LUCKNOW, India (Monitoring): The long-awaited first win of the World Cup finally arrived in Lucknow on Wednesday as they beat Sri Lanka by five wickets.
After losing their first two matches to India and South Africa, Australia was in danger for qualifying semi final
However, the Australia presented a much-improved performance against Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s innings
Sri Lanka started well, with Kusal Perera and Pathum Nissanka putting on 125 for the first wicket.
But after Nissanka was dismissed for 40, Sri Lanka collapsed, losing their last 10 wickets for 84 runs.
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa was the pick of the Australian bowlers, finishing with figures of 4-34.
Australia then lost two early wickets in their chase, but Mitchell Marsh and Josh English steadied the innings with a partnership of 77.
Marsh was eventually dismissed for 52, but Inglis went on to make 58 before being caught at mid-wicket.
Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis then added some late fireworks, with Maxwell making 31 not out from 21 balls. On the other hand, Stoinis making 20 not out from just 10 balls to seal Australia’s victory.
The win was a much-needed boost for Australia, and it keeps them alive in the race for a place in the semi-finals.
They now face Pakistan in Bangalore on Friday, and a win in that match would put them in a strong position to qualify for the next round.
Sri Lanka’s collapse
Sri Lanka’s collapse from 125-0 to 209 all out was one of the most dramatic turnarounds of the tournament so far.
After a solid start from their openers, they lost their next six wickets for just 52 runs.
The collapse was sparked by the dismissal of Nissanka, who was caught on the long-on boundary by David Warner.
Zampa then took three wickets in quick succession including the key wickets of Perera and Dhananjaya de Silva.
Sri Lanka’s lower order offered some resistance but they were eventually bowled out for 209 in the 46th over.
Australia captain Pat Cummins was pleased with his team’s performance, saying, “We didn’t say much before the game, but after two losses we wanted to get back to where we know we can be with our high standards.”
“Their openers started really well and we were staring down the barrel of a big score. But we stuck together, all our bowlers did their job and to finish it off for 209 was a great effort.
“The outside noise doesn’t bother us too much. We know what we can do as a squad.”
“I hope that this result can kick us forward. All three aspects of the game came together today and we need to keep that up.”
Sri Lanka captain Kusal Mendis was disappointed with his team’s performance, but he said that they would learn from their mistakes and come back stronger in their next match.
“Congratulations to our opening partnership,” he said. “But, after that our top and middle-order were struggling, that’s why I think we ended up getting the lower score – 290 or 300 would be defendable.
“Last two games we batted really well. Today was a bit of a struggle. We have six more matches where we can do better. I have confidence in our batting unit. Madushanka bowled really well too.”