Sun. May 19th, 2024

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LUCKNOW: The floundering Kangaroos gave themselves a semblance of stability at the Ekana Stadium on Monday, posting a five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka.
The win, made possible first by an inspired spell from Adam Zampa (4-47) and then solid batting performances by Josh Inglis and Mitchell Marsh, will take the Aussies two notches up to 8th position with one victory from three outings. The Lankans are at the ninth position with three defeats. They next play Pakistan on Friday.

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The Lankans started well after opting to bat, with a 125-run stand between Pathum Nissanka (61) and Kusal Perera (78) for the first wicket. But Australian leg-spinner Zampa finally found his rhythm as he applied the brakes on the Sri Lankan batting with a four-wicket haul, limiting them to 209.
Australia chased the target in 35.2 overs, giving a solid boost to their net run rate.
After a century-stand, just when it seemed that Sri Lankan batters had the measure of the Aussie bowling, skipper Pat Cummins struck two vital blows, getting the wickets of Perera and then of Nissanka to open up the flood gates.

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Thereafter, Zampa and Mitchell Starc got wickets in quick succession. Stand-in captain and leading batsman, Kusal Mendis fell cheaply for 9. From 157/2, wickets kept tumbling and Sri Lanka barely managed to cross the 200-run mark.
Apart from the openers and Charith Asalanka (25), no other Sri Lankan batter reached double digits. Zampa took four wickets in 8 overs.
Against India, he had bowled eight overs without any success, giving away 53 runs. He could claim just one wicket against South Africa, giving away 70 runs in 10 overs.

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The Australians, on the other hand , started on a disastrous note.
Dilshann Madushanka dismissed opener David Warner and Steven Smith in the fourth over of the innings to leave the Kangaroos languishing at 24 for 2. But Marsh posted a half-century off 36 balls before being run out by Chamika.

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A crucial knock by Marnus Labuschagne, who got 40 off 60 balls, stabilized the innings before Inglis (58 off 59) and Glenn Maxwell (31 off 21) ensured that the team would reach the target without any hiccups.

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