Australian captain Aaron Finch scored a magnificent hundred as the defending champions came closer to a semi-final birth of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 with a convincing 87 run win against Sri Lanka on Saturday.
Finch on his way to a hundred stitched two crucial partnerships – 80 with his fellow opening batsman David Warner and 173 with Steven Smith for the third wicket. Finch eventually had accumulated 153 runs off 132 balls.
Glenn Maxwell, then, provided the much needed flourish towards the end of the innings with an unbeaten 46 of just 25 balls as Aussies managed to post a mammoth 334 for the loss of seven wickets.
Coming out to chase the given total, Sri Lanka’s openers kept them in the chase and at one stage Sri Lanka were 115 for no loss. However, they messed up the start which they got and bundled out for just 247 runs in 45.5 overs – their batting once again letting them down with none of the middle-order batsmen playing with maturity.
Sri Lankan skipper Dimuth Karunaratne went on to top score for Sri Lanka (97) while his opening partner Kusal Perera also contributed with a half century.
Mitchell Starc was the pick of the bowlers for Australia picking up four wickets. With this win, Australia have now reached the top of the table with four wins in five matches – their sole loss coming against India.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka are at the fifth place with just one victory but a couple of points from the washed out matches.
In ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 ahead, Australia play Bangladesh on 20 June, Thursday while Sri Lanka meet England on 21 June, Friday.
Brief Scorecard: Australia 334/7 (Aaron Finch 153; Steven Smith 73; Dhananjaya de Silva 2/40) Sri Lanka 247/10 (Dimuth Karunaratne 97; Kusal Perera 53; Mitchell Starc 4/55)
Player of the Match: Aaron Finch