Sri Lanka and Australia meet in a one-day international for the first time in three years in the first of today’s double helping at the Cricket World Cup.
Australia have the chance to leap to the top of the standings with victory at The Oval, where a fresh pitch and dry conditions await.
Meanwhile, South Africa and Afghanistan face each other for the first time in ODI history in today’s later game in Cardiff.
The group match will be Sri Lanka’s first in 11 days after two abandonments because of rain in Bristol.
Follow Saturday’s action with Standard Sport…
AUS 132/2 (28.0 overs)
Finch 73, Smith 17
The singles coming a little more freely now as both men accepted the easy one on offer down to third man, before Smith clips square off his pads for another.
One off each of the first five balls, in fact, and then four more added with the last as Smith finds the gap with a fine cut.
AUS 119/2 (26.0 overs)
Finch 69, Smith 9
The decrease in run rate has the score predictor back below 300. A better over from the batsmen, who rotate the strike well, running hard, before Smith clips the final ball away for four.
Nine off it.
AUS 108/2 (24.0 overs)
Finch 66, Smith 1
So it’ll be up to Steve Smith, alongside opener Finch to get things back on track and try to up the scoring a bit.
That’s more like it! Some intent from Finch for the first time in a while, pulling for a huge six and his first boundary in more than 40 balls.
AUS 97/1 (22.0 overs)
Finch 56, Khawaja 10
Well Pradeep has found a bit of menace from somewhere here and they think Khawaja’s nicked that, big appeal!
Umpire unmoved and with only one review remaining they decide against sending it upstairs. The run rate has really been checked in these last few overs and it’s been feisty, hostile stuff from the seamer.
AUS 92/1 (20.0 overs)
Finch 54, Khawaja 8
Another tidy over from de Silva before Pradeep returns from the other end with a peach of an opening delivery, moving away from the left-handed Khawaja and just missing out on the edge.
Next ball is a little wider and Khawaja flays at it but it’s safe, wide of slip, and brings four for the first boundary in a little while.
AUS 80/1 (17.0 overs)
Finch 49, Khawaja 0
Usman Khawaja walks out to the middle and another quick wicket might just spark a bit of life back into what was looking a very one-sided affair.
Then again, another wicket brings Steve Smith to the crease.
AUS 79/0 (16.0 overs)
Finch 48, Warner 26
For all the criticism he’s already had, David Warner has just gone top of the run charts at this tournament, overtaking Joe Root, albeit from an innings more.
That’s drinks to bring a pretty routine opening spell to a close.
AUS 76/0 (15.0 overs)
Finch 46, Warner 25
A bit of spin to try and make something happen as Dhananjaya de Silva comes into the attack for the first time. Three singles from it and just the hint of a bit of turn but not much more than that to get excited about.
AUS 73/0 (14.0 overs)
Finch 44, Warner 24
I don’t want to get too down on Sri Lanka because we all knew coming into this tournament that they lacked talent in a big way, but this has been utterly toothless so far.
They’ll be chasing way above 300 if this carries on, and they’re a little fortunate that Warner is once again in tortoise mode, with his 24 coming off 42 balls.
AUS 63/0 (12.0 overs)
Finch 37, Warner 21
Perera to continue and there’s a very loud, prolonged lbw appeal off the first ball. They take an age to decide before going for the review just in the nick of time.
The big debate here is whether it’s hit Warner’s pad before the bat – there’s a millisecond in it, but I think it’s just pad first. Ah won’t matter – umpire’s call on impact via ball-tracking and the not out verdict stands.
AUS 57/0 (11.0 overs)
Finch 35, Warner 20
End of the powerplay means a bit more protection for the boundary ropes that have already taken a bit of a pummelling – nine fours in those first ten overs.
The Aussies pair happy to nudge it around and rotate the strike as they pick up four off the next over.
AUS 53/0 (10.0 overs)
Finch 34, Warner 17
Thisara Perera welcomed into the attack with another misfield – Finch’s drive goes straight through the man at cover and brings four runs to immediately ease the pressure brought by a quiet over.
Nothing wrong with the fielding off the next ball, driven through point to bring up the 50 partnership. That’s the end of the opening powerplay.
AUS 44/0 (9.0 overs)
Finch 26, Warner 16
First bowling change of the morning brings Udana into the attack with Sri Lanka needing a breakthrough.
That’s an excellent start from the seamer, just one off the over after 20 had been conceded across the previous two.
AUS 43/0 (8.0 overs)
Finch 26, Warner 15
A steady start from Warner, who has eight off 21 while Finch pushes the pace at the other end. As I write that though, he plays a perfectly timed square cut and finds the gap for four.
Pradeep changes it up with a bouncer, but he’s caught his wicketkeeper unawares and is lucky not to see that go for four leg byes. Another expensive over though.
AUS 33/0 (7.0 overs)
Finch 25, Warner 8
Well he’s played a few of those beauties already and Aaron Finch looks in the mood here as he drives wonderfully down the ground again, causing the umpire to take evasive action and picking up four.
Ugh, that one’s nowhere near as good but a horrible mid-field from Perera, who made that cracking stop in the last over, means it’s going for four anyway. Ten off the over.
AUS 23/0 (6.0 overs)
Finch 15, Warner 8
The biggest cheer of the day from a crowd that is edging towards capacity to acknowledge an excellent diving stop from Thisara Perera.
The score predictor has it at 3030 in these early stages, which would surely be far too high for this Sri Lankan batting line-up to get near. Wickets are the order of the day.
AUS 20/0 (5.0 overs)
Finch 14, Warner 6
All looking a little easy for this opening pair – bar that second-ball scare for Warner, there’s not been any real jeopardy in this first five overs.
Three off that one from Malinga.
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Publish date : 2019-06-15 11:14:00