World Cup 2019: Australia beat Sri Lanka by 87 runs

World Cup 2019: Australia beat Sri Lanka by 87 runs

CARDIFF: Sri Lanka made a flying start to their World Cup chase against holders Australia but failed to carry their momentum forward to be finally dismissed for 247 in 45.5 overs.
Australia’s 87-run win helped them climb to the top of the World Cup points table with eight points from five matches — their only loss coming against India. Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne (97) and Kusal Perera both hit half-centuries in a swashbuckling opening partnership of 115 before Perera was bowled by Mitchell Starc. Karunaratne and his opening partner Perera blasted 24 from the first two overs of their run chase and reached their fifty partnership in just the seventh over. Perera smoked Jason Behrendorff over cover for a huge six, then survived a caught behind review off Kane Richardson before belting another boundary. Karunaratne reached his to 50 in 43 balls while Perera only needed 33 balls to reach the mark. However, after the departure of the top three, Sri Lanka lost all steam and fell way short of the target. Earlier, Australia captain Aaron Finch equalled his highest one-day international score of 153 as he powered his team to 334-7. Finch took the misfiring Sri Lanka attack apart with a dazzling display that included 15 fours and five sixes.
Not achieving that goal could prove problematic against the leading contenders at this World Cup, but Sri Lanka was unable to capitalise on any possibly sign of weakness, despite a rapid start to its chase.
Sri Lanka exploded out of the blocks as Kusal Perera and Dimuth Karunaratne each made fifty inside 14 overs.
However, wickets at vital times throughout the innings stymied the Sri Lankan chase to hand the Australians a fourth victory from five games at this World Cup.
Sri Lanka meanwhile suffered its second defeat after two consecutive washouts to severely dent its chances of progressing to the semi-finals.
Australia started its innings brightly, with skipper Finch and David Warner laying the foundations for a massive total with an 80-run partnership at the top of the innings.
Despite the overcast conditions, none of the Sri Lankan bowlers could extract much movement in the air, and Finch in particular capitalised down the ground.
Finch’s fifty came off just 53 balls by virtue of a suite of exquisite straight and cover drives that flew to the boundary off the bowling of Nuwan Pradeep and Lasith Malinga.
The Australian captain said he would have likely chosen to bat first as well, but it appeared the decision being taken out of his hands was the best outcome after he lost the toss once again this tournament.
Off spinner Dhananjaya de Silva proved an unlikely strike bowler in the middle overs, claiming the wicket of Warner for a relatively sedate 26 off 48 balls in just his second over.
Warner missed a straight one attempting a cut shot far too close to his body, only to see the ball fly unimpeded into the top of his middle stump.
Khawaja, whose status at number three has so often been victim of circumstance during this World Cup, was then unable to capitalise when called upon first drop, making just 10 runs off 20 balls before skying a slog sweep to Isuru Udana in the deep.

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