Cricket World Cup 2019: Australia's David Warner to pile on more runs v Sri Lanka

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After witnessing a repeat of the 2003 World Cup final on Sunday, the Oval prepares to play host to a repeat of the 2007 decider as Sri Lanka take on Australia.

Following a couple of wash-outs, we could finally have a rain-free game as a sunny atmosphere is set to prevail in London.

We take a look at some of the talking points ahead of the tie.

Australia yet to hit full potential

Aaron Finch (l) and Adam Zampa.

Aaron Finch (l) and Adam Zampa.

Despite winning three of the four games that they have played, Australia are yet to reach their peak. The Kangaroos were among the teams tipped to challenge favourites England but all their wins so far have been uncharacteristic.

Against West Indies, the Aussies endured a top-order collapse and had to depend on no8 batsman Nathan Coulter-Nile to pull them out of trouble. In the next game, they were outplayed by India in all departments.

The Aussies bar David Warner and Aaron Finch produced a sub-par performance against Pakistan and it took a middle-order collapse from the Men in Green to earn the defending champions the two points, despite starting the game on the front foot.

Sri Lankan batsmen need to step on the gas

It wouldn’t be a stretch to call Sri Lanka one of the worst batting sides of the tournament so far. Dimuth Karunaratne’s side followed up a sub-150 total against New Zealand by scoring a measly 201 against tournament minnows Afghanistan.

The fact that no player other than the skipper has scored more than 30 runs in both games says a lot about their incompetent show.

The Lankans are now provided an opportunity to make a statement for themselves as they encounter a batting-friendly surface.

It does help that amid experimentation with just four specialist bowlers – as seen against Pakistan – the Aussies are not finding the knack with their bowling.

Warning for Sri Lanka

Warner1 (2)

At his best, there are very few players who can hit the white ball quite as well as David Warner. After a one-year ban, the southpaw has returned to haunt the opposition bowlers like he has done for the majority of his career.

If winning the Orange cap in the Indian Premier League (IPL) wouldn’t suffice as evidence, a half-century against India and a century against Pakistan in the World Cup surely indicate that his ban has not affected the player’s quality one bit.

With good batting conditions and facing a depleted bowling attack, the ingredients are in place for yet another Warner masterclass. Can the 32-year-old deliver in a third consecutive game?

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Cricket World Cup 2019 LIVE: Batting heavyweights England and Windies clash at Southampton

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England named an unchanged XI for their World Cup clash with the West Indies, with Mark Wood cleared for duty after ankle trouble.

The Durham paceman underwent a morning fitness test at the Hampshire Bowl and was given the green light, meaning all-rounder Moeen Ali sat out for the second match in a row.

The Windies made three alterations – Evin Lewis, Shannon Gabriel, and Andre Russell in for Darren Bravo, Ashley Nurse and Kemar Roach.

England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and sent the opposition in, staying with his preference of chasing where possible.

Who will prevail on the biggest stage?

Find out by following the ball-by-ball commentary from Southampton below.

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Cricket World Cup 2019: India v New Zealand abandoned due to rain

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The rain that has blighted the last week of the World Cup was once again to blame for another abandonment as India and New Zealand shared the spoils following a Trent Bridge washout.

This tournament has already set a new World Cup record for games called off, which extended to four in the space of seven days as intermittent rain and a sodden outfield conspired to frustrate those in attendance.

Any hope of play receded as the day progressed but it was not until 3pm – four and a half hours after the scheduled start time – that the teams, who each took a point, shook hands.

Heavy clouds hung in the air when the toss was scheduled to take place at 10am but the sheer volume of rain in the preceding 24 hours meant a 10.30am pitch inspection and a delayed start.

Regular showers hindered the ground staff’s tireless efforts as further inspections were called on an hourly basis until 2.30pm, when it was announced the umpires would survey the scene half an hour later.

But any raised hopes of action were quickly extinguished by yet more rain fall as the match was called off.

New Zealand remain top of the group stage table on seven points, with India, on five, moving up to third.

Provided by Press Association Sport 

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