Australia and Sri Lanka will clash at the SCG on Sunday in what shapes as a key match in the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
New Zealand is set to finish on top of Pool A and this game will likely decide who finishes the pool in second position and avoids playing India or South Africa in the quarter-finals.
Australia’s batsmen bounced back with a record World Cup score of 417 against Afghanistan on Wednesday following their drubbing at the hands of New Zealand, but it is tough to take a great deal of confidence from what they did against that tepid bowling attack.
David Warner returned to slashing form against Afghanistan and he will be key to Australia’s chances when they face Sri Lanka, while a solid innings from Steve Smith will also be vital now that he has taken over the first drop position previously held by Shane Watson.
Australia’s strength in this tournament has been in their fast bowling stocks, but the SCG may not offer them a great deal of assistance and there will be pressure on Xavier Doherty to perform if he is given an opportunity by the Australian selections.
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Sri Lanka have bounced back from their disappointing loss to New Zealand in their 2015 World Cup and recorded impressive wins against Afghanistan, Bangladesh and England; with the likes of Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne in outstanding form.
There is no doubt that Sri Lanka have been carried by their batsmen during the World Cup to date and they are sure to miss spinner Rangana Hearth, who has been ruled of this game due to split webbing between his spinning fingers and could have been a difference maker at the SCG.
Australia have won six of their seven meetings with Sri Lanka at the World Cup and are deserving favourites, but they don’t offer a great deal of value at their current odds of $1.30.
The effectiveness of the Australian fast-bowling foursome could be hindered somewhat at the SCG and is more likely to help the chances of Sri Lanka, who don’t have a genuine wicket taking fast bowler, but have a number of solid medium pace and spin bowlers that can chip in for their side.
Sangakkara has been one of the players of the tournament to date and if produces another big innings could lead his side to an upset win.
Sri Lanka represent great value at their current quote of $3.50 that is available at Ladbrokes.com.au, while the over should be taken in any Over/Under betting markets because this should be a high scoring contest.
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