ICC World Cup 2019: Match 20, Australia vs Sri Lanka – Who Said What
Finch was the Player of the Match for his century.
Updated - Jan 20, 2020 8:33 pm
Australia have managed to move to the top of the points table in the 2019 edition of the World Cup. The team, captained by Aaron Finch, won their fourth match of the mega event against Sri Lanka by 87 runs at the Kennington Oval in London. Dimuth Karunaratne’s Lanka remains at the fifth position of the table and currently stand on four points from five matches. They also have a poor NRR of -1.740.
After losing the toss and being put in to bat first, the Aussies managed 334 in their 50 overs. David Warner and Aaron Finch started well with an 80-run stand off 16.4 overs. Dhananjaya de Silva struck first blood, dismissing Warner, who could score only 26 off 48 balls. Usman Khawaja fell prey to De Silva as well in the 23rd over. Steve Smith joined Finch in the middle and the duo added 173 valuable runs in 118 balls.
Lasith Malinga broke the stand, dismissing Smith after the right-hander accumulated 73 off 59 with seven fours and an over-boundary. Finch got to his 14th ODI ton off 97 balls and he continued to score 153 runs off 132 balls with 15 fours and five sixes. Shaun Marsh and Alex Carey couldn’t make substantial contributions. However, Glenn Maxwell played a quickfire knock of 46 runs off 25 balls to propel Australia’s score.
Mitchell Starc rattles the Lankans
Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera took the Aussie bowling by the scruff of its neck and put on 115 for the opening wicket in 15.3 overs. Mitchell Starc separated the duo, dismissing Perera, who got a 36-ball 52. Lahiru Thirimanne had his travails and he got out for 16. Kusal Mendis threatened with a couple of big shots to score 30 in no time, but Starc cut short his knock. Karunaratne also looked determined in the middle but for a short while.
He raced to his half-century off 43 balls and got out to Kane Richardson after scoring 97 off 108 with nine fours. Following his wicket, the Lankan innings completely fell off. Angelo Mathews, Milinda Siriwardena and Thisara Perera got out cheaply. Starc strained a wee bit in his opening spell, but the speedster came back to pick up four wickets. Richardson also contributed with three crucial wickets.
Aaron Finch, the Player of the Match and Australian captain, said
It was nice to get a couple of drives away. If my balance is on and get a few drives, that’s the key to my batting. A nice wicket. I’ve been working on keeping my balance from Ball 1 – not losing my balance. We lost a few wickets on the verge of taking the game on too much, but a couple of partnerships took us deep.
Smith is really good at finding the gap and rotating the strike – looked up at the scorecard and saw he was on 25 – thought he was on 5. He just hits the ball in the gap, and that’s a great skill, especially in the beginning of the innings. It’s amazing when Maxi has a free rein like that, he can just go all out. Credit to SL, they executed really well under pressure, otherwise I thought we were definitely getting to 350.
Dimuth Karunaratne, the Sri Lanka captain, said
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 capitalize 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. We lost a couple of matches because of the rain. We need to win a couple of matches, and if we can do it, we can definitely be in the top 4. We have got to get to the semi-finals and then take it step by step until the final.