ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Warm Up Match - Australia beat Sri Lanka by 5 wickets
Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bat against Australia at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton today in their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 warm up match.
Sri Lanka 239 - 8 (Lahiru Thirimanne 56, Dhananjaya de Silva 43; Adam Zampa 2-39, Steve Smith 1-9)
Australia 241- 5 (Usman Khawaja 89, Glenn Maxwell 36, Shaun Marsh 34; Jeffrey Vandersay 2-51)
Result – Australia won by 5 wickets
Opting to bat first, Sri Lanka scored 239-8 with Lahiru Thirimanne 56 and Dhananjaya de Silva 43 top scoring and Adam Zampa 2-39 the top wicket taker for Australia, with the other bowlers chipping in with one wicket including Steve Smith (1-9)
In reply, Australia chased down the runs, scoring Australia 241-5 with Usman Khawaja 89, Glenn Maxwell 36 and Shaun Marsh 34 the top run getters and Jeffrey Vandersay 2-51 the main wicket taker for Sri Lanka.
• Usman Khawaja scored 89 as Australia beat Sri Lanka by five wickets at the Hampshire Bowl
• Australia are defending champions and have enjoyed a strong 2019 in ODI cricket
The winning feeling is back in Australian cricket and batsman Usman Khawaja knows their form is no fluke.
Khawaja scored a fluent 89 as Australia continued their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup preparations in positive fashion, downing Sri Lanka by five wickets at the Hampshire Bowl.
With a 3-2 series win in India also on their 2019 formbook, this upturn in performances has not come out of the blue.
Confidence is therefore high as the defending champions look to hold onto their crown, hopeful a positive dressing room can translate to victories on the biggest stage of all.
“Behind the scenes we’ve put in a lot of hard work, you need that to be able to compete at this level,” said Khawaja.
“Everyone has put in a lot of effort. We had India over in our place for a series and while we lost, that was a big turning point for us.
“They’re one of the best sides and we gave them a run for their money. Then we went to India, lost the first two matches and went on to win the series. We always had the confidence we could do that.
“Winning is a habit, we say that a lot among the team. We want to keep that going, we might have lost that before, but we might have found that again heading into the World Cup.
“I know what it feels like when you’re losing and I know what it’s like when winning, it’s obvious which one you want.
“This time last year there was a lot of talk about our batting, everyone has their different plans – it’s just about winning games and we’re managing to do that.”
Khawaja had a scare when a blow to the knee brought a premature end to his day in the field, recovering suitably to profit with the bat as Australia successfully chased 240.
Lahiru Thirimanne was the only other player in the match to pass 50 with Khawaja enjoying his spell as an opener, despite watching skipper Aaron Finch depart early.
The make-up of Australia’s top order remains up for discussion but whatever position the World Cup rookie takes, he remains happy to fulfil his role for the team.
The 32-year-old added: “I wasn’t thinking about securing an opening berth, we’ve looked to be clinical and not take it lightly. We’ve won three warm-ups here, and it was more about us continuing the winning ways in Dubai and India.
“I was concentrating on contributing to that winning run – some things are just out of your control
“It’s a mindset thing, opening is slightly different to three which in itself is different to five.
“The beauty of our team is that guys can bat in different positions, we’ve changed it around but we’ve all contributed which is the important thing.
“I do love opening, that’s where I’ve batted my whole life in one-day cricket. But it’s about winning games and doing the best of the team – I’d rather score a duck and win than a century and lose.”
Australia - Aaron Finch(c), Adam Zampa, Alex Carey(wk), David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Jason Behrendorff, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins, Shaun Marsh, Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja
Sri Lanka - Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Dimuth Karunaratne(c), Kusal Perera(wk), Lasith Malinga, Milinda Siriwardana, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Thirimanne, Avishka Fernando, Jeevan Mendis
©Cricket World 2019