Sitting pretty in the top section of the points table, Australia will look to consolidate their favourable position when they take on lowly Sri Lanka in Match 20 of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 in London today.
Match 20: Sri Lanka v Australia
Venue: The Oval, London
Date: Saturday, 15 June
Time: 02:30pm PST, 09:30am GMT
With three wins from four matches, Australia increasingly look like strong contenders for a spot in the final four, but these are still early days and they will want to keep the foot on the pedal when they take on Sri Lanka at the Oval to build on that early advantage.
The good thing for Australia is that they’ve managed to win most of their games despite, seemingly, not hitting maximum potential. But the good news for them is that pieces have begun falling in place.
With David Warner batting with characteristic fluency for his century in the match against Pakistan, Australia’s top-order suddenly looks markedly more formidable, while the middle-order has been in good form to begin with.
The bowling has a well-rounded look to it as well. The one issue for Australia, though, is in the spin department. Adam Zampa has been inconsistent and got the axe in the previous game. Glenn Maxwell was entrusted with bulk of the slower bowling duties in his absence, but was expensive. Aaron Finch’s left-arm spin reaped wickets, but Australia will know they can’t keep relying on the part-timers to fire. Perhaps, we might see Nathan Lyon come in at the Oval?
Sri Lanka, meanwhile, are placed fifth on the points table with one victory and a couple of washouts. In their two completed games, they’ve not looked a very challenging side, but could change perceptions about their chances with a solid performance against Australia.
It’s in the batting department that they need most work as they’ve been bowled out for measly scores of 136 and 201 so far. Dimuth Karunaratne, the skipper, and Kusal Perera have been among the runs, but they need more contributors, and fast.
Things should be fairly bright at the Oval on Saturday although clouds will make appearances every now and then. A few showers can be expected too, but we should still get a game in.
The pitch has been a good one for batting, and there’s no reason to believe that will change.