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27 May, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Champs Australia look to continue ascendancy

ICC-CRICKET.COM, LONDON
Champs Australia look to continue ascendancy
Australia’s Steve Smith bats during the 2019 Cricket World Cup warm up match against England at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on Saturday. AFP Photo

After defeating the hosts, and World Cup favourites, England in the first warm-up, Aaron Finch's men will look to sustain their brilliance against a hurting Sri Lankan outfit today in Southampton.

Australia’s bowling was good too – it has to be if you're able to defend 297 against this England batting line-up – but that hardly comes as a surprise. Even during their slump, the bowling was never really an issue. But what is impressive was that they were able to put the brakes on England even in the absence of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, who will lead the attack in the tournament proper.

While the signs are clear from the five-time World Cup winners, they're not as bright from Sri Lanka's perspective. In their first warm-up fixture, they conceded 338 to South Africa and then folded for 251.

On a positive note, Dimuth Karunaratne found runs once again, with a valiant 87, while the experienced Angelo Mathews notched up 64. Sri Lanka will hope that runs from the leadership group can have a positive impact on the others.

David Warner, the left-hander was in outrageous form during the Indian Premier League, but has experienced a mild slump since, with 96 runs in five one-day innings. But his knock of 43 against England looked promising. Can he build on it and make a big one?

If Sri Lanka are to do well at the World Cup, they'll need their most experienced batsman to be among the runs. Mathews' knock against South Africa had signs of a man in form, and if he scores well against Australia's top-quality bowling attack, it'll further boost his confidence.

The forecast says there will be a healthy cloud cover, but chances of rain are slim. The swing merchants will fancy their chances in these overhead conditions, but the pitch itself will be good for batting. An even contest is on the cards.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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