Sri Lanka’s XI, while Australia fielded the same team that faced South Africa.

Sri Lanka suffered a setback before the game when their captain, Dasun Shanaka, suffered a quad injury. Mendis will captain the team instead of the all-rounder, who has been ruled out of the tournament.

Australia has a 63-35 head-to-head advantage over Sri Lanka, but the Lions have proven to be a useful customer in Asia. In the results column, the sides are evenly matched, with 18 victories each.

XIs in action

Mitchell Marsh, David Warner, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Inglis (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Adam Zampa, and Josh Hazlewood for Australia.

Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis (c) (wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Chamika Karunaratne, Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Dilshan Madushanka, Lahiru Kumara are the Sri Lankan players.

 

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