Sri Lanka made a flying start to their World Cup chase against holders Australia, reaching 122 for one after 17 overs at the Oval on Saturday. Set 335 to win, Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera both hit half-centuries in a swashbuckling opening partnership of 115 before Perera was bowled by Mitchell Starc.
Sri Lanka’s blistering start gave them a great platform as they attempt to set a World Cup record for the highest successful run chase — the current record is held by Ireland, who made 329-7 to beat England in 2011. Karunaratne and his opening partner Perera blasted 24 from the first two overs of their run chase and reached their fifty partnership in just the seventh over.
Perera smoked Jason Behrendorff over cover for a huge six, then survived a caught behind review off Kane Richardson before belting another boundary. Karunaratne reached his to 50 in 43 balls while Perera only needed 33 balls to reach the mark. Earlier, Australia captain Aaron Finch equalled his highest one-day international score of 153 as he powered his team to 334-7. Finch took the misfiring Sri Lanka attack apart with a dazzling display that included 15 fours and five sixes.