Riding on Glenn Maxwell’s maiden century, Australia beat spirited Sri Lanka by 64 runs to secure their place in knockout stages of the cricket World Cup at MCG, Sydney. Electing to bat first, Australia posted a mammoth 376 for nine against miserable Sri Lankan blowing. Aussies showcased their batting fire power to send warning to other teams in the tournament.
Veteran Kumar Sangakkara and Dilshan tried to make a match of it and gave a blistering start to Sri Lankan innings. In the process Sangakkara notched up his 24th ODI century and completed his 14,000 runs in the format, only after Sachin Tendulkar.
After Sanga and Dilshan dismissal, Dinesh Chandimal kept Sri Lanka’s hope alive with daring 24-ball 52, but the batsman was forced to retire due to hamstring injury. The hopes were dashed with his injury.
Earlier in the day, Maxwell smashed 100 of 51-ball, to register fasted century for Australia. The Aussies scoreboard was studded with three half-centuries. Skipper Michael Clarke, Steve Smith and all-rounder Shane Watson scored half-centuries in front of a packed house.
Sri Lankan tried their level best but their efforts proved to be much less than what was required, with asking rate rising with each delivery.
When Chandimal walked out, Sri Lanka were 280 for four in 42 overs, with the game heading towards a tense finish. But the Aussie bowlers capitalised by taking a couple of quick wickets to shut the door on the opposition.