Australia claimed their first win of the ongoing 2023 World Cup campaign, defeating Sri Lanka by five wickets in Lucknow on Monday. Chasing 210, Australia cruised to 215/5 in 35.2 overs. Mitchell Marsh and Josh Inglis led the side with their half-centuries. Inglis slammed 58 off 59 deliveries. Then Glenn Maxwell (31*) and Marcus Stoinis (20*) wrapped up the chase for Australia with some excellent boundaries.
In the first inning, Adam Zampa led the Australian bowling side by scalping four wickets to help his side fold Sri Lanka for 209 in 43.3 overs. Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bat. They got off to to a strong start as the opening pair of Kusal Perera and Pathum Nissanka added 125 runs in 21.4 overs. Pat Cummins came up with the first blow. He removed Nissanka for 61(67) and then Perera for 78(82).
Adam Zampa then removed Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama for single-digit scores to shift the momentum towards Australia. There was also a brief rain delay in between but Australian bowlers completely dominated the proceedings. Apart from Zampa, Mitchell Starc returned with two scalps, while Glenn Maxwell picked one wicket.
Sri Lankan bowlers led by Dilshan Madushanka clinched some wickets to keep the chase tight but didn't had much to defend. Dunith Wellalage dismissed Josh Inglis while Dilshan Madushanka clinched his 3rd wicket to depart Marnus Labuschagne after already wrapping the wickets of Warner and Smith.
Josh Inglis smashed 50 and looked wonderful under pressure. Sri Lankan bowlers attempted to get back in the game, it was too late to make a comeback. Sri Lanka's quick fielding ensured that Mitchell Marsh was run out and the Australian low run chase was again in jeopardy. Josh Inglis joined the chase and made it easy to chase the low total.
Inglis slammed 58 off 59 deliveries after Marsh scored 52 off 51 deliveries. Marsh provided the Aussies a quick start despite losing wickets on the other side. After their dismissals, it was Maxwell and Stoinis who took their side over the line. It was not a convincing victory but they will take it especially ahead of the game against Pakistan.
"Nissanka and Perera batted well. After that we struggled and got a low score. 290 or 300 would have been a good score. We couldn't rotate the strike much. Last two games we batted really well. Today the batters struggled. I have confidence in my batting unit. I think Madushanka bowled really well. He gave us two early wickets. We can field better. I hope Matheesha can recover quickly," Sri Lanka skipper Kusal Mendis said after the defeat.
"Nothing said much on the back of two losses. The energy on the field was great. They started very well. We bowled decently. We stayed at it. The bowlers hit the deck hard. I think high 300 was par on that. There is a lot of people watching this. Outside noise doesn't bother us a lot. All parts of the game came together today. We would want to keep it up," Australia skipper Pat Cummins after win.
Australia Playing XI: Mitchell Marsh, David Warner, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Inglis(w), Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins(c), Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
Sri Lanka Playing XI: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis(w/c), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Chamika Karunaratne, Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Lahiru Kumara, Dilshan Madushanka