Australia opened their account in the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 by beating Sri Lanka by five wickets at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow, on Monday. Adam Zampa was crowned player of the match for his four-wicket haul that completely derailed the Lankan innings.
Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first and their opening duo of Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Perera got them off to a flying start with an opening stand of 125 runs. The Australian attack looked completely out of form for the first 20 overs, until pacer Pat Cummins found the breakthrough to dismiss Nissanka. He returned to bowl out Perera for 78 and it was a piece of cake for the five-time ODI world champions after that.
Sri Lanka’s middle order failed to step up except for Charith Asalanka, who provided some resistance with 25 runs off 38 deliveries. Zampa relished it, and Starc also supported with a couple of dismissals to bowl out Sri Lanka for 209 with more than six overs to spare.
The Australian innings started on a shaky note with Sri Lankan pacer Dilshan Madhushanka striking twice in the fourth over to dismiss David Warner and Steve Smith. However, half-centuries from Mitchell Marsh (52) and Josh Inglis (58) steadied their ship before Glenn Maxwell (31*) and Marcus Stoinis (20*) stayed on until the end to lead the chase in style.
“My job in this team is to take wickets in the middle order. I didn’t quite do that last game and put pressure on the death bowlers. Today I feel better, but it’s nice to come out on the winning side. “It took me a while to get into the game, I just have to keep that wicketkeeping attitude no matter if I lose a few runs,” Zampa told the rest of the match.
Brief scores: Australia 215/5 (Josh Inglis 58, Dilshan Madhushanka 3/38) beat Sri Lanka 209 (Kusal Perera 78, Adam Zampa 4/47) by 5 wickets
First publication: October 17, 2023 12:11 a.m. STI