Sri Lanka vs. Australia
|Date & Time||Saturday June 15, 2019, 5:30 AM (EDT)|
Sri Lanka 6.50 Australia 1.11
Sri Lanka will take on Australia at The Oval on Saturday with both teams having experienced very different starts to the 2019 World Cup.
Australia sit just two points ahead of Sri Lanka in the table after four matches. The Aussies have won three of their four World Cup matches so far with only India denying them a 100% record at the tournament. Sri Lanka lost their opening match before beating Afghanistan and then failing to play a single ball in their following two matches.
The Sri Lankans have the weather to thanks for two of their four points as their matches against Pakistan and Bangladesh were abandoned due to rain. They were considered to be the underdogs in both of those matches and will most likely be thankful to come away with two draws and two points where they would have probably come away with nothing if the matches had gone ahead.
In the two matches we have seen Sri Lanka play so far, they haven’t looked like the threat they once were in ODI cricket. They opened their account with a 10-wicket thrashing at the hands of New Zealand, posting just 136 runs from 29.2 overs. They then unconvincingly beat a poor Afghanistan side to claim their only win of the tournament.
On the other hand, Australia look like genuine contenders for the trophy. They began their campaign with a comfortable 7-wicket victory over Afghanistan. They then beat the West Indies in a much more competitive match at Trent Bridge; Nathan Coulter-Nile was the star of the show smashing 92 runs from just 60 balls.
Australia were beaten by a magnificent Indian display in their third match before bouncing back to beat the inconsistent Pakistanis by 41 runs. David Warner has been in supreme touch at this year’s tournament and claimed a classy century in their last outing.
Australia have been impressive in all areas. David Warner (255), Aaron Finch (190) and Steve Smith (170) are all amongst the top ten run scorers at the World Cup and will certainly be looking to add to their tallies against Sri Lanka. Bowlers Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc both have nine wickets to their name after four matches and look extremely dangerous with the ball.
We haven’t seen much of Sri Lanka yet but what we have seen suggests they won’t have enough quality to trouble the Aussies on Saturday. They failed to take a single wicket in their first match as New Zealand reached their target of 137 after just 16.1 overs. Their bowling was much better in their second match but it was against much weaker opposition in Afghanistan.
Lasith Malinga bowled brilliantly that day, claiming figures of 3/39 from a hostile 6.4 overs. Nuwan Pradeed also impressed against Afghanistan and they will need to be on top from against Australia if they are to cause them any problems. They will also need their batsmen to step up and make some runs.
Overall, this Australian team is far stronger in every department and should have no trouble cruising past Sri Lanka to claim their fourth victory of the World Cup.