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Cricket World Cup matchday 17 – Finch fires Australia top

Joy for Australia as South Africa register overdue first win.

Mitchell Starc, second right, celebrates with his teammates as Australia go top of the World Cup standings (Adam Davy/PA)
Mitchell Starc, second right, celebrates with his teammates as Australia go top of the World Cup standings (Adam Davy/PA)

Aaron Finch blasted a national World Cup record 153 to send Australia top of the World Cup standings with an 87-run victory over Sri Lanka at The Oval.

Finch equalled his career-best One Day International innings in a one-sided result, the skipper eclipsing Ricky Ponting’s unbeaten 140 from the 2003 final as Australia’s top World Cup innings.

South Africa kick-started their World Cup campaign with a first tournament win in Cardiff, beating Afghanistan comprehensively by nine wickets on the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Tweet of the day

Former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody thinks Aaron Finch’s side are on the up at the 2019 World Cup.

World Cup snapshot

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Aaron Finch celebrates reaching 150 on his way to a World Cup record for Australia against Sri Lanka at The Oval (Adam Davy/PA)

Data point

It looks like a great time to be a Surrey fan as Finch and Roy will be opening the batting for the county in a few weeks’ time.

Top shot

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Finch was at his brilliant best for Australia (Adam Davy/PA)

Finch stole the show for Australia, and one fine straight drive for four off Lasith Malinga stood out among a bevvy of brutal hitting. Allied to more showy hits, this was a classic shot delivered with extreme poise, given the constantly rising ball forced a late adjustment.

Ball of the day

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Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga rolled back the years to clean bowl Australia batsman Steve Smith (David Davies/PA)

Lasith Malinga conjured a classic yorker to stun former Australia captain Steve Smith and skittle his stumps. Smith could do little else than watch on, then trudge back to the pavilion. His smart 73 would doubtless have turned into a century but for Malinga’s high-quality intervention.

Quote of the day

I'm relieved - and a lot lighter! Skipper Faf Du Plessis on a first South Africa win

Tournament tracker

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(PA Graphics)

What’s next

India v Pakistan, Old Trafford (1030)

One to watch

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India captain Virat Kohli could be the man for the big occasion against Pakistan (Andrew Boyers)

India have looked imperious with handsome wins over South Africa and Australia before their game with New Zealand was abandoned without a ball being bowled. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have hit the ground running with centuries, leaving stylish skipper Virat Kohli to play a supporting role. The bad news for Pakistan is that is unlikely to continue.

Table

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(PA Graphics)

PA

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