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Australia wins toss, bats against Sri Lanka at World Cup

March 8, 2015

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia skipper Michael Clarke won the toss and elected to bat first in the Cricket World Cup match against Sri Lanka on Sunday that will likely determine second spot in Pool A.

The Australians made two changes from the lineup which posted a World Cup record total and won by a record margin against Afghanistan in Perth on Wednesday, with veteran allrounder Shane Watson making a surprising return to the starting XI at the expense of Mitch Marsh. Paceman Josh Hazlewood made way for Xavier Doherty, who was picked for the first time in the tournament in conditions expected to favor spin.

Sri Lanka, which has won three games since losing to New Zealand in the tournament opener to hold second spot in the group ahead of the match, made three changes.

Sri Lanka also has had its share of injuries, with batsman Dimth Karunaratne ruled out of the tournament and replaced by leg-spinner Seekkuge Prasanna, and Rengana Herath also missing the Sydney match through injury.

Upul Tharanga came into the team to bat at No. 7 and Sachithra Senanayake replaced Suranga Lakmal.

Sri Lanka, which hasn’t beaten Australia the World Cup since winning the 1996 final, is coming off a nine-wicket win over England when it chased down 310 with three overs to spare. The 37-year-old Kumar Sangakkara posted his second century in as many matches in that win, and shared a big partnership with Lahiru Thirimanne.



Australia: Aaron Finch, David Warner, Steve Smith, Michael Clarke (captain), Glenn Maxwell, Shane Watson, James Faulkner, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Xavier Doherty.

Sri Lanka: Lahiru Thirimanne, Tillekaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews (captain), Dinesh Chandimal, Upul Tharanga, Thisara Perera, Seekuge Prasana, Sachithra Senanayake, Lasith Malinga.

Umpires: Aleem Dar, Pakistan, Ian Gould, England.

Third Umpire: Richard Illingworth, England. Match Referee: Jeff Crowe, New Zealand.