World Cup 2019: Aaron Finch, Mitchell Starc headline Australia’s third win in a rowhttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket-world-cup/australia-vs-sri-lanka-highlights-result-report-5782495/

World Cup 2019: Aaron Finch, Mitchell Starc headline Australia’s third win in a row

Australia's Aaron Finch leading from the front stroked his way to a majestic 153 and propelled Australia to a comfortable win by 87 runs against Sri Lanka in their World Cup fixture on Saturday.

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Australia’s Aaron Finch celebrates his century Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Australia captain Aaron Finch led from the front and stroked his way to a majestic 153 which propeled Australia to a commanding win by 87 runs against Sri Lanka in their World Cup fixture on Saturday. Finch’s sparkling knock which came off 132 balls helped Australia pile 334/7. The Islanders got off to a flying start but Starc’s 4/55 and 3/47 from Kane Richardson ripped out their middle order to leave them 247 all out.

Toss: Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bowl first against Australia on a fresh pitch at the Oval in dry conditions.

First innings: After losing yet another toss ( he’s yet to win one in five matches) Finch continued the trend and was made to bat at the Oval. Along with David Warner, he ensured that Australia were untroubled in reaching their fourth half-century opening partnership of this tournament.

Finch forged two crucial partnerships- 80 with his opening partner David Warner (26) and 173 with Steve Smith (73 off 59) for the third wicket — in his 132-ball knock which is his 14th ODI hundred.

Glenn Maxwell provided the late charge with an unbeaten 25-ball 46 but Sri Lanka tied things a bit in the end.

Second innings: For Sri Lanka, it was a tale of two halves for their batting line-up as they faltered after a terrific start. Sri Lanka were off to a flier with Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera stitching 115 for the first wicket. The Islanders were in the chase till Karunaratne departed for a well-made 97. Mitchell Starc’ brilliant accuracy triggered a mini-collapse in the middle. From 186/3 Lankans were down to 236/8 within an eight-over spell. With this win, Australia are now on top of the points table.

Gamechanger:  Finch knock turned the tide in Australia’s favour right at the start. The right-hander played some exquisite shots to keep the runs flowing and punished the Lankan bowlers with 15 fours and five sixes, two of them gigantic. He was also brutal on Lasith Malinga and Thisara Perera. Finch reached his century off 97 balls.

Captains Speak:

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Aaron Finch, Australian captain: “I thought we were a touch short with the new ball. You want to bowl top of off, but when we were getting hit we had to change our plan and we were a bit slow to do that and lost a bit of momentum. It was nice to see Maxwell bowl well. Starc-ey – As soon as he gets a sniff of a new batter, he’s all over ’em. He is a world-class bowler and he is doing the business again in an ICC tournament.”

Dimuth Karunaratne, Sri Lanka captain: “It was a good wicket. There was some seam movement, but it was still a good batting track. We bowled well in the first 25 overs. Then, Finch and Smith batted really well, but we came back strongly at the death. We got a good start with the bat. We couldn’t capitalise and when the middle-order came in, they couldn’t capitalize either and really couldn’t handle the pressure. The Australians are top-class bowlers, but we have faced them before, and we were missing a game plan against them to be honest.”

Scorecard: AUS 334/7 (50.0) | SL 247 all out (45.5 ovs )

(With agency inputs)

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