Published on: Oct 17, 2023
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa registered figures of 4/47 from eight overs as Australia registered their first win of the 2023 World Cup by beating Sri Lanka by five wickets in match number 14 at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Monday, October 16. Bowling first after losing the toss, Australia bundled out Sri Lanka for 209 in 43.3 overs. The Aussies then chased down the target in 35.2 overs.
Sri Lanka got off to a brilliant start with the bat as their openers Kusal Perera (78 off 82) and Pathum Nissanka (61 off 67) added 125 at a brisk pace. However, they suffered a shocking batting collapse to lose nine wickets for 52 runs, with Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins also chipping in with two wickets each.
Perera and Nissanka were impressive at the top, finding boundaries at regular intervals and keeping the strike moving. The stand was broken when Nissanka miscued a short ball and was smartly caught by David Warner in the deep. The Australian skipper also knocked over Perera as the Sri Lankan opener hit one across the line. It was all Australia from that point onwards.
The in-form Kusal Mendis (9) top-edged a slog-sweep off Zampa, while Sadeera Samarawickrama (8) was trapped lbw by the Aussie leggie. Starc took out Dhananjaya de Silva (7), Dunith Wellalage (2) was run out attempting a risky run, while Chamika Karunaratne (2) and Maheesh Theekshana (0) were trapped lbw by Zampa. Charith Asalanka chipped in with 25 but was last man out, caught off Glenn Maxwell.
Chasing 210, Australia lost David Warner (11) and Steve Smith (0) to Dilshan Madushanka in the fourth over of the innings. Mitchell Marsh (52 off 51) and Marnus Labuschagne (40 off 60), however, put Australia in command, adding 57 runs for the third wicket.
Marsh, who hit nine fours in his half-century, was run out against the run of the play. Labuschagne and Josh Inglis (58 off 59) then added 77 runs for the fourth wicket as Australia breezed towards their first win of the 2023 World Cup. Labuschagne perished to a soft dismissal, meekly pulling Madushanka to mid-wicket.
Inglis also fell before the finish line, perishing to Wellalage. Maxwell (31 not out off 21) and Marcus Stoinis (20 not out off 10) completed the formalities. The latter brought up victory in style, launching Wellalage down the ground for a maximum.
–By A Cricket Correspondent