Pacemen hold key in Australia-Sri Lanka match

Pacemen are expected to determine the outcome of Saturday’s World Cup Group A match featuring Australia and Sri Lanka in Colombo.

Sri Lanka’s maverick right-arm speedster Lasith Malinga can churn out yorker after yorker with amazing regularity — on display against Kenya as he grabbed six wickets — including a hat-trick, on Tuesday.

The 1996 champions will also rely on the wily Muttiah Muralitharan to trouble the Australians, against whom the off-spinner never lacked motivation.

Four-times champions Australia, on the other hand, are expected to rely heavily on raw pace to dismantle the Sri Lankan batting line-up built around Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.

The trio of Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson have been using the short-pitched stuff pretty well to unsettle the rival batsmen and Australia are likely to retain the three-pronged pace attack in the re-run of the 2007 final.

Sri Lanka have won against Canada and Kenya but went down to Pakistan while Australia beat both Zimbabwe and New Zealand in their two outings so far. – Reuters

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