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ICC World Cup 2019, Australia vs Sri Lanka: Top five player battles - Warner faces Malinga challenge

As for Sri Lanka, their last two contests were called off due to rain and they will look to kick-start their campaign by getting the better of the defending champions.

cricket Updated: Jun 14, 2019 20:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
ICC World Cup 2019,Australia vs Sri Lanka,David Warner
Australia's David Warner (L) and captain Aaron Finch.(AFP)

Australia will look to continue their good run in the ongoing edition of the ICC World Cup 2019 when they take on Sri Lanka in their fifth group stage clash at the iconic Oval Stadium in London on Saturday. ((ICC World Cup 2019: Full Coverage))

As for Sri Lanka, their last two contests were called off due to rain and they will look to kick-start their campaign by getting the better of the defending champions. Let’s take a look at some important player battles that could decided the course of the match –

David Warner vs Lasith Malinga

Opener David Warner has been in good form and he will play a big role if Australia are to post a big score in the match. The task of getting rid of him early will fall to experienced pacer Lasith Malinga, who holds a good record against the southpaw. Warner has scored just 96 runs off 102 Malinga deliveries and he has been dismissed by the pacer four times.

Aaron Finch vs Suranga Lakmal

Skipper Aaron Finch struck a blistering half-century in Australia’s last match and he will look to build on that against Sri Lanka. Early on in the innings, Finch will have to deal with the pace of Suranga Lakmal and the battle could go either way. The two have never faced each other in ODIs and expect sparks to fly when they do so in this crunch World Cup match.

Also Read: Sri Lanka predicted XI against Australia - One change likely

Steve Smith vs Thisara Perera

Steve Smith has been leading Australia’s charge in the middle-order and if Sri Lankan bowlers get rid of the openers early, Smith will be tasked with the responsibility of building the innings. Thisara Perera has caused problems to Smith in the past and he will look to do the same in this clash. Off 59 Perera deliveries, Smith has scored 49 runs and has been dismissed twice.

Dimuth Karunaratne vs Mitchell Starc

Sri Lanka rely heavily on their skipper and opener Dimuth Karunaratne for runs but he will have to come up against the pace and guile of Mitchell Starc, who has been among the wickets in the tournament. Although the two have never come face to face in ODIs, Starc has gotten rid of him eight times off 180 deliveries in Tests and that will certainly play on the mind of the Sri Lankan.

Also Read: Australia predicted XI against Sri Lanka - Tough call for Aaron Finch

Kusal Mendis vs Pat Cummins

Like Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins to has been among the wickets for Australia and he poses a big threat for Sri Lanka in the upcoming clash. Kusal Mendis is likely to come face to face against Cummins and that will be an interesting battle to watch out for in this match. Cummins has dismissed Mendis twice in Tests but the duo have never faced each other in ODIs.

First Published: Jun 14, 2019 20:07 IST