Usman Khawaja's 89 allays injury fears as Australia win

Australia v Sri Lanka, World Cup warm-up, Southampton May 27, 2019

Australia 241 for 5 (Khawaja 89, Vandersay 2-51) beat Sri Lanka 239 for 8 (Thirimanne 56, Zampa 2-39) by five wickets

David Warner was rested due to leg soreness and Steven Smith did all his batting in the nets, as Australia's other big names Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc revved into rhythm and form in a comprehensive defeat of Sri Lanka in the World Cup warm-up match at the Hampshire Bowl.

Usman Khawaja compiled an attractive 89 to press his case for the No. 3 batting spot, given intense competition for places that see him effectively duelling with Shaun Marsh for one spot, guiding Australia most of the way to victory with 31 balls to spare.

Using their pace and bounce to good effect, Cummins and Starc conceded a mere 19 runs from the final four overs of Sri Lanka's innings to restrict Dimuth Karunaratne's team to a mere 239 for 8, after they struggled to build momentum against Australia's varied bowling attack on a slow and wearing pitch - the same one used for Australia's earlier win over England on Saturday.

Combined figures of 2 for 61 from 17 overs left Starc (still recovering from a throat ailment) and Cummins in decent fettle ahead of their tournament opener against Afghanistan, their speed nicely complemented by the spin of Adam Zampa, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell and Smith. Marcus Stoinis, too, showed signs of value, swinging the ball enough to discomfort set batsmen.

For the Sri Lankans, a succession of starts were wasted, only Lahiru Thirimanne going past 50, and just one half-century stand being raised, by Dhananjaya de Silva and Thisara Perera. They managed 38 in three overs bowled by Lyon and Kane Richardson, before the returns of Starc and Cummins put a definitive clamp on the innings.

On a fine, cool morning in Southampton, Karunaratne won the toss to bat first, but found boundaries hard to come by in the face of Australia's discipline. Richardson's bouncer extracted the first wicket, Dimuth not pulling out of a hook shot in time to avoid a thin edge behind that was missed by the umpire Nigel Llong but picked up via the DRS.

Kusal Perera was pinned lbw by Maxwell, the over after the allrounder had spun a delivery sharply with artful variation, and Thirimanne's elegant innings, punctuated by several aristocratic glides through the off side field off the back foot, was ended when Lyon skidded an off-break bowled down the seam into his off stump.

While the remainder of Sri Lanka's batting order all managed to get to double figures, there was never a sense that they were getting away from the Australians, a conclusion backed up by the serene progress of the chase engineered by Aaron Finch's team.

If there was any concern for the Australians it arrived in the form of Nuwan Pradeep's nip-backer to get Finch lbw, in exactly the sort of fashion most teams will be looking to dismiss him as per the successes of Jasprit Bumrah for India during the Australian summer.

Every other member of the top six looked at home, batting around Khawaja's spinal innings, though there may have been some annoyance at how Marsh (lofting to long on), Maxwell and Stoinis (both tugging catches to deep midwicket) rather gave their innings away. Khawaja was given out stumped when the third umpire deduced his foot was on the crease but not behind it, leaving Cummins to collect the remaining runs in the company of Alex Carey.

Nevertheless, Australia have won all three of their warm-up matches in England - they are clearly eager for the main event to start. Sri Lanka appear to have a few more problems on their hands, but all will be forgotten should they win their opener against New Zealand.

Disclaimer: This news is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Cricday. Source Link