Aaron Finch played a awesome knock of 153 off 132 balls with 15 fours and 5 sixes in an innings full of glorious strokeplay to lead Australia to finally a convincing win over Srilanka but not before SriLanka openers themselves put on an amazing batting display against the highly rated Australian pace attack of Starc and Cummins. Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne (97 off 109balls) and Kusal Parera (52 off 35 balls) came out firing on all cylinders to put on a 115 run opening stand taking on the much vaunted Aussie pace attack by the scuff of the neck with savage strokeplay to all parts of Oval. The Australian attack was smashed all over the place and it took a long time for their bowlers to regain their composure. Glen Maxwell started off by bowling some tidy overs but it was not until Starc yorked a dangerous looking Parera ,that Aussies began to regain composure. Later Karunaratne fell 3 short of a 100 and from there on the Aussies gradually worked through the Lankan middle order and finally dismissing them for 247 to win by 87 runs with Starc picking up 4/55, Cummins 2/38 and Kane Richardson 3/47.
Earlier riding on Finch’s 100 , Aussies piled up 334/7 with Smith scoring a fluent 73 and Maxwell 45 off 25 balls at the end with some belligerent strokes.
Australia’s inability to break through the top half of Lankan batting inspite of their attack being rated highly will certainly raise some eyebrows amongst their management. There have been instances in this World cup already whereby their bowlers struggled to get wickets whenever a strong partnership was developing. We will have to wait and see how their coaching group deal with this issue .
Elswhere in Cardiff in a rain marred game Afghanistan managed 125 vs South Africa with Rashid Khan hitting belligerent 35 balls with Tahir taking 4 wickets and Morris 3 and South Africa reached the Duckworth Lewis Target by scoring 131/1 with Decock hitting 68. South Africa thus getting their 1st win in this World Cup