Tamil Diplomat

Cricket World Cup: Australia hold off Sri Lanka to win by 64 runs

A heroic run chase from Sri Lanka almost cost Australia victory before the hosts triumphed by 64 runs in their cricket World Cup pool match at the SCG on Sunday evening.

Glenn Maxwell battered Sri Lanka’s attack in record-breaking fashion on Sunday, powering Australia to 9 for 376, but a third-consecutive century from Kumar Sangakkara almost saw Sri Lanka home late on.Michael Clarke and Steve Smith’s partnership of 134 runs laid the platform for Australia’s imposing total but it was Maxwell who supplied the panache in his sparkling knock of 102.

Sri Lanka made a great fist of their chase, with Sangakkara passing 14,000 one-day international runs and becoming the first man to score three consecutive tons at a World CupThe visitors needed 105 runs from the final 10 overs to pull off an unlikely victory.

When Dinesh Chandimal retired hurt on 52 in the 42nd over it was the beginning of the end, with Sri Lanka finishing at 9 for 312 in the 47th over.Assuming it defeats Scotland on Saturday, Australia will finish second in Pool A and avoid meeting South Africa in a quarter-final.Sunday’s result also effectively removes the prospect of Australia playing a semi-final in Auckland.