Australia outclass Sri Lanka to go top of Cricket World Cup

Ross Houston
June 17, 2019

But attempting what would have been a World Cup record run-chase, Sri Lanka had the brakes applied to their innings through the middle before they were all out for 247.

The snub was a blow to Sri Lanka's travelling media contingent, which has invested a lot of money to cover its team at the World Cup in England.

"That's how you get to hundreds - hundreds that matter, hundreds that actually help your side win".

"We're happy where we're sitting but definitely time to sit back and assess where we can improve and what we can do over the next couple of weeks to give ourselves the best chance to be standing on the Lord's balcony on the 14th of July".

Speaking about his form, Finch said, "I think any time you manage to get a few runs, you feel pretty good about your game".

With four wins from their first five group matches, Australia are in a good position to reach the semi-finals as they bid to retain the trophy. "You get into playing mode", Finch told a news conference.

After being put in to bat, the 32-year-old began in his usual free-flowing manner and although a continuing out-of-sorts David Warner was bowled by Dhananjaya de Silva for 26 to end an opening partnership on 80, Finch continued to bat with freedom. There was no need for Finch or Smith to take their net bowling into the middle. This time, de Silva bowled a tossed up delivery. He was soon followed by Smith when Malinga executed a ideal yorker that crashed into the middle stump ending yet another masterful innings from the former Australian skipper.

Finch took the misfiring Sri Lanka attack apart with a dazzling display that included 15 fours and five sixes.

Mitchell Starc is the World Cup's leading wicket taker. Karunaratne was the more streaky, but he and Perera showed impressive timing and power in their risky approach.

That balance had been affected by the recent loss of Marcus Stoinis to injury, but Starc revealed that the all-rounder was remaining cheerful even though his World Cup participation still might be in jeopardy ahead of Australia's next match against Bangladesh on Thursday.

Karunaratne reached his 50 with his seventh boundary, and Perera followed with a 33-ball 50.

For Australia, Starc bagged four wickets conceding 55 runs, and Kane Richardson took three for 47 runs while Pat Cummins and Jason Behrendorff scalped two and one respectively. "It is not sour grapes that we are complaining but it is very unfair on the part of the ICC that they prepare one type of wicket for certain teams and another type for others". Have Australia convinced they can be champions again?

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