The Australian Cricket Team is undoubtedly the most successful in the history of the glorious game. But this campaign has been far from ideal so far, the new-look Australian team has fallen well short of their usual high standards. They faced Sri Lanka in Lucknow to salvage some pride and gain some momentum in their pursuit of the sixth title. The Sri Lankans have batted well in the opening two games, but their spendthrift nature with the ball has cost them dearly. Who will avoid the ignominy going 0-3 down so early in the tournament? Will the mighty Aussies crumble to the ground? Or is it going to be another tournament to forget for the Lankans?
Australia played with an unchanged XI that received a drubbing at the hands of host India. Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka is out with a quadriceps tear. Chamika Karunaratne takes his place in the team. The misfiring Matheesha Pathirana gives his place to fast bowler Lahiru Kumara.
- David Warner 2. Mitchell Marsh 3. Steve Smith 4. Marnus Labuschagne 5. Josh Inglish (WK) 6. Glenn Maxwell 7. Marcus Stoinis 8. Mitchell Starc 9. Pat Cummins (Cap.) 10. Adam Zampa 11. Josh Hazlewood
- Pathum Nissanka 2. Kusal Perera 3. Kusal Mendis (Cap.) (WK) 4. Sadeera Samarawickrama 5. Charith Asalanka 6. Dhananjaya de Silva 7. Dunith Wellalage 8. Chamika Karunaratne 9. Mahesh Theekshana 10. Lahiru Kumara 11. Dilshan Madushanka
Sri Lanka’s stand-in skipper Kusal Mendis won the toss and elected to bat first on a track that had something both for the spin and pace bowlers.
|Venue||The 14th game of the 2023 World Cup was played at the Ekana Sports City in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.|
|Date||The game started from 02:00 pm IST on Monday, October 16|
Captaincy & Tactics
The Sri Lankan opening pair started hitting the ball from the onset. They were hitting the ball through the line and used their feet against the seamers. The Australian bowlers pitched it short, but it yielded no positive result. Adam Zampa varied his pace brilliantly to bamboozle the batters with an impressive display of leg spin bowling. Starc and Cummins redressed their lengths to make the batsmen suffer.
Dilshan Madushanka got Sri Lanka to a perfect start as he swung the ball early in the innings. His new ball partner Lahiru Kumara cost 15 runs in the first over and was promptly replaced by Maheesh Theekshana.
Aussie all-rounder Mitchell Marsh was hitting the ball mercilessly and there was no respite for any of the bowlers. Josh Inglish played the ball along the ground to make a composed fifty. Stoinis and Maxwell came up with some late fireworks to romp Australia to victory.
Kusal Perera’s career seemed to stall before his late inclusion in the Asia Cup. The southpaw batter has finally left the rough days behind with his fourth fifty at the World Cup stage. Perera’s stroke-filled innings of 78 typied his strike rate of 104.05 at the World Cups. He enjoys his batting against the Aussies with an average of 47.16.
Sri Lanka were cruising until Kusal Perera was cast by a brilliant Pat Cummins delivery. Sri Lanka then suffered a collapse of epic proportions which saw them lose 9 wickets for just 52 runs. The wicket was turning a bit and Adam Zampa turned out to be an ordeal too hard for the Lankans.
The iconic duo of Steve Smith and David Warner is yet to score a fifty in this tournament, both got out early to brilliant Dilshan Madushanka deliveries. Mitchell Marsh heaved his first ball for a four and never looked back from that point on. Marsh posted his first fifty as an opener to give some stability to the Australian innings.
Josh Inglis finally justified his selection over the more experienced Carey with a controlled innings which brought the first fifty of his career. But the wicketkeeper-batsman was dismissed before the finishing line. Glenn Maxwell finished with a strike rate of 147.61 and Marcus Stonis with 200.00 to make the final phase of the chase a cakewalk.
The new ball pair of Starc and Hazlewood went for plenty during the early exchanges of the innings. Sri Lankan openers were targeting Josh Hazlewood from the onset. The towering bowler remained wicketless throughout the day with 36 runs conceded from 7 overs.
Adam Zampa has been a cause for concern because of his lackluster performance in the first two games. The leggie from New South Wales finally comes good with a four-fer in the third match. On a favorable pitch in Delhi, Zampa let the ball rip and turn to pose a constant source of threat. He now has 13 wickets against Sri Lanka at an average of 18.00.
