World Cup 2019: Australia register emphatic 87-run win against Sri Lanka to move top of the table
Australia registered an emphatic 87-run win over Sri Lanka in Match 20 of the 2019 World Cup.
Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and decided to field first. That decision did not pay off as the Australian openers Aaron Finch and David Warner got off to a steady start, slowly putting the pressure on the Sri Lankan bowlers.
Finch looked to play aggressively even as Warner struggled to time the ball. Dhanajaya de Silva got the breakthrough soon after, dismissing Warner for 26. He then dismissed Usman Khawaja for 10 as Sri Lanka clawed their way back into the match.
Finch continued to play positively though, reaching his half-century off 53 balls. Steve Smith, who walked out at No. 4, decided to take some time to settle in before putting the pressure on the Sri Lankan bowling.
Finch and Smith made batting look easy, adding a whopping 173 runs for the third wicket. The Australian skipper put the Sri Lankan bowlers to the sword, bringing up his 150 off 128 balls before being dismissed by Isuru Udana for 153.
Things did not get any easier for Sri Lanka though, as Glenn Maxwell walked out and took on the bowlers immediately. At the other end, Smith was dismissed for 73 off 59 balls by Lasith Malinga.
Sri Lanka fought back well at the end, eventually restricting Australia to 334 for 7 in 50 overs.
Chasing 335 to win, the openers Kusal Perera and Karunaratne got off to a flying start, taking their side to 87 for 0 after 10 overs. Both of them reached their respective fifties, off 33 and 43 balls. However, Mitchell Starc finally got the breakthrough, dismissing Kusal for 52.
That gave Australia the opening they needed and they began picking wickets at regular intervals. Kane Richardson dismissed the Sri Lankan captain for a well-made 97, while Starc continued his dominant ways, picking up the wickets of Kusal Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana, and Thisara Perera to break the spine of the Sri Lankan batting lineup.
The collapse meant Sri Lanka were eventually bowled out for 247 in 45.5 overs.