Australia Books Quarter-Final Berth

Australia secured a quarter-final berth from Pool A after defeating Sri Lanka by 64 runs at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday in the ICC Cricket World Cup.  After winning the toss, the Australians opted to bat first.  The Aussies suffered an early blow when David Warner was dismissed by Lasith Malinga for 9 in the fourth over.

Steve Smith and Aaron Finch got off to a good start by scoring early bounadries but Seekuge Prasanna found himself in the attack early and he removed Finch in the eighth over.  Smith started to build up a steady stand with Michael Clarke, with the pair steering the co-hosts passed the 100 mark.  Both batsmen reached their half centuries but thereafter Clarke was cleaned up by Malinga and then Smith followed through a Tillakaratne Dilshan delivery.

Glenn Maxwell smashed his half century in 36 balls and similarly scored the second-fastest World Cup century in only 51 balls.  Shane Watson, playing in his new role in the middle-order smashed 68.  Maxwell’s explosive century after Clarke and Smith’s solid stand helped Australia to a total of 376/9.

The T20 World Champions started poorly in their run chase as Mitchell Johnson dismissed Lahiru Thirimanne in the second over.  Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara started to build a crucial partnership for the Sri Lankans.  Dilshan, in terrific form, hit Johnson for six consecutive boundaries.

Sangakkara passed 14 000 one-day runs as he brought up his 94th ODI fifty.  Thereafter, Dilshan also scored his half century.  The pair steered the islanders to 135 as James Faulkner struck Dilshan in front for 62 runs.

Mahela Jayawardene followed as he was run out for 19.  Sangakkara cracked his third World Cup century on the trot, but was dismissed soon after for 104 by Faulkner.  After a brilliant fifty, Dinesh Chandimal retired injured, and was replaced by Thisara Perera.  The 1996 champion proceeded to lose four wickets in a spell of four overs, firmly putting them on the back foot.

Chandimal did not come back out, and Australia won an entertaining affair to confirm a quarter-final berth.