• Khawaja nudges Aussie selectors

    Batsman Usman Khawaja carried Australia to a five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in Monday’s World Cup warm-up fixture at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton.

    The result concluded both teams’ warm-up fixtures. Sri Lanka also lost to South Africa, while Australia beat England as well.

    The Aussies deployed 24 overs of spin to limit the Sri Lankans to 250 all out – and later welcomed Khawaja’s dominance in triumph with 36 deliveries to spare.

    The talented opening batsman negotiated a knee injury through a workmanlike 89, which spanned 105 deliveries – and featured just three fours. He was well supported by middle-order batsmen Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis, who struck 34, 36 and 32 respectively.

    Where, if at all, Khawaja bats in Australia’s order for 1 June’s opening World Cup fixture against Afghanistan in Bristol remains in the balance. Captain Aaron Finch and the left-handed David Warner are the preferred opening pair, but Khawaja might fit into the middle order ahead of Marsh.

    England, meanwhile, beat Afghanistan by nine wickets in Monday’s other warm-up fixture. Fast bowler Jofra Archer and part-time spinner Joe Root shared six wickets, while opening batsman Jason Roy hit a brisk 89 not out.

    Tuesday’s final round of warm-up fixtures will see Bangladesh play India in Cardiff – and the West Indies clash with New Zealand in Bristol.


    Photo: Gallo Images

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