Australia are now out of the ICC Champions Trophy after failing to defeat Sri Lanka at the Oval on Monday. It was a mission impossible test for Australia to get through to the semi-final as they had to defeat Sri Lanka by a large enough margin, despite Sri Lanka being on form triumphing over England a week ago. Sri Lanka pulled off a very memorable victory against England in the group stages when Kumar Sangakkara was the star man getting a century and was unbeaten at 134.
Australia had a very difficult target of 254-runs to hit in only 29.1 overs after Sri Lanka batted very well. The target proved to be too hard for the Australians to reach as they stumbled out of the tournament finishing at the bottom of the Group A table with no wins. England defeated New Zealand on Sunday to book their place in the semi-final and sealed New Zealand’s fate of not qualifying. They finished 3rd with only one win whilst Sri Lanka finished runner-up of the Group and England topped it.
Now that England have officially topped Group A, it has been confirmed that they will go on to play South Africa in the semi-finals at the Oval. Sri Lanka have the tough test of playing against India in Cardiff on Thursday, but they had the chance to play South Africa if they bowled Australia out for 164 or less; unfortunately for them, they couldn’t do it.
Sri Lanka went out onto the field in the Oval against Australia knowing that they could play really safe and not worry about winning by too large of a margin. Australia had practically lost the game before a ball was even bowled after terrible loses to New Zealand and England earlier in the tournament. Sri Lanka knew that and angered the Australian side with patient batting, never getting the run rate above 5.00 after the fourth over.
The man on the match, Mahela Jayawardene, commented, “We are playing hard and passionate cricket. That has been the mantra of our success in the past and I hope it continues in the future also. We look forward to another tough match in the semi-final.”
Author Daniel Foster.
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