World Cup: Finch 153 powers Australia to 334 batting first

Aaron Finch was involved in a 173-run partnership with Steve Smith, who made 73, before Sri Lanka fought back with wickets in quick succession.

Aaron Finch's century headlined Australia reaching 334 after Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and chose to field.   -  AFP

Leading from the front, skipper Aaron Finch stroked his way to a majestic 153, propelling Australia to a challenging 334 for seven against Sri Lanka in its World Cup fixture, here Saturday.

Finch forged two crucial partnerships -- 80 with his opening partner David Warner (26) and 173 with Steve Smith (73 off 59) for the third wicket -- in his 132-ball knock which is his 14th ODI hundred.

He punished the Lankan bowlers with 15 fours and five sixes, two of them gigantic.

Glenn Maxwell provided the late charge with an unbeaten 25-ball 46 but Sri Lanka tied things a bit in the end.

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While Warner found the going tough early on, Finch played some exquisite shots to keep the runs flowing.

Back in the team after missing the Bangladesh game due to an injury, Nuwan Pradeep was hit for two fours by Finch.

The Australia skipper then blasted Lasith Malinga for a couple of fours in the seventh over before welcoming Thisara Perera with successive boundaries as Australia scored 53 in the first powerplay.

In the 17th over, Dhananjaya de Silva cleaned up Warner when he tried to make room for himself to play a cut shot.

Finch and Usman Khawaja (10) took Australia to hundred in 23rd over but the left-handed batsman perished soon after his sweep shot was caught by Isuru Udana at deep midwicket.

Smith then joined hands with Finch, who exploded in the 29th over, smashing de Silva out of the park twice besides a boundary to amass 20 runs off the over.

Smith too dealt in boundaries as the duo brought up the 200 in 35.3 overs.

The former skipper completed his fifty in 46 balls, while Finch smashed Perera over deep square for his fifth six of the innings.

Finch and Smith carted Perera for 18 runs in the 41st over with each smashing a couple of fours. Smith then deposited Malinga over deep mid-wicket in the next over.

Udana finally broke the partnership when he had Finch caught at cover by Karunaratne off a slower delivery as Australia slipped to 273 for 3 in 42.4 overs.

Malinga then dismissed Smith with a cracking yorker in the next over, while Udana showed great athleticism to run out Alex Carey and Pat Cummins to stem the run flow.