In the 20th match of the ICC World Cup 2019, Australia registered a sensational 87-run victory against Sri Lanka at The Kennington Oval in London on Saturday. The defending champions posted a daunting first innings total on the back of Aaron Finch’s scintillating century innings and Steve Smith’s brilliant fifty. In the second innings, Sri Lankan top-order got their team off to an amazing start and skipper Dimuth Karunaratne played a remarkable knock, but then the Aussie bowling duo of Mitchell Starc and Kane Richardson helped Australia to pull back things extremely well and in turn recorded their fourth win of the tournament. With this victory, Australia have reached at the top position on the points table.
Finch's staggering hundred takes Australia to 334
After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, Australian team got off an impressive start with the two openers, Aaron Finch and David Warner coming out in a dazzling mood. The duo batted really well to put forward a fine stand of 80 runs for the opening wicket before Warner got out in the 17th over. The Australian skipper, Finch never lost his focus and pushed his team's progress further along with Steve Smith. Both of them showed some great temperament to compile a marathon stand of 173 runs.
Finch composed a phenomenal innings of 153 runs that came off just 132 balls, while Smith contributed with an excellent knock of 73 runs. However, with their dismissals, Australia suffered a batting collapse as they lost their next five wickets for just 47 runs and then Glenn Maxwell played an amazing cameo of 46 runs to help his team finish with 334 runs on the board. For Sri Lanka, Dhananjaya de Silva and Isuru Udana picked up two wickets each.
Karunaratne’s 97 goes in vain
Chasing a daunting target of 335 runs, the two Sri Lankan openers, Kusal Perera and Dimuth Karunaratne came out in a very aggressive mood and started taking apart the Australian bowlers from the word go. The opening duo combined together to stitch an explosive partnership of 115 runs in just 15.3 overs. Perera smacked a quick-fire knock of 52 runs off just 36 balls before falling victim to Mitchell Starc. Lahiru Thirimanne also got dismissed pretty soon failing to carry on his start. Karunaratne laid his focus despite the fall of these wickets and kept on battling against the Aussie bowlers.
He looked set to bring up a fabulous hundred, however, eventually failed to do so and got dismissed for a brilliant 108-ball 97. After his wicket, the Sri Lankan innings never really kicked on and they kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. They lost their last seven wickets for just 42 runs before eventually getting bowled out for 247 in 45.5 overs. For Australia, Mitchell Starc was the pick of the bowlers, picking four crucial wickets, while Pat Cummins and Kane Richardson finished with two and three scalps respectively.
Australia: 334/7 in 50 overs (Aaron Finch-153, Steve Smith-73; Dhananjaya de Silva 2/40)
Sri Lanka: 247/10 in 45.5 overs (Dimuth Karunaratne-97, Kusal Perera-52; Mitchell Starc 4/55, Kane Richardson 3/47)
Result: Australia won the match by 87 runs.
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