May 28, 2019

Usman Khawaja makes match-winning opening knock

Usman Khawaja has shaken off a knee injury to hit 89 and lead Australia to a five-wicket win over Sri Lanka in its final World Cup warm-up match.

Khawaja has made is near-impossible for selectors to deny him a spot in the first-choice team for the tournament, with his polished 105-ball innings cementing his place as the world's most prolific ODI batsman this year.

Khawaja again opened with captain Aaron Finch (11), while David Warner did not play and Steve Smith did not bat.

The elegant left-hander sent a scare through the Australian camp when he was struck on the knee while fielding. The ball took an awkward bounce and Khawaja left the field, limping and grimacing - though he was later sledged over the episode.

“Well the way he’s walked off, I hope his leg’s broken,” Haddin joked.

Shaun Marsh made 34 batting No.3. Either he or Khawaja would seem to be the odd man out in Australia's World Cup line-up, with selectors intent on playing all-rounders Glenn Maxwell (36) and Marcus Stoinis (32).

Pat Cummins took a miserly 1-23 from eight overs for Australia, while Mitchell Starc (1-38, nine overs), Kane Richardson (1-52, six overs), Glenn Maxwell (1-14, five overs) and Nathan Lyon (1-48, eight overs) all took one wicket.

Leg-spinner Adam Zampa claimed 2-39 from nine overs and may hold a slight edge over Lyon for the first-choice spin-bowling role.

(nine.com)

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