Australia’s Zampa finds his groove to stun Sri Lankan batters


Australia’s Zampa finds his groove to stun Sri Lankan batters

In an ICC World Cup match in Lucknow on Tuesday, Sri Lanka faced a challenging situation against Australia. Initially, they were in a good position at 151-2, but they experienced a significant collapse and were eventually bowled out for 209 runs in 43.3 overs on a slow and tricky pitch.

At the start, Sri Lankan openers Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Perera batted well, building a strong partnership of 125 runs in 21 overs. However, Australian fielder David Warner made a crucial play by taking an exceptional catch to dismiss Pathum Nissanka for 61 runs off 67 balls, including eight fours. This marked Nissanka’s 11th half-century in One Day Internationals.

Nissanka had a stroke of luck earlier in the game when the umpire ruled not out for an LBW (Leg Before Wicket) appeal. However, if the decision had been reviewed when he was at 19 runs, he might have been given out.

Following Nissanka’s dismissal, Kusal Perera, who had scored his 16th fifty, was bowled out by Pat Cummins after making an incorrect shot. This brought two new batsmen, Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama, to the crease in the 27th over.

David Warner once again impressed the crowd by taking a fantastic catch, covering about 25 meters. This time, he caught Kusal Mendis, who tried to hit the ball through the gap between deep mid-wicket and long one but ended up miscuing it. This gave leg-spinner Zampa confidence, even though he had struggled in the first two overs against the Sri Lankan openers.

On this challenging pitch, Australia gained momentum and put pressure on the Sri Lankan batters. In-form batsman Samarawickrama was dismissed leg before wicket (LBW) by Zampa’s tricky googly. At the 33rd over mark, Sri Lanka’s score was 178-4 with Charith Asalanka and Dhananjaya de Silva at the crease.

After being interrupted match for a while due to rain, Zampa continued to trouble the Sri Lankan team, taking two more wickets by trapping all-rounder Chamika Karunaratne and Maheesh Theekshana LBW with his difficult deliveries. This exposed the tailenders with more than 10 overs remaining, and Sri Lanka reached the 200-run mark in the 40th over with only two wickets left.

Charith Asalanka was left battling alone, and in an attempt to score big shots, he was caught at deep mid-on after scoring 25 runs off 39 balls. He became the third batsman to reach double figures after the openers.

Around the 41st over, a strong wind blew, causing a brief pause in the match. Sri Lanka had a good chance to reach the 250-run mark if the batters had adapted to the pitch conditions and played out the full 50 overs. This could have added extra pressure on the Australian team, who would have to bat under the lights on the slow pitch.

Chief scores:

Sri Lanka: 209 in 43.3 overs (Kusal Perera 78, Pathum Nissanka 61, Charith Asalanka 25, Adam Zampa 4/47, Pat Cummins 2/32, Mitchell Starc 2/43)

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