Pat Cummins has come under a lot of criticism for his performance with the ball and his role as a captain. The skipper has silenced some of his doubters for now with another impressive showing. 39% of his deliveries pitched on good length and made life difficult for the opponent batters. The World Cup specialist Mitchell Starc bowled fast and then accurately to claim a double scalp.
Sri Lanka’s ineffectiveness with the ball has been evident in the first two games: they have conceded 773 runs from the 98.2 overs they have bowled, leaking 7.86 runs per over. But the little shining spot has been Dilshan Madushanka with the new ball. The left-armer wasted no time to make his mark on the game by trapping Warner and then Smith in front. Madushanka’s average of 23.82 indicates his knack for picking regular wickets with the new ball.
But the rest of the bowlers were poor once again. Lahiru Kumara was erratic with the new ball. Mahesh Theekshana did not seem to be bowling comfortably after recovering from the injury. Dunith Wellalage’s inexperience was exposed during the middle overs. The two chief operators with the spin allowed 103 runs from their combined 98 deliveries.
Injury to key players is hurting Sri Lanka’s aspiration for the World Cup and it is evident in their match statistics. Despite breaching the 300 mark twice in the first three games, their ineptitude with the ball has cost them the first two games. The penchant of giving away easy runs is also palpable with 18.33 extras given per game.
It was refreshing to see Australia’s fielding performance improving massively to the level that we are accustomed to seeing. The reliable hands of David Warner pulled off two stunning catches at deep to dismiss Nissanka and Mendis.
The moment of controversy came much earlier though as Mitchell Starc warned Kusal Perera against leaving the crease before the delivery. The Australian pacer did not run him out, he let the situation fizzle out. The much-disputed topic of “mankading” came to the fore once again.
Despite a feeble bowling effort, Chamika Karunaratne was the star of the second innings with the field. His bullet arm throw ran Mitchell Marsh out to give the Sri Lankans a much-needed breakthrough. He also caught Marnus Labuschagne to put a premature end to the batsman’s promising innings.
Pathum Nissanka played a brilliant knock of 61 runs early in the day. Kusal Perera rolled back the years with a scintillating knock of 78 runs. Adam Zampa finally announced his entry on the world stage with 4 wickets in the bag. The reliable pace bowling duo of Pat Cummins and Mitchell picked up two scalps each.
Dilshan Madushanka is a new face in the Sri Lankan team, but he is making memorable moments already with the ball. Madushanka picked up three wickets including the prized dismissals of Warner and Smith. Mitchell Marsh has managed to make his presence felt up the order with an aggressive fifty. Josh Inglis posted the second fifty of his career to steer Australia home.
Australia was reeling at 24 for 2 after two overs due to some impressive swing bowling from Dilshan Madushanka. The young left-armer trapped the seasoned warriors like Smith and Warner in front to put Australia in a perilous situation.
Marnus Labuschagne joined Mitchell Marsh in the middle to start the repair act. The duo started counterpunching by playing aggressive shots along the ground. This stand of 57 runs from 63 balls built a solid foundation for the next batsmen which eventually led to an easy Aussie victory.
Australia secured their first victory of the tournament by 5 wickets with 88 balls to spare.
Player of the Match
Adam Zampa was adjudged as the man of the match for his brilliant bowling spell that yielded 4 wickets for 47 runs.
|Sri Lanka Total: 209/10 (43.3 overs)||Australia Total: 215/5 (35.2 overs)|
|Kusal Perera 78 (82)||Josh Inglis 58 (59)|
|Pathum Nissanka 61 (67)||Mitchell Marsh 52 (51)|
|Adam Zampa 4/47||Dilshan Madushanka 3/38|
|Pat Cummins 2/32||Dunith Wellalage 1/53|
Australia finally got their World Cup campaign back on track after routing Sri Lanka which ultimately became a comfortable win. Sri Lankan innings started with a hundred-run stand, but ended with a stunning collapse. After some early trouble, the Australians regained their composure to emerge victorious with 88 balls left. The Aussies will look to continue their winning streak when they meet Pakistan on Friday. Sri Lanka’s hope of securing a semi-final looks bleaker after losing for the third time in as many games.