World Cup: Australia scores 342/9 against England in opener

worldcup2015Co-hosts Australia hammered their way to 342/9 in their cricket World Cup opener against England at the historic Melbourne Cricket Ground here Saturday.

Opening batsman Aaron Finch (135) guided the four-time World Champions to the mammoth total with his sixth century. He got good support from skipper George Bailey (55) and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell (66).

This is the second highest total at the MCG, with the highest being 344/8 by the ICC World XI against Asia XI in January 2005.

England pacer Steven Finn picked up 5/71, with the 2015 World Cup’s first hat-trick coming in the last three deliveries of the innings.

Put in to bat, Australia got off to a good start with David Warner (22) and Finch scoring at a good pace. However, two back-to-back wickets of Warner and Shane Watson (0) off pace bowler Stuart Broad brought down the scoring rate.

Australia received another jolt when in-form Steven Smith (5) was bowled by medium pacer Chris Woakes, reducing them for 70/3 in the 11th over.

However, thereon Finch struck a significant 146-run fourth-wicket partnership with skipper Bailey to steady Australia’s ship. Finch hammered 12 boundaries and three sixes in his 128-ball innings.

After the duo got out, Maxwell continued the run, smashing 11 boundaries all over the ground in his 40-ball innings.

Lower down the order, Mitchell Marsh and wicketkeeper batsman Brad Haddin chipped in with 23 and 31, respectively.

Finn’s hat-trick at the end brought some smiles across the English faces but their batsmen have a huge task ahead as history shows that Australia have never lost after scoring 300-plus runs while batting first.

New Zealand
Martin Guptill c Sangakkara b Lakmal 49
Brendon McCullum c Mendis b Herath 65
Kane Williamson c Karunaratne b Mendis 57
Ross Taylor st Sangakkara b Mendis 14
Grant Elliott c Thirimanne b Lakmal 29
Corey Anderson c Lakmal b Kulasekara 75
Luke Ronchi not out 29
Extras (lb 2, w 8, nb 3) 13
Total (for six wickets in 50 overs) 331
Fall of wickets: 1-111 (McCullum, 15.5 overs), 2-136 (Guptill, 22.2), 3-193 (Williamson, 33.3), 4-193 (Taylor, 33.4), 5-258 (Elliott, 43.5), 6-331 (Anderson, 49.6)

Nuwan Kulasekara 8-0-78-1
Lasith Malinga 10-0-84-0
Angelo Mathews 6-0-28-0
Rangana Herath 9-0-37-1
Tillakaratne Dilshan 5-0-35-0
Suranga Lakmal 10-0-62-2
Jeevan Mendis 2-0-5-2

Sri Lanka
Lahiru Thirimanne b Boult 65
Tillakaratne Dilshan c & b Vettori 24
Kumar Sangakkara lbw b Boult 39
Mahela Jayawardene c Ronchi b Vettori 0
Dimuth Karunaratne b Milne 14
Angelo Mathews c Vettori b Southee 46
Jeevan Mendis c Ronchi b Milne 4
Nuwan Kulasekara c Elliott b Anderson 10
Rangana Herath c Milne b Anderson 13
Lasith Malinga c Ronchi b Southee 0
Suranga Lakmal not out 7
Extras (w 10, nb 1) 11
Total (all out in 46.1 overs) 233
Fall of wickets: 1-67 (Dilshan, 12.6 overs), 2-124 (Thirimanne, 21.6), 3-125 (Jayawardene, 22.6), 4-129 (Sangakkara, 23.5), 5-163 (Karunaratne, 31.3), 6-168 (Mendis, 31.6), 7-196 (Kulasekara, 38.2), 8-216 (Mathews, 41.2), 9-217 (Malinga, 41.5), 10-233 (Herath, 46.1)

Tim Southee 10-1-43-2
Trent Boult 10-0-64-2
Adam Milne 10-0-56-2
Daniel Vettori 10-0-34-2
Grant Elliott 2-0-11-0
Kane Williamson 1-0-7-0
Corey Anderson 3.1-0-18-2



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