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Last Updated:  Monday, 17 March, 2003, 09:39 GMT
Key Battles: Australia v Sri Lanka
Sanath Jayasuriya and Adam Gilchrist
Openers

Each team possesses two of the most dynamic, not to mention dangerous, openers in the world in Adam Gilchrist and Sanath Jayasuriya.

Both men have the ability to tear bowlers apart with their powerful hitting when the fielding restrictions are in place. But they can also give their wickets away for nothing.

While Matthew Hayden has found runs hard to come by, his opposite number, Marvan Atapattu, has been flourishing on the South African pitches, scoring 368 runs, including two centuries.

Advantage: Sri Lanka


Middle order

With the exception of Aravinda de Silva, the Sri Lankan middle order has struggled to score runs. Mahela Jayawardene is hopelessly out of form, while Russel Arnold and Hashan Tillakaratne have been indifferent.

The Australians, in contrast, can boast Michael Bevan, the ultimate one-day finisher, as well as Ricky Ponting, who has been in fine form.

Advantage: Australia


All-rounders

The Australians have plenty of options in this department, with the likes of Andrew Symonds, Darren Lehmann and Ian Harvey all contributing with both bat and ball.

Sri Lanka are forced to rely on the part-time bowling of de Silva and Jayasuriya to make up their overs. But both men have chipped in with vital wickets at important stages.

Advantage: Australia


Wicketkeepers

Along with his brilliant batting, Adam Gilchrist has excelled behind the stumps, taking 18 catches in nine matches.

Kumar Sangakarra has not been as successful with either bat or gloves. He has missed simple run-out opportunities and has made little impact with his batting.

Advantage: Australia


Brett Lee and Chaminda Vaas
Fast bowlers

The Australians are second to none - even without the injured Jason Gillespie.

Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Andy Bichel have been bowling aggressively throughout of the tournament, leaving various cuts and bruises on opposition batsmen.

Meanwhile, Chaminda Vaas has single-handedly spearheaded Sri Lanka's attack.

He has received minimal support from fellow seamers Prabath Nissanka and Pulasthi Gunaratne. The left-armer is the tournament's leading wicket-taker with 20.

Advantage: Australia


Spinners

As well as taking his usual haul of wickets, Muttiah Muralitharan has been bowling very economically.

He has also received good support from part-timer spinners de Silva and Jayasuriya at the other end.

Brad Hogg has confused plenty of batsmen with his brand of left-arm chinamen. He has also picked up 10 wickets at a cost of 23.10.

Advantage: Sri Lanka




SEE ALSO
Sri Lanka aim for upset
17 Mar 03 |  World Cup
Aussies suffer Martyn blow
17 Mar 03 |  Australia
Whatmore backs spinners' wicket
17 Mar 03 |  Sri Lanka
Have Your Say on Australia
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say
Have Your Say on Sri Lanka
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say


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