LUCKNOW: Adam Zampa’s four-fer, followed by Mitchell Marsh and Josh Inglis’ half-centuries led Australia to edge Sri Lanka by five wickets in the ongoing ICC World Cup 2023.
Five-time champions Australia registered their first victory by completing a modest 210-run pursuit in the 36th over for the loss of five wickets.
Australia, however, had a contrasting start to their run-chase as they were two down for just 24 runs in four overs after David Warner (11) and Steve Smith (0) perished in the same over.
Opening batter Mitchell Marsh was then joined by Marnus Labuschagne at the crease and they anchored the run chase with a sensible 57-run partnership.
Marsh, who was dominating the Sri Lankan bowlers, had a disappointing end to his brilliant knock as he was run out in the 15th over.
He scored 52 in 51 balls with the help of nine boundaries.
Labuschagne was then involved in yet another vital partnership for Australia as he put together a 77-run stand with Josh Inglis before falling victim to Dilshan Madushanka in the 29th over.
He remained a notable contributor for Australia with a cautious 40. His 50-ball knock included only two boundaries.
Josh Inglis spearheaded Australia’s run chase after Labuschagne’s departure before returning to the pavilion in the 34th over when his side still needed 18 runs.
He top-scored for Australia with a 59-ball 58 which featured five boundaries and a six.
Glenn Maxwell (31 off 21) and Marcus Stonis’ brisk cameos at the backend, steered Australia to their first victory in the ICC World Cup 2023, which lifted them to eighth in the standings.
Australia after winning the toss, invited Sri Lanka to bat first and struggled early on due to Sri Lankan openers’ onslaught.
Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Perera scored half-centuries to pile up 125 runs during their opening stand.
Nissanka completed his second consecutive half-century in 58 balls, while, Kusal Perera took a ball less to reach the milestone.
However, Australian captain Pat Cummins broke the stand, courtesy of a brilliant catch by David Warner to dismiss Nissanka.
Nissanka played a 61-run knock off 67 balls, featuring eight boundaries.
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Kusal Perera, then added 24 runs in the 32-run partnership with Kusal Mendis, until Pat Cummins castled him at a total of 157.
Perera top-scored with 78 off 82, with the help of 12 boundaries.
Sri Lankan batters could not recover from this and kept losing wickets at an alarming rate, courtesy of a brilliant bowling display by Australia.
Charith Asalanka fought a lone battle while losing partners on the other end as none of the last nine batters could reach double figures except him.
He scored 25 runs off 35 balls before being caught by Labuschagne off Maxwell to end the Sri Lankan innings at 209 in the 44th over.
Adam Zampa led the bowling attack, while Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc managed two wickets each.