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Australia look to get back on track after narrow New Zealand defeat

| 07.03.2015

The historic Sydney Cricket Ground hosts this eagerly anticipated match on Sunday 8th March. Australia have showed that they are the pre-tournament favourites for a reason whereas Sri Lanka have continued their excellent World Cup form having won their last three matches.

Sri Lanka are sitting second in Pool A and are 5/2 with Coral to beat Australia on their own turf.

One man who will be key to the Sri Lankan effort is Kumar Sangakkara. The veteran batsman has decided to call time on his ODI career after this tournament and is showing his country just what they’re going to be missing.

Sangakkara is in sublime form having notched 105* and 117* against Bangladesh and England respectively, taking his 2015 World Cup average to a staggering 134.

Having been on the losing side in consecutive finals, it would truly be a fairytale ending to 37-year-old Sangakkara’s one day career if Sri Lanka go on to win the World Cup. In the meantime, Australia will pose a serious threat. Sangakkara is backed at 3/1 to continue his form and top score at the SCG.

Australia captain Michael Clarke will be hoping his side can put their extremely narrow and entertaining defeat to co-hosts New Zealand behind them.

After recording a massive 275-run victory over Afghanistan in Perth during their last match, Clarke will know Sri Lanka will be a much more viable threat to Australia.

The skipper returns to the SCG without much form under his belt having only played two matches in the competition so far, but is 9/2 to top score for his team. Why not back Clarke at an enhanced 13/2 to steer the Aussies to victory and be best batsman? Please note there is a maximum stake of £20.

Whilst Clarke is struggling form and fitness, Australia have a player who is in outstanding form. Fast bowler Mitchell Starc has been one of the players of the tournament having taken 10 wickets in three games, including a career best of 6/28 against New Zealand.

Starc might be forgiven for enjoying the limelight as he has been going under the radar since the resurgence of namesake Mitchell Johnson.

Both bowlers will be looking to repeat their excellent recent performances against a Sri Lankan team, who described England’s attack as “easy” to face.

Starc will ensure that the Sri Lankan batsmen will endure a torrid time at the SCG on Friday, and Coral go 9/4 he’s the best Aussie bowler.

Australia will want to continue their recent form and, with players like Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell in good touch, they will be a difficult force to stop. Coral have Australia as odds-on 3/10 favourites to maintain their strong position in Pool A and condemn Sri Lanka to a second defeat of the group stage.



Peter Kelly