Australian cricket team concluded their warm-up for the ICC World Cup 2019 on a high with a third straight victory as they outclassed Sri Lanka by five wickets at The Rose Bowl stadium in Hampshire on Monday.
The Aussies had to counter an early blow in their 240 run target chase. Skipper Aaron Finch (11) got lbw off Nuwan Pradeep’s delivery in the fifth over. Opener Usman Khawaja was then joined by Shaun Marsh and both played calmly and avoided risky shots yet kept on adding scores to the board.
However, in the 20th over, Dhananjaya de Silva got hold of Marsh which ended his 34-run inning. Marsh’s dismissal brought Glenn Maxwell out on the field. Maxwell and Khawaja kept the scoreboard running before the former gave away his wicket in the 30th over after scoring 36 runs.
Marcus Stoinis then accompanied Khawaja but Stoinis too got out after scoring 32 runs. Soon after that, Jeffrey Vandersay got hold of Khawaja (89). Alex Carey and Pat Cummins then took the field when they needed just 22 runs. Both Carey and Cummins took their side over the line with 31 balls to spare and registered a five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka.
Earlier, Sri Lanka elected to bat first and their openers, Lahiru Thirimanne and skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, gave them a steady start. Both accumulated 44 runs before Karunaratne was caught behind in the 10th over bowled by Kane Richardson and had to walk away after scoring 16 runs.
Kusal Perera then joined Thirimanne. However, Perera (12) too was sent back to the pavilion in the 17th over bowled by Glenn Maxwell. Kusal Mendis then accompanied the on-field batter Thirimanne.
Thirimanne then went on to score his half-century but Australia’s Nathan Lyon provided his side with the crucial breakthrough as he got hold of Thirimanne (56) in the 25th over.
Angelo Mathews then took the field but his partnership with Kusal Mendis did not last long as the latter gave away his wicket after scoring 24 runs. Jeevan Mendis came out to bat and played steadily along with Mathews.
In the 34th over, Mathews was dismissed and with his dismissal, half of Sri Lanka side was sent back to the pavilion when there were just 147 runs on the scoreboard.
Sri Lanka side was finding it hard to form a stable partnership and following the trend Jeevan Mendis (21) too got out after Dhananjaya de Silva came out to bat.
Thisara Perera was the next batsman but it was de Silva who came out strikingly and struck regular boundaries. Pat Cummins then got hold of Thisara Perera, who scored 27 runs, in the 48th over.
In the very next over, Mitchell Starc bowled Silva which halted his 43-run inning. Suranga Lakmal and Milinda Siriwardana then came out to bat and added another eight runs to the board to help their side put up a total of 239 runs.
Sri Lanka will face New Zealand for their first World Cup 2019 clash on June 1 whereas Australia will compete with Afghanistan on the same day.
Brief scores: Australia (Usman Khawaja 89, Glenn Maxwell 36, Jeffrey Vandersay 2/51) defeated Sri Lanka (Lahiru Thirimanne 56, Dhananjaya de Silva 43, Adam Zampa 2/39) by five wickets.