World Cup, Match 32: Australia vs Sri Lanka at Sydney
This is the most important match of the tournament so far for both teams. The winner of this match likely will finish second in Pool A and earn a soft quarter final draw against one of the West Indies, Pakistan or Ireland. The loser will be facing a difficult quarter final match up against either South Africa or India. In Australian conditions, the home side logically should be far more comfortable. Sri Lanka do, however, have a decent record in ODIs in Australia in recent years and will not be underestimated by the Aussies. Australia are fresh from registering the biggest winning margin in World Cup history with a 275-run hammering of Afghanistan in Perth on Wednesday. That match was particularly crucial for allowing the likes of David Warner, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell to get back in the runs after Australia’s poor batting effort in their previous match against New Zealand. Aside from a shabby performance in their opening match of the tournament against New Zealand, Sri Lanka have been in fine touch, comfortably defeating Afghanistan, Bangladesh and England. But they don’t have enough firepower to beat Australia in this crunch match
Sri Lanka’s spinners vs Australia’s batsmen:
In Australia’s only loss of the tournament, to New Zealand in Auckland, spin played a major role in their downfall. After batting first and making a barnstorming start, Australia were reeled in and then undone by the clever left arm spin of veteran Daniel Vettori. Sri Lanka are well stocked for spinners and will look to use their slow bowlers to try to choke Australia’s run rate and prompt some risky strokes.