World Cup 2019: Sri Lanka choose to bowl first against Australia

World Cup 2019: Sri Lanka choose to bowl first against Australia

LONDON: Sri Lanka have won the toss and chose to field first against Australia in the 20th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 at Oval in London on Saturday.
With the strong position already achieved in the top area of the points table, after winning three matches and losing one, defending champions Australia are looking forward to merge their great position while taking on Sri Lanka today.
Sri Lanka have had washouts in their last two matches, and have won only one match with four points (equivalent to two wins) in their hand.
Victory in this match would leave Australia needing to win only two of their final four games to be all but assured of making the semi-finals.
However, all-rounder Marcus Stoinis’ injury has upset the team balance, Australia coach Justin Langer said ahead of his side’s World Cup group stage match against Sri Lanka.
Stoinis missed Wednesday’s victory over Pakistan due to a side strain he suffered against India three days earlier, prompting the reigning champions to fly in Mitchell Marsh as cover.
Stoinis did some batting in Taunton’s indoor nets on Wednesday, but the seam bowling all-rounder will miss a second match, captain Aaron Finch said on Friday.
Australia have a five-day break before their next game against Bangladesh.
“We’ve talked a bit about it, but we’ll just see how he pulls up over the next few days,” Langer said of Stoinis.
“We know that it’s important to have an all-rounder in the side if we can, and if we can’t we’ve got to adapt.”
In the absence of Stoinis, who is also an excellent outfielder, Finch and Maxwell combined as the team’s fifth bowler against Pakistan, conceding 71 runs between them from nine overs, with Finch taking one wicket.
“We did it a few times last year when we were in England. You certainly can in T20 cricket. It’s tougher in 50-over cricket, but you never say never. We’ll try and work out the best combination to beat Sri Lanka.”
Earlier, the Sri Lankan team have complained to organisers of the World Cup about the pitches rolled out for their games and are also unhappy with the quality of their accommodation.
Although their two most-recent matches were washed out in Bristol, Sri Lanka began their campaign on two bowler-friendly pitches in Cardiff, where they lost to New Zealand and clinched a narrow win over Afghanistan.
Heading into Saturday’s match against Australia, Lankan team manager Ashantha de Mel believes they will face another green track which will aid their opponents.
“What we have found out is that for the four matches we have played so far at Cardiff and Bristol, the ICC has prepared a green pitch,” he said.
“At the same venues, the other countries have played on pitches are brown and favourable for high scoring.
“The pitch being prepared for our match against Australia on Saturday here at The Oval is green. It is not sour grapes that we are complaining.
“But it is very unfair on the part of the ICC (International Cricket Council) that they prepare one type of wicket for certain teams and another type for others.”
The Sri Lankan camp were also disappointed with the standard of training facilities and accommodation, according to de Mel, who said the concerns were officially brought to the ICC’s notice.
“Even the practice facilities provided at Cardiff were unsatisfactory,” he added.
“Instead of three nets they gave us only two, and the hotel we were put up at Bristol did not have a swimming pool, which is very essential for every team – for the fast bowlers, especially, to relax their muscles after practice.
“The hotels that Pakistan and Bangladesh were put up at Bristol had swimming pools.”
The ICC confirmed they received the complaint but dismissed allegations about pitch and unfair treatment.
“We employ an independent pitch advisor to work with the host curators at all ICC events and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 is no different,” the governing body said in a statement.
“We are happy with the wickets that have been produced across the event so far in English conditions.
“At the heart of our planning is the philosophy that all 10 teams are treated equally to enable them to have the best possible preparation for the event,” it added.
“As part of the four year planning process to deliver this event, we have liaised with all teams to ensure they are happy with their set up and are available to work with them should any issues arise that have not been previously anticipated.”

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