Finch century spearheads Australia to thumping win over Sri Lanka
A marvellous century to skipper Aaron Finch has helped Australia move to the top of the table in the ICC Cricket World Cup after a thumping 87-run win over Sri Lanka at the Oval.
Australia, who are still yet to win a toss in the tournament, were sent in to bat with Finch immediately relishing the chance to pad up and plunder – and plunder he did.
Finch raised his bat after 97 balls before charging on further still, his glorious innings ultimately coming to an end on 153 runs off 132 deliveries, the third highest score ever from an Aussie in a world cup.
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The Aussie skipper’s powerful opening performance laid a platform for the men in Green and Gold to build a formidable total of 347 runs off their 50 overs for the loss of only 7 wickets, with Steve Smith contributing 73 with the bat.
Sri Lanka exploded from the blocks as captain and opener Dimuth Karunaratne accepted the scale of the task at hand and got down to business, building an opening partnership of 115 with before Mitchell Starc knocked over the off stump of opening partner Kusal Perera.
Karunaratne would fall 3 runs short of notching up a century, caught in the gully by Glenn Maxwell for 97 after mistiming a cut shot to a Kane Richardson delivery.
Sri Lanka succumbed to the sustained pressure of Australia’s lethal bowling attack, failing to build any significant partnerships after Karunaratne threw away his wicket, losing their remaining 8 wickets for just 95 runs.
Mitchell Starc was characteristically ruthless, chalking up 4/55 from his quota of 10 overs. Kane Richardson finished with 3/47, with Pat Cummins taking 2/38.
The win is Australia’s fourth from five matches and puts Australia on top of the table and within grasp of securing a semi-finals birth.
The Aussies now head back to Trent Bridge before Thursday’s clash with Bangladesh.