WORLD CUP: Finch (153) takes Australia top of the table

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Australia moved to the top of the World Cup group table as heroics from Aaron Finch and Mitchell Starc secured an 87-run win over Sri Lanka.

Finch’s 153 off 132 balls helped pile on 334-7 at The Oval, with Steve Smith adding 73. Sri Lanka got off to a flying start as captain Dimuth Karunaratne made 97 and Kusal Perera 52.

But Starc’s 4-55 and 3-47 from Kane Richardson ripped out their middle order to leave them 247 all out.

SCOREBOARD: http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8039/scorecard/1144502/australia-vs-sri-lanka-20th-match-icc-cricket-world-cup-2019

A fourth win from five games moves Australia a point clear of New Zealand at the top of the table – a position they may retain until their next game on Thursday.

Despite having now beaten Afghanistan, West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, they have had their concerns on both the batting and bowling front.

Starc’s figures took his tournament wicket tally to 13 and proved equally as vital as his closing-over spells against both West Indies and Pakistan.

Australia, whose only defeat so far came against India, next face Bangladesh at Trent Bridge on Thursday knowing another win could see them put one foot in the last four.

Sri Lanka’s second defeat from five games, having had their past two fixtures abandoned without a ball being bowled, leaves their quest for a semi-final place in the balance.

They next face hosts England at Headingley on Friday. (BBC Sport)

 

